Date: December 11, 2022
Session Title: Security in Place of Fear
The Point: Because of Christ, nothing will keep us from God and His work in our lives.
Get Into the Study
Use this story after discussing question one.
With Thanksgiving directly in our rearview mirror, it’s fascinating to think about the origins of the holiday. According to History.com, the Pilgrims, who left England seeking religious freedom, had a brutal first winter in Plymouth, staying mainly on the boat—and only half of the original 102 passengers from England survived. That spring,
“[t]he remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from a member of the Abenaki tribe who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims … how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants.…. In November 1621…Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit…. [n]ow remembered as American’s ‘first Thanksgiving.’”
Imagine the fear the surviving Pilgrims must have felt that first spring, moving ashore, unsure of whether or not they would starve to death—and the utter relief they must have felt upon being greeted by an English-speaking Native American. Squanto was instrumental in the survival of the Pilgrims—he saved their lives. While our nation’s history has imperfect roots when it comes to the relationship between settlers and Native Americans, this particular moment was incredibly beautiful. The Pilgrims’s voyage and help from the Native Americans changed the future of North America, and more likely than not, defined your life today.
While you may never experience such extreme circumstances in your own life, it is likely that you’ve had moments that have felt terrifying, only to find that help was just around the corner. In our darkest moments, let us remember that Christ is always working on our behalf, seeking our good, and seeking to help us live lives that bring him glory. Take a few moments today to remember the moments where Christ was clearly at work for you, even when things felt impossible.
When has Jesus surprised you with his helping hand in moments of hardship?
Get Into the Study [Option from the Adult Leader Guide, p. 27]
In advance, play a video showing someone dealing with feelings of insecurity. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
After discussing question three, point the group to the following story.
According to CNN, Elizabeth Holmes was recently sentenced to 11+ years in prison for “defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing startup Theranos….Theranos raised $945 million from an impressive list of investors, including media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, Walmart’s Walton family and the billionaire family of former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. At its peak, Theranos was valued at $9 billion, making Holmes a billionaire on paper.” Holmes’ rise and fall has brought her fame and fortune (her story was even recently made into a television show on Hulu), but nevertheless, she was convicted of fraud in mid-November, and will spend at least a decade behind bars.
We often assume that the rich and powerful are untouchable, but stories like Holmes’ remind us that while money and power may seem like the best defense, at its most effective, the justice system doesn’t care who you are—they care what you’ve done.
But as believers, things are different. God does care who we are, and His judgment is different towards His children. Christ is working on our behalf, defending us at all times, and His sacrifice for us has paid the debt we owe for all of the sins we’ve committed. While the world may seek to persecute and condemn us for our faith, we can stay strong and live in joy in the knowledge that we are safe in the hands of our great God.
When is it hardest to remember that Christ is protecting us in all condemnation?
- What are typical feelings experienced by brides and grooms on their wedding day?
- When has an insecurity proven to be unjustified in your life?
- What makes you feel secure?
- What’s one of the most memorable things you’ve seen at a wedding?
- If God is working for our good, why do we still struggle and suffer?
- What truths about God give you confidence to trust Him?
- In what ways have you observed God working in your life?
- Which truths in this passage give you the greatest sense of security and why?
- How does it affect your walk with the Lord to know that Christ, himself, is interceding for us?
- What are ways God protects us from condemnation?
- What things do people sometimes fear can separate them from God’s love?
- How might circumstances lead us to feel we have been separated from God’s love?
- What practices can help us remain confident in God’s love, no matter what comes our way?
- When have you felt God’s love strengthening you despite tough circumstances?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.