This study guide examines what the Bible teaches us we can do when faced with problems and obstacles in life, even if we experience failure.
Message from Marsh: “May your personal walk with the Lord lead you to be transformed, renewed and blessed.”
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Facing Obstacles, Trials and Failure in Your Life Without God
(www.mensgroup.org – “Original Study”)
PRAY: A suggested opening prayer for small group members or individuals to invite God to connect with them as they seek Him in his Word. Feel free to add your own words “in prayer.”
Lord, as I face new obstacles and major trials in my life, help me to realize I am not alone. When I do fail, help me to seek forgiveness and then move forward with total dependence on God. Amen.
READ: Scripture Reference (James 1: 2-5)
Key Verse ² Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, ³ because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Holy Bible - New International Version
A suggested “devotional” below focused on drawing small group members and individuals deeper into the text which helps to personally engage with Scripture.
Many times men believe they are “in charge” but when faced with major obstacles or failures in their lives, don’t know what to do or where to turn. This can be true even for Christian men.
One of the reasons men act this way is that God created men to “be strong.” We are to make a living, support our wives, lead our families in Faith and help others. Men are strong or act strong so much of the time that sometimes it is hard to let go and fully trust God. Many times, it is not until we face trials and failures that we are fully open to realizing God’s Love is perfect and can handle “anything” we face.
As it says in James 1:5, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. Holy Bible – New International Version
Have you ever experienced times in your life when you thought you knew something and then found out you were mistaken? Or, after the fact you realized you should have known better or anticipated a major problem. What was one of the times you found out you were mistaken about something? Also, what was a time you should have known better?
Prayer should always be the starting point when facing obstacles, trials, or failure in our lives. The ultimate source of all wisdom is God, who in James1: 6 says, But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Holy Bible - New International Version
Studying James helps us realize God wants to support us. James is overflowing with Truth that is relevant to “all of life’s circumstances.” The benefits from reading James begin when we truly pray and trust Him completely.
James 1:12 says, blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. Holy Bible - New International Version
Two questions to help us consider how the passage applies to our life.
1. If we fail any given test in life does that mean we forfeit all that God has promised? Where does temptation from our trials originate?
In James 1:122 it says, do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Holy Bible - New International Version
2. The message here is quite clear. How will you put this into practice tomorrow? The Next week? The rest of your life?
DISCIPLESHIP STUDY QUESTIONS:
Three suggested discussion questions that encourage small group members and individuals to search Scripture.
1. Read Isaiah 43:2 and discuss what this Scripture says to you personally. When faced with major troubles do you think you can let go and trust God? Remember the last time you faced an overwhelming problem or obstacle. Do think praying would have helped you get though the issue? Will you pray next time you face similar problems? Why?
2. In 2 Peter 2:9 it says: if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the Day of Judgment. Holy Bible - New International Version
How does God know about our trials? How do you know God will always be there for you when you are enduring a major problem in your life?
3. Read 1 Peter 1:6-7. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. ⁷ These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith— of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Holy Bible - New International Version
This Scripture talks about “for you to be sad for a while” and “to prove your faith is genuine.” Do you think we can become closer to God without the trials and tribulations we face on earth? Why? Do you believe the sole purpose of our trials and problems is to “test us and our faith?”
SUGGESTED CLOSING PRAYER:
Lord, when faced with problems and obstacles in my life help me to let go and trust you will give me wisdom which I do not have myself. Knowing I will sometimes fail when faced with Life’s multiple challenges, help me remember to seek your forgiveness and then move forward with dependence on you.
All our Blessings,
Men’s Group Foundation, Inc.
(A mensgroup.org - “Original Study”)
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