September 17, 2023
Audio Download

Accomplishing good things requires effort. It’s easy to get discouraged when we face obstacles, challenges, and roadblocks.  Rather than negatively reacting to our circumstances, we can be a positive influence by finding resilience with God!  This week, we’ll see how Jesus pursued God’s good plan for his life by expecting challenges and wisely bringing people along with him in his goals.

Group Discussion Guide 

To see the Leader Guide for this week, click here


Last week we talked about the topic of how to have good character in the way you use your influence with those around you. Spend a few minutes sharing how your personal application from that discussion has gone. 

After your time of connecting, begin your meeting with prayer.  

Key Verse for the Week  

*Read this verse as a group first, then encourage each other about the practice of memorization through the week: 

Galatians 6:9 

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” 

**When practiced consistently, memorizing Bible verses can be an important spiritual practice that centers your mind around the truth that God has given us. 

Opening Thought

Sometimes the sheer number of reasons to give up are overwhelming: it’s too hard, it takes too much sacrifice, it’s out of my way, I’m not seeing results, I can’t seem to make headway, I just need to focus on myself. These statements can cloud our minds, giving us a false hope that waving a white flag might be the relief we’re looking for. But what if the truth is that the breakthrough God has planned for our lives requires the road to go through our challenges, rather than around them? What could we miss out on if we throw in the towel, and what new life could we experience if we let God keep us rooted in and committed to him? 

These questions lead us to our big idea for the week:  

Big idea for the week
We can be a positive influence by pushing forward, despite the obstacles. 


Take about 5-10 minutes to discuss a few of the following questions. Afterwards, move into the unpack section:

  • Can you remember a time from your childhood when you faced a challenge and gave up?  
  • In your current life, what are the areas in which you’re the most tempted to give up? What has kept you going in those areas so far? 
  • What have you accomplished or experienced in life that you would have regretted missing out on if you hadn’t pushed through a big challenge? 


Go around your group and have someone read each of the following verses, then discuss the connected questions. 


Hebrews 12:1-2 


  • In previous verses just prior to these, the author lists inspiring Biblical characters that persevered in the faith – he now calls them the “huge crowd of witnesses.” Are there a few Bible characters that you’re familiar with that are inspiring to you, and that we can we look to as a positive influence? 
  • Just like us, the early Christians faced challenges. Even though we live in different times, what common challenges do you think they may have shared with modern people? What challenges do you think may be unique to our time? 
  • The author of these verses talks about “fixing our eyes on Jesus.”  What do you think this means?  What would it look like to fix our eyes on Jesus in our daily lives? 


Philippians 3:12-14 


  • Paul talks about “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” What kind of things could Paul be leaving behind/forgetting?
    • What is the benefit of letting go of past experiences? 
    • What are some areas of your life in which you’ve found a need to let go of the past? 
  • Paul talks about someday arriving at a goal/prize that God has planned for him. What type of prize could Paul be after? Are there any clues in these same verses that could help us understand how he perceives this prize? 


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 to decide what your personal action steps for the week can be: 

  • Who are the positive Christian influences in your life?   
  • What areas of our life are holding you back or distracting you from focusing on God?  
  • What practical steps can you take to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus as you face the challenges that may come your way this week? 
  • To help us persevere, it’s helpful to acknowledge both how God has blessed us today and to have a goal for the future.   
    • What good things has God given you that you can praise him for? 
    • What is your picture of the prize that God has for you?  How would your life be different if you adopted Paul’s view of reaching the goal?  


Read this to your group and then move to the Prayer and Verses section. 

From the verses we read together today, it’s clear that endurance, resolve, and perseverance are key qualities for living the Chrisitan life.  God wants us to face challenges with his help, relying on his power to overcome what stands in the way of following him.  In fact, persistently doing good and showing Christ-like character are some of the most significant ways that our lives can reflect that we are truly connected to a living God.  Though difficult, that type of spiritual endurance can be an excellent way to shine with God’s love in a way that would encourage others to connect to him.  Let’s work together, this week, to be the support and encouragement we all need, as we seek to put our trust in Jesus and keep moving forward through the challenges we face. 

Prayer and Verses 

Ask for prayer requests, conclude your time with prayer, then share the Key Verse and Daily Bible Reading with the group. 

Daily Bible Reading  

Use the S.O.A.K. method to reflect on the verses below. 

Scripture: Read the verses several times. Reading out loud can be helpful as well. 
Observation: What can you see about the scripture you read? 
Application: What is God wanting you to believe, do, or feel, based on what you have read? 
Kneel in Prayer: 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 3:12-14 

Day 2: James 1:12 

Day 3: Galatians 6:9 

Day 4: Hebrews 12:1-2 

Day 5: James 1:2-4 

Day 6: Psalm 46:1-3 

Key Verse for the Week:  

Galatians 6:9 

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”