NOTE: Be prepared to talk about real-life stories of people in your group going through difficult times.
What did you think of the Adult & Teen Challenge? Did any part of their stories resonate with you? If you missed it, you can watch their stories during the service below.
Have you experienced anything in your life that was or is so difficult, it felt or feels like you couldn't or can’t recover from it?
Philippians 4:6-7 says to not be anxious about anything, but in every situation pray to God. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Have you ever experienced the peace of God in a way that you didn’t understand? What was that like?
Jim explained that Paul tells us in Romans 10:9-10 that if we believe in our hearts that God had the power to raise Jesus from dead then we can also believe that he has the power to raise us from the death of anything we experience in our lives. Can you see the power of God giving you life again after what you’ve experienced?
Jim explained that when you put your faith in Jesus, you gain a new identity in Christ. You are no longer defined by the world but by who God says you are. When someone becomes unemployed, what message do people tend to believe this says about who they are? When someone divorces? When someone is single? When someone has a dark past with serious mistakes?
Jim explained that a better future in Christ is not a more comfortable life, but a more contented life. It isn't a wealthier life, but it IS a richer life. It isn't a life without pain and struggle. Rather, it's a life that, with God's help, rises above the pain and finds purpose in the struggle. God doesn't promise to make your life easier, but he does promise to be there with you.
Does any of this resonate with you? Are there any ways in which you can see God leading you into a better future in Christ?
First Covenant Church is part of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), which is a rapidly growing multi-ethnic denomination in the United States and Canada, with ministries on five continents of the world. Founded in 1885 by Swedish immigrants, the ECC values the Bible as the word of God, the gift of God's grace, and an ever-deepening spiritual life that comes through faith with Jesus Christ. We value the importance of extending God's love and compassion to a hurting world, and the strength that comes from unity within diversity.