June 14, 2020
Let’s spend some time thinking together with God about this week’s message. If you haven’t heard it yet, you can watch it online here. Throughout this exercise, be aware of what God might be saying to you and what you are going to do about it.
The Scripture for this week was Philippians 4:4-9. Read the passage and spend three minutes of silence while you try to discern what God is saying to you through the passage.
Paul mentions that he himself has anxiety in Philippians 2. It is no wonder why – all the work that went into starting these churches, caring for them, and getting physically abused by persecutors. So, the very person telling us to be anxious for nothing, was also anxious. What do you think of that? Some may find it hopeful that they are not alone in their battle with anxiety, and others find it despairing to know that even someone of the stature of Paul struggles with it and thus how unlikely it would be for them to overcome it. Do you fall into one of these camps or have a different take?
Dave mentioned three of the most common sources of anxiety: ambiguity, grief, and not knowing what to do. Where have your anxieties come from recently?
Dave offered the S.N.A.P. tool for when we are facing anxiety: Stop/Step Back; Notice/Name it; Ask if it’s true, and Pivot/Prayer. Which of these steps comes easiest to you, and which one(s) do you need to improve on?
Paul concludes his thoughts in this passage with, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” How might following this advice help with anxiety?
Even as Paul was anxious, he still wrote the words, “Rejoice in the Lord God always, and again I will say, rejoice.” What is something specific that you are thankful for and causes you to rejoice?
Spend three minutes asking the Holy Spirit to give you some thoughts about how to live differently in light of what was revealed to you through the Scripture and hearing from others in your Group.
FOR individual Study
The Scripture for this week was Philippians 4:4-9. Read the passages and spend three minutes of silence while you try to discern what God is saying to you through the passages.
Dave shared a quote from Viktor Frankl, a celebrated psychiatrist and author, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is the power to choose our response, and in our response lies our growth and our freedom.” To be sure, in our response may also lie destruction and bondage – we can choose poorly with our power of agency. How much control or power do you really have over your responses? Do you sometimes feel like a stimulus is so strong that a response just is evoked out of you without a space for deliberation? What might be some practices to navigate this?
What do you think Paul means when he says that the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds? Further, why do you think Paul says that God’s peace transcends our understanding? Does this mean that his peace is so pervasive and powerful that we can’t cognitively grasp its scope or something else? What is your interpretation? When was the last time you personally experienced the peace of God and what setting were you in?
Spend three minutes asking the Holy Spirit to give you some thoughts about how to live differently in light of what was revealed to you through the Scripture.
Use what you learned to spark conversation with someone. Ask what they think about some of these topics.
Want to find a community to talk through some of these ideas? Check out our Groups and eGroups here.