When something painful or unfair happens, the natural tendency for many of us is to get caught in the why—what did we do to deserve this? We often feel like victims and become resentful toward the situation, the people involved, and even God. But Jesus offers us a command with a promise: keep your eyes on Me, and I will reward you beyond your wildest dreams. Is it worth it to trust God in life’s most challenging situations?
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. What’s something you like to do that helps you feel better when you’ve been feeling stressed or down?
2. What is something that happened recently which frustrated you, causing you to think the situation was unfair?
3. Read Revelations 2:2-3, 7 and 2:9-10. What would be motivating to receive in the next life to make up for holding onto faith in God in the trials you experience in this one? Does it seem like what Jesus is offering would be worth that kind of faith?
4. What is most difficult about forgiving and praying for people who have done you wrong?
5. Read Hebrews 12:1-3. What is a challenging situation or relationship you’ve been able to entrust to Jesus? What does it look like for you to have faith in God’s promises in those situations?
6. What is something you currently struggle to hand over to God? What’s holding you back? This week, pray and ask God to help you identify one small step you could take to express faith in God, despite what your circumstances tell you.
Revelations 2:2-3, 7 – I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance…You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary…To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Revelations 2:9-10 – I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander…Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer…Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
Hebrews 12:1-3 – And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
TO DIG DEEPER
To dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, check out the “Trust God” outcome on Gateway’s Spiritual Growth Path. Here’s an excerpt:
Common perception is that a follower of Christ is someone who believes in the existence of God and believes in the deity of Christ. Simply believe that God exists and that he sent his son, and you are considered a Christ-follower. Such thinking, though, is flawed. It misses the critical distinction between belief and trust. A person might believe an airplane can fly but not be willing to trust in the airplane by actually boarding it and experiencing flight. Scripture not only calls us to a belief in the existence of God, but we are exhorted to entrust our lives and well-being to God through Christ. James wrote, “You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:29). Or put another way, even enemies of God believe God exists and that he sent his son.
To complete the outcome in its entirety, visit gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/trust-god Also check out Max Lucado’s book, You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times, available on Amazon.com and from all major book retailers.
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/trust-god