Where is God when I’m HURTING?
The SPIRAL downward to DESPAIR
People spiral downward into despair when the brain changes in three fundamental ways. When this happens, finding God and allowing Him to work in us is our best chance to find freedom from the spiral.
- Personal: anxiety overwhelms.
- Pervasive: think about everything in negative terms.
- Permanent: believe that nothing will ever get better.
FINDING God in our DESPAIR
In 1 Kings 19, we see how God dealt with Elijah’s despair by asking him an important question. The ability to answer this question correctly will determine whether or not you find breakthrough in your search for God when you are hurting.
- WHAT… ARE … YOU … DOING … HERE?
- Feel God’s presence: We hear God in a whisper and not a whirlwind, and that means moving beyond the quiet.
- Fight the lies: We reject the idea that we’ve been abandoned, because we are surrounded by godly people.
- Focus on purpose: We persevere in following God’s plan, even if we question whether or not we’re making a difference.
- Find a friend: “You need a friend, here’s ___________________.”
Study and Discussion Questions
1. Group sharing should always be done with the understanding that sensitive issues are discussed and kept confidential. Therefore, if you feel comfortable sharing, have you ever experienced the spiral downward to despair? What has helped you out of feeling like nothing will ever get better?
2. Study the words of Psalm 46:10-11. What does it mean to “be still”? After you are “still” before God, do you walk away with a strong desire to exalt Him?
3. When you are feeling despair, focus on these truths: God will never leave me (Dt. 31:8); God will strengthen me (Is. 41:10); God hears my cry (Is. 40:1-3); God is my shield (Ps. 3:3); God is near to my broken heart (Ps. 34:18-19); nothing can separate me from God (Rom. 8:38-39). Which of these truths speaks deeply to you right now?
4. Read about the power of two: David-Jonathan (1 Sam. 18:1-4); Ruth-Naomi (Ruth 1:16-18); Jesus sent 72 people out in pairs (Luke 10:1); two are better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Do you have a friend who can help you carry life’s burdens?
Applying the Word to Life
5. Is there a lie you are telling yourself that you need to conquer with truth? Have you believed a false statement from Satan for too long? Renounce it and replace it with the truth.
6. Are you ready to give up on something because it just feels like you are not making a difference? Go before God and ask Him to re-energize and re-fresh and re-focus you to continue to work at what you know God has asked you to do.