One thing this year has taught us is that we are not immune to storms. None of us are in control of our lives, as much as we would like to be in control. Inevitably, we will have storms. While we cannot control our storms, we can control how we will respond to them. We can either trust God, or we can choose not to trust Him. One response brings peace, the other brings panic. Today, we are going to talk about these storms and how to have the peace of God, even in the most difficult storm that arises.
If you could choose one season to live in forever, what would it be? Why?
1. What storms are people currently facing right now? What storm are you currently facing in your life today?
2. Read Mark 4:35-41. Describe the differences between Jesus' response to the storm and His disciples' response. Why did they respond the way that they did?
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
3. When was a time you felt like the disciples when they asked Jesus, "Don't you care?" (Verse 38)
4. What stands out to you about Jesus' question in Mark 4:40? How does Jesus' question encourage you in the storm that you are currently facing?
5. Read James 1:2-4. According to James, why should followers of Christ view storms as "an opportunity for great joy" when they arise?
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
6. How have you seen God use storms in your life as opportunities for growth? How might He be using your current storm for growth?
One method for understanding how to study the Bible is looking at sections of Scripture through the lens of relationships, specifically our relationships with God, ourselves, and others. Pair up in groups of two or three, re-read James 1:2-4, and discuss and answer these questions:
- What do these verses teach me about my relationship with God?
- What do these verses teach me about how I relate to myself?
- What do these verses teach me about my relationship with other people?
Let these questions and answers prompt you toward application as you seek to apply Scripture to your life.
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The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.