When your life is out of balance, there is a pull to only focus on what you see and feel in the moment. This is what gets us off track. We look at all that has to be done and all that is going on, and we start to freak out, and become overwhelmed. Life is just going too fast in the wrong direction and we are being pulled in a thousand different directions. How do we get the clarity to become centered when our circumstances leave us feeling hopeless?
1. What are some of the things that typically stress you out? Have you ever experienced a time in your life when your stress was more about waiting for something to happen rather than what was actually happening?
2. In a situation where you are waiting for God to work or praying for something specific, have there been times where the amount of time you have been waiting has discouraged you? Are there ways that you struggle during these times that are different?
3. Read Philippians 1:12-21. What in this passage stands out to you the most? What was striking to you about Paul’s attitude?
4. What are the ways that hope and optimism are different? How does choosing to have hope based on Christ change your focus in a way that optimism doesn’t?
5. How can we come to a place where we see the struggles we have in the same way Paul does in Philippians 1:18? Is there something that has to change in your heart in order to see your circumstances this way?
6. How does Philippians 1:6 encourage you? Is there a situation in your life, right now, that needs the kind of hope this verse promises?
7. If our hope is fueled by making the choice to rejoice, then what are some of the ways you can choose to rejoice in the waiting? Is there a practical way you could choose hope this week and let go of some of the anger and worry that pulls you away from being centered on God’s word?