Curriculum

Dive Deeper

Under Pressure (Part 3)

Rhordan Wicks

INTRODUCTION

In Part 1 of the series, we learned that God’s purpose for life’s pressures is to make us wise.

In Part 2 of the series, we see that trials are God’s trails into tenacity and trust.

Part 3 takes us on a journey to look at pressure both positively and negatively in our lives. Pressure can take two interrelated forms, internal and external, wielding different outcomes. Many times, though, there is a one-way relationship between these forms, with external tests resulting in internal temptations from which we should flee. Are we sober and watchful enough for these circumstances?

DISCUSSION

  1. When have you been tempted to walk away from God? How did you manage that situation?

  2. Read James 1:12-18.

    a.
    Why is the person who remains steadfast under trial blessed?

    (i) What does this blessing look like? Do we think it is worth it?

    (ii) Why should we want to be steadfast under trial?

    b. How do we persevere under trial?

    (i) What can we do to encourage each other to persevere?

  3. Read Proverbs 7. Notice here how sin is personified and placed in comparison to the virtuous woman of wisdom in chapter 8. Understand that the Greek word often translated into “desire” in James 1:14-15 is epithymia, or “over-desire”, often associated with lust.

    a. How do we feel about the Bible’s association of sin with sexual desire? What is it meant to tell us about the nature of sin?

    b. From James 1:14-15, why do you think the metaphor of birth is used to describe the relationship between desire and sin, as well as sin and death? What might it tell us about the role of time?

    c. Given what has been discussed in (a) and (b), how might our understanding of persevering under trial change?

  4. Examine the lives of some people in the Bible who had to deal with temptation. Were they successful? If so, why? If not, why not?

    a. Lot’s wife (Genesis 19:15-26)
    b. David (2 Samuel 11:1-27)
    c. Jesus (Luke 4:1-13)

WHAT WILL YOU DO

“Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” – Exodus 34:14 (NIV)

The relationship between God and us is sometimes described in the Bible as akin to one between lovers, with us as His bride. Therefore, He seeks the first place in our lives.

Let us work then towards putting God first by doing the following:

  1. Identify our “over-desire(s)”. What might we be drawn to, given our present circumstances?
  2. Break-up with whom you are having spiritual adultery with. Walk away.
  3. Pray for God to help. Pray out His Word in Matthew 6:13: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
  4. Run away! Flee from temptation and resist the devil. Do not do the reverse.

Blessed are we if we are steadfast under trial and persevere when tempted, for when we have passed the test, we will receive the crown of life.

MEMORY VERSE

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12 (ESV)