BEFORE YOU GATHER
- Familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Spend some time in prayer before your group gathers.
- To prepare for discussion, CLICK HERE for a few facilitation tips.
- As a leader you always have the option to use some or all the questions and/or write your own questions.
Opening Prayer: (1-5 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of how your group can invite God into your time together.
- Thank God for His patience with us.
- Thank God that He has information and purposes that we don’t know and we can trust Him while we “suffer long before giving up.”
- Thank God that we have a community to support us when God asks us to demonstrate patience.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
Share about a time when you had to wait for something for a very long time. Was it worth the wait?
Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
Practicing patience has a significant impact
on our spiritual lives.
- If you say, “I’m losing my patience!” or if you tell someone to “Be patient,” what do you mean? Does what you mean with the word “patience” change depending on the circumstance? (i.e. “I’m impatient for the show to begin” means something different than “I’m impatient with my family member who is making bad decisions.”)
- The Greek translation of patience means "to suffer long before giving up. "Does this translation change the way you think about or use the words “patient” or “impatient?”
- In Genesis we find the account of God choosing Abraham to be the father of his chosen people. This story demonstrates the way God required both Abraham and God to suffer long before giving up. Take time to read outloud Genesis 12:1-9, 15:1-16, 17:1-8, 22:1-19 & Hebrews 6:13-15. In what ways did Abraham suffer long before giving up and in what way did God “suffer long before giving up?”
- During his message, Pastor Steve said, “...our God, chose suffering on our behalf” and reminded us that, like He did with Abraham, God is long suffering with us. How has God suffered long with you?
- Is there a circumstance in your life that God is asking you to "suffer long?"
- Read Romans 2:4. Pastor Steve suggested that in our times of needing to suffer long, we should “Find a way to practice remembering your shortcomings. Not as a way of shaming yourself or getting down on yourself, but as a means to prevent us from elevating ourselves over anyone else. To remind ourselves that God still has great work to do in each of us, that this transformation of our heart that God is working on in us is a journey and there is plenty of room for growth.” Consider sharing or journaling about those things as a way to encourage yourself to show others the same long suffering.
CLOSING PRAYER (5-15 minutes):
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
- Ask God to show you how he has been patient with you.
- Ask God to help you trust that He has information and purposes that you don’t.
- Ask God to let His long suffering relationship with you pour out into your relationships with others.
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK:
- Look for ways that God has been patient with you.
- Find a way to practice remembering your shortcomings to remind yourself that God still has great work to do in you, that this transformation of our heart that God is working on in us is a journey and there is plenty of room for growth.