Saturday, October 04, 2008

Another disappointment - Yeah ... ?

This week, my small group curriculum focuses on handling disappointment.

Big Idea:
We live in a fallen world where bad things happen to good people – yes, even to Christians. The question today isn’t, “will I experience disappointment,” but “how will I handle it?”

When we put our hopes and dreams in people or in circumstances, we usually find ourselves disappointed. Have you found yourself disappointed with your own choices and actions? Has someone betrayed you or has a close friend rejected you? Have you set your hopes on your children being all you want them to be, only to be let down? Did you marry, thinking your spouse would meet all of your needs? I hate to burst your bubble, but no man can meet all of a woman's needs, and no woman can meet all of a man's needs. If our joy is dependant upon circumstances, we are in trouble, because circumstances are always changing. Did you expect a promotion, and someone less qualified received the job instead? Has illness permanently altered the plans you had for your family? Has an unwanted divorce drastically changed your circumstances? If you are trusting in someone or something other than God to bring you happiness, you are a candidate for continual disappointment.

How do we rebound from disappointment and prevent it from defining or defeating us? How do we go from disappointment to destiny? We do this by putting three biblical principles into practice in our lives. (1) Surrender our will to the will of God. Our Heavenly Father has a plan and purpose for our lives. We need to surrender our plans and embrace His. Even Jesus prayed, “Not my will, but yours be done.” (2) Trust God with those things we don’t understand. We must never rely on our limited understanding, but instead daily put our faith in God who will show us the way. (3) Put our hope in the Lord. The world will let us down, but Psalm 130 reminds us that, “with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption.”

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

Jeremiah 17:5-8
What happens when we put our trust and confidence in people or circumstances? Share how you might have experienced this in your life. Instead, where should we put our trust and hope?

Proverbs 3:5-8
How would your thought life and prayer life change by applying these verses and trusting in God’s wisdom instead of your own? Discuss blessings you’ve experienced by doing things God’s way instead of your way. How does trusting God help you rebound from disappointment?

James 1:2-4
Why should we rejoice when we encounter the trials and disappointments of life? Discuss how God has used a trial in your life to mature you. How does this truth change the way you will handle disappointment?

Taking Action: Do you have disappointment in your life? Has it escalated to depression and defeat? Surrender that circumstance or relationship to God and commit to memory Jeremiah 29:11. Proclaim this truth daily - when you awake and when you go to bed.

Ministry Time

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