HOW DID YOU SEE GOD THIS WEEK AS YOU FOLLOWED HIM?

WHAT DID GOD SAY IN HIS WORD?

Opening Question:

Have you had any particularly discouraging moments in your faith journey? What pained your heart, and how did you hold on to God?

Paul honestly shares his heartbreak, and yet points to his hope in our passage from Sunday. Let’s read it again:

9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

Reflect Together:

Paul names several challenging situations he recently went through. What heartbreaks do you see in this passage?

Each of these heartbreaks has a glimmer of hope in them. Where do you see Paul’s hope in this passage?

WHAT DID GOD SAY TO ME THROUGH HIS WORD?

Is there a discouragement in your relationship with Jesus and his church today? What is God saying to you about that discouragement through this passage?

Do you find it hard or easy to be hopeful? What is most helpful to you?

WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT?

If your group is sharing a lot of present discouragement, consider how you can support one another and encourage one another. Are there concrete ways you can help one another? What scripture can you share? Consider how you can not just pray for one another, but set up a time to pray with one another.

Is there someone outside your group that could use encouragement, hope, a friendly person to be present with them? Consider how you can make time to support the people the Spirit lays on your heart tonight.