Session 9. (reading chapter 11 in Unshakable Hope)
God‘s promise: “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30.5.
My promise: I will praise God before my prayer is answered.
Would you join a small group on Sunday’s at 10 am? This series is designed so the whole family can benefit from it and discuss it together. Who in your family will face a sad and low time? Each of them will.
“Troubles come to each of us in this life. Heartaches leave us with tear-streaked faces and heavy hearts. Weeping comes… But so does Joy. Darkness comes… But so does the morning. Sadness comes… But so does hope. Sorrow may have the night, but it cannot have our lives. This was true for Mary Magdalene. Her world had officially hit rock bottom when her master was murdered and his body buried in a borrowed grave. Now, it seemed as if his tomb had been robbed and his body stolen. When she went early in the morning to place spices on his body, she instead found two strangers on the slab where his body had been laid. Her sorrow intermingled with anger… But it didn’t last for long. For at her darkest moment, the resurrected Lord appeared and called her by name. Mary had come to the tomb in sorrow but she left filled with Joy. The same is true of us when we seek out Christ in our sorrow.”
This week we study God‘s promise in his word that while sorrows will come our way they will never ultimately rule the day. Here are some questions and ideas to lead you further in Unshakable Hope:
- How did Jesus come to Mary in the midst of her sorrow at the tomb?
- How can you learn to watch for joy in the midst of sorrow and weeping?
- Read John 19.16 to 25. What emotions might Mary Magdalene have experienced as she witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion?
- Read John 20.1 through 10. What was Mary’s expectation when she went to the tomb? What was her response? How might you have had a similar response as Mary?
- Read John 20.11 through 18. What transformation of Mary do you see in this passage? Why do you think Jesus chose to appear to her in the way that he did?
- Read John 15. 9 through 11. What does it mean to have Jesus’ joy within you? What do you think it means to have full joy?
Repeat this to yourself this week: “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
- Write a prayer expressing how God‘s promise gives you hope for today and tomorrow.
- Declare this week’s promise as a prayer. “I will praise God before my prayer is answered …
- Consider what specific steps you can take to apply this promise to your life.
- What fresh discoveries surfaced from this week’s reading and personal study? Write anything that you would like to share with your small group or with a friend.
- Think about an action step you could take to increase your awareness of this promise from God and share it with another person.
- In what ways have you recently moved from sorrow to Joy?
- Why do believers in Christ so often withdraw from community when they are in the midst of sorrow? How can your group create an atmosphere of acceptance for someone to be able to share when dealing with sorrow or struggles?
- Share your specific action step to live out this promise of God from now on. What sorrows or struggles are weighing on your heart for which your small group can pray? Are there people in your life who are struggling with sorrow and pain? How can your group pray for them?
See you Sunday! Which of the 9 promises have been your best realization so far?