Focusing on the Goal
The PERSEVERING Perspective
God had a mission for the apostle Paul to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire Mediterranean world. The difficulties Paul endured could be looked at today by “American Christians” as more of a curse than a blessing. But Paul’s response to these trials teach us how to say “YES” when the road is difficult.
- Take your eyes off your circumstances and focus on your destination.
- Your calm confidence in Christ during a storm pours courage into the concerned.
- Patiently endure what looks like a curse, because it might blossom into a blessing.
How to say “YES” to God even when it is hard…
- Focused — calm — patient
1. Do you allow yourself to get discouraged when your circumstances are not turning out the way you had hoped? Do you have certain expectations about the direction of your life? What is your destination?
2. Read Philippians 3:12-14. What is the goal that you are pressing towards? Have you been able to forget what is behind you and press towards what is ahead of you?
3. Discuss Philippians 1:20-26. How do you get to the place where for you to live is to live for Christ and also to be open handed about dying so that you can be with Christ? What must change in your life for you to be more full of Christ?
4. Read Isaiah 43:2; John 14:1; 14:27; Romans 8:38-39; Psalm 37:7-9; 56:3; Philippians 4:6. Allow these verses to calm your soul if you feel overwhelmed right now.
Applying the Word to Life
5. Do you need to be the calming influence of someone who is in the midst of a storm right now? Or have you always needed other people to calm you down? What can you do this week to carry around the death of Jesus in your body?
6. Share with the group about times when you really thought something that happened to you was a curse, and yet after time had passed, turned out to be a blessing. How can you exhibit patience as you endure a difficult situation right now?
7. What is your destination? What is your focus? Have you lost your zeal for life in a certain area? How can you fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith?