There are times in life when we just “hit a wall.” It could be the loss of a relationship, a personal failure, a mental health crisis, an unexpected diagnosis, or an unbearable season of feeling disconnected from God. Instead of denying our real feelings or spiritualizing them away, Jesus invites us into a healthy spirituality. In this message we’ll look at an event in the life of Elijah, an ancient Hebrew prophet who found God in the darkest moment of his life—and we’ll see how God meets us in our darkest moments too.
Group Discussion Guide
To see the leader guide for this week CLICK HERE
Spend a few minutes discussing with your group how their week is going. What are some of their highs and lows?
After your time of connecting, begin your meeting with prayer.
Psalm 121:8 “The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”
There are many times where our lives feel like we are thriving! When this happens, we can have moments of great dedication to our health and our spiritual lives; we even make great strides towards knowing those around us relationally. Sometimes, however, we can get to a place where we feel like we are dry and have used up all we have to give, which can be exhausting in so many ways: relationally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally. The worst part about it is, in those times, it feels like nothing helps. The normal rhythms we use to remind ourselves of our worth and to hear God speaking to us seem spent or stale. We may even feel lonely or hopeless or disconnected from others in these moments.
Ancient Christian writers call this feeling “The Dark Night of the Soul” and it can seem like it came out of the blue or it can be brought on by a sudden painful event. This can be extremely taxing to work through, but God invites us to see our darkest moments as opportunities for him to work in our lives. This leads us to our big idea for the week:
Big Idea for the week: We can be transformed by God through our darkest moments.
- What are some indicators of someone who is going through a hard time?
- How do you express yourself to those around you in difficult or stressful times?
- When have you experienced “hitting a wall” in your life, where you are emotionally, spiritually, or physically exhausted?
Go around your group and have someone read each of the following verses, then discuss the connected questions.
- Lamentations 3:19-26
- Why do you think God allows us to get to a place in our lives where we feel exhausted or like we have “hit a wall”?
- How do you think God speaks to us during the dark times in our lives? How do you think God wants us to respond?
- Psalms 139:7-12
- Psalms 34:17-20
- Sometimes when we go through difficulties, there can be a tendency to either over-spiritualize or ignore the hardships we have. How can we avoid these pitfalls?
- What are some ways that God reminds you that you are not alone and are loved in your life?
- When you are going through a dark time, what is encouraging to you?
- Describe a time you were encouraged well by someone.
Based on the verses we just read, there are some things that we can do in response. Take a moment to discuss these questions as a group in order to determine what your personal action steps for the week can be:
- Sometimes, we have a hard time feeling God’s presence and that is challenging to go through. What is one new way you can remember God’s love and faithfulness for you this week?
- Who is one person you can remind of God’s love, acceptance, and provision this week?
- How can your group help you in your application process this week?
When we feel spent and there is nothing but a wall in front of us, we can remember God’s faithfulness and that he is with us. This doesn’t mean we need to spiritualize our struggles away or hide them, thinking it will all be okay. God wants us to invite him into all parts of our lives: emotional, physical, relational, intellectual, and spiritual. He wants to walk through difficult times with you. As we gradually push through these walls, we can also be a light in dark times to others, pointing them toward relying on God’s love and remembering that they are not alone.
Daily Bible Reading
Use the S.O.A.P. method to reflect on the verses below.
Scripture: Read the verses several times out loud.
Observation: As you read the scripture what do you observe.
Application: What is God wanting you to believe, do or feel based on what you have read?
Pray: This is a chance to talk to God about what you have read, and ask him for help in living out what you’ve learned.
- Day 1: Philippians 4:6
- Day 2: Nahum 1:7
- Day 3: Deuteronomy 31:8
- Day 4: Psalms 23:4
- Day 5: Psalms 16:8-11
- Day 6: John 16:33