Curriculum

Dive Deeper

Under Pressure (Part 2)

Rhordan Wicks

INTRODUCTION

In Part 1 of this series, we learned that God’s purpose for life’s pressures is to make us wise. We also learned about Biblical wisdom and what it looks like, and how we can pursue wisdom through the right application of knowledge. In Part 2 of this series, we learned how and why God uses life’s pressures and trials to shape us into becoming prudent. 

Life is full of trials, and trials can happen when we least expect it, in our relationships, work environment, financial situation, and spiritual walk. In order to successfully navigate through the trials, we need to change our perspective. As believers of Christ, we are called to respond to trials with an awareness and spirit that is different from non-believers. James 1:2 tells us that we are to count it “all joy” when we face trials. If we can view our trials with God’s perspective, we can understand what we are going through better and recognise that God is doing work in our lives to restore and complete us, moulding us into the image of Christ.

DISCUSSION

  1. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” – James 1:2

    a. Share with your group a recent trial you faced. Can you recall how you felt when you were undergoing the trial? What was your initial response, and did your perspective change over time? 

    b. To consider it all joy means that we look at our circumstances as a whole – the good and the bad – and recognise God’s hand in our lives. In light of everything, we can gain valuable perspective on His work.  In what way can you consider it all joy as you face your current pressures?

  2. “For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” – James 1:3
    One of the reasons God allows the trials to occur is to reveal the state of our faith and our blind spots.

    a. Why is God interested in revealing the quality of our faith to us?

    b. How will you respond to the feedback God has given you? Share with your group a time you have experienced God’s correction in your trial. 

  3. If we allow God to do His work in our lives by changing our perspective and allowing wisdom to develop, we will begin to develop steadfastness.

    a. What is steadfastness about?

    b. Why does God want us to develop steadfastness?

  4. As we learn to get through the trials in our lives with a godly attitude, we will be better equipped to deal with all future trials. Share with your group an example of a trial that you went through and how it helped you build fortitude.

  5. “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” – James 1:4

    a. Pressures and trials might be a long drawn-out affair and might not just happen once. What can we do to stay steadfast during the trials?

    b. As a result of sin, we may have gaps or misalignment to God’s ways. Why does God desire His people to be fully formed and perfect? Share an example of a time that you were misaligned with God’s purpose and how He allowed a trial to close the gap or re-align you back to Him.

    c. Drawing from the examples of Jesus going to the cross, Noah in the ark and Joseph being sold as a slave to Egypt, we can pray and ask God to remove our trials instantly. However, if God allows us to fully go through the trial, what are some of the practical steps we can take to shift our perspective? What should be the end result after undergoing the trial?

WHAT WILL YOU DO

  1. See trials as feedback from God. Whenever we undergo trials, even though they may be painful and uncomfortable, we should strive to develop a different perspective on our trials and choose joy. Once we are able to see past our circumstances, we can begin to see the trials as feedback from God to reveal our faith and train us to trust Him more fully.

  2. Trust that God is using the trial to mould us to develop wisdom, fortitude and steadfastness. We will develop deep roots after going through trials. As a result, we will learn to be steadfast and build resilience and strength to get through future trials.

  3. Hang on to God while He restores and makes us whole through our trials. Although trials are painful to undergo, they are necessary in order for us to become more Christ-like. Pray that God will give us the tools and the right perspective when our trials occur.

  4. As you face trials, be honest. Acknowledge to God the pain, disappointment, frustration or hurt you feel. Then speak to your heart, “But God…” God is working in your heart to transform you through your trial. Look to Him and seek His heart. 

MEMORY VERSE

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4 ESV