Peace within ourselves is often elusive. Many people are plagued with guilt and shame over things they have done in the past or their own self-destructive behaviors. God never intended for us to live this way. He wanted peace in our lives, both externally and internally. Finding inner peace is not easy as we seek to follow Christ. But when we move into the tension of what is going on inside us, we find a greater level of satisfaction, and we sleep easier at night. We have to truly accept God’s love and forgiveness and commit to making things right with the people we have hurt if we wish to find peace. Let’s turn to Scripture now to see what it teaches us about living at peace within ourselves because of what God has done for us.
BREAK THE ICE
Why is having internal peace so important for us? What are some signs that internally, you are not at peace?
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
Bible Study Questions
1. Why do you think we are often harder on ourselves than any other person that messes up?
WATCH SERMON RECAP
2. Read Isaiah 1:18-20. What does this verse teach about God’s kindness and forgiveness towards His people?
18 “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. 19 If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat. 20 But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
3. Read Romans 12:9-18. Why is being at peace with others contingent on our own attitudes and actions?
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
4. Read Proverbs 28:13. Based on this verse, what is the benefit of opening up about your sins and struggles?
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
1. How does God’s forgiveness toward you affect your peace with yourself?
2. How have you seen confessing sins and struggles and being honest about them contribute to your peace?
3. This weekend, we talked about going to one person you might have hurt in the past. Who is that person that you might need to connect with this week in order to bring peace?
Today, we have seen that two of the things that keep us from having peace with ourselves are not recognizing God’s forgiveness for us and not reconciling with the people we have hurt. Pick one of these to work on over this next week. Do you need to work on truly understanding and accepting God’s forgiveness, or do you need to reconcile with someone you have hurt and have had a conflict with? Share with your group which one you want to focus on this next week and how you will focus on it. After everyone has shared, pray together and ask God to help you as you all seek to work towards peace with Him and yourselves.
One of the incredible things that Scripture teaches us is that as we follow Christ and become more like Him, the Holy Spirit develops peace in us. This peace remains regardless of our circumstances because it is rooted in Christ, not our circumstances. So let’s take some time to dive into what Scripture teaches about this peace that God develops in us.
Peace from the Spirit:
· Read Galatians 5:22-23
1. What is the source of the peace of followers of Christ?
2. How does this truth that peace is a fruit of the Spirit affect how you think about peace?
3. How have you seen the Holy Spirit develop peace in your own life?
Holding on to God’s Peace:
· Read Philippians 4:6-7.
1. What happens when we pray, according to these verses?
2. Why do you think prayer is a key to having peace?
3. Who does this peace belong to? How does that shape your understanding of what peace is?
· Read Philippians 4:9-13.
1. What types of circumstances did Paul have peace in?
2. How did Paul have peace despite His circumstances?
3. Why does peace transcend beyond our circumstances?
1. Do you consider yourself a peaceful person? Why or why not?
2. What is an area where you struggle to have peace right now?
3. What is a practical way to give that area over to God now?
Paul taught in Philippians 4 that by praying, we can experience peace. You have all shared areas where you are struggling to have peace. Now that you have shared take some time to pray together, asking God to work in the situations you are concerned about and for peace as you seek to trust Him.
MONTHLY MEMORY VERSE (Available for download on Sagebrush App)
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
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