Date: November 14, 2021
Confidence After We Fail
The Point: Trust God to redeem your failures.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
D’Ernest Johnson played college football and dreamed of an National Football League (NFL) career. But coming out of college in 2018, no NFL team drafted or signed him. So with no football career in sight, he took a job working on a fishing boat in Key West, Florida. After some time working on the boat, he signed to play football with the Alliance of American Football, an alternative league to the NFL, where he worked hard and had good success. Eventually the NFL’s Cleveland Brown team noticed Johnson’s play and signed him to the team. In 2020 he played for the Browns, filling in as a back-up running back. But in this 2021 season, suddenly he had a breakout performance in game 7, when the Browns played the Denver Broncos. With some of the starters injured, Johnson got his chance to play and helped lead his team to a 17-14 victory. Johnson rushed for 146 yard, setting a career rushing record for himself and scoring a touchdown. “It’s unexplainable. I wanted to celebrate but I didn’t know what to do. It’s been a long journey,” Johnson said as he talked about how his life has changed since 2018.
Say: D’Ernest Johnson understands the disappointment of seeing his NFL dreams fade as he came out of college. But now he’s enjoying new levels of success with a celebrated performance in the NFL. Then call attention to Question #1 (When have you seen failure lead to something positive?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Get Into the Study (Option from the Young Adult Leader Guide)
To highlight successful people who first faced failure, point to a few story found here. Distribute the stories to several group members and ask them to share with the class. As time allows, talk about how you think these individuals managed to get back up and move on.
Study the Bible
Use the following information to introduce Question #4.
Nathan Rostampour is a man on a mission. Rostampour was born in a family that practiced Islam in Iran, a country where any outward display of salvation or the Christian faith can have deadly consequences. At age 17, Rostampour overheard a relative who had recently converted to Christianity sharing the Gospel with his mother.
“At that moment, when I heard her powerful words and the Bible verses, something changed in my heart. I had no clue what had happened. However, now I know that it was the Holy Spirit touching my heart with His presence and with His living Word through the Gospel message,” Rostampour said. “I remember having no idea about salvation prayer or the way people repent and receive Christ. So, I went to my room thinking about all those scriptures and her powerful statement. Suddenly, I found myself on my knees. As I looked up, I said, ‘Jesus, I know you are Lord. Save me!’ That was my simple salvation prayer.”
Rostampour’s family became Christians too and they worshipped in secret house churches, the only option for worship there in Iran. Soon Rostampour had to flee Iran for security reasons. He eventually came to the United States in 2013 and joined the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Today Rostampour is using online platforms to help believers in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan – all countries where Christians suffer religious persecution. He shares an online church service, providing free sermons, worship songs, and training resources for leaders of house churches in those countries. Rostampour has planted 14 secret house churches in Iran, with each church having about 10 people.
Rostampour describes his mission this way. “My wife and I have this opportunity to not only equip Persian Christians online but also to reach Muslims for Christ and share the Gospel with people who live in Islamic regions that we could never possibly visit,” he said. “My personal mission statement reflects my passion for God in fulfilling the Great Commandment and the Great Commission: To follow the Holy Spirit, to share the Gospel, to make faithful disciples, to train healthy Christian leaders, and to equip the persecuted church for Kingdom advance.”
Say: God gave Rostampour a new life, through the gift of salvation. Now Rostampour has a new mission – working to support other believers in the persecuted church. Then call attention to Question #4 (What has God made new in your life as you’ve walked with him?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
— Donna McKinney wrote these Leader Extras. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
Use this activity as you launch into the Live It Out section.
A number of successful people experienced failure before they achieved fame for their accomplishments. Click here for a list of individuals and their initial failures. Choose three or four for your group, reading aloud the description and inviting group members to guess the famous person.
- What’s your favorite comeback story?
- When have you admired someone’s response to failure?
- What image comes to mind when you hear the word “fail”?
- When has obedience to God required patience in your own life?
- What are some benefits of obeying God?
- What led to Abram’s failure in this passage?
- What active and ongoing steps can we take to “live in” God’s presence? (v. 1)
- How are worship and obedience linked in the life of a believer?
- Which Scripture passage or promise from God most encourages you to trust Him?
- How can God’s interactions with Abram give us confidence?
- How does failure teach us to trust God?
- How have you benefited from a covenant relationship with God?
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.
NOTE: On the podcast, we mentioned the use of eBooks in Bible Studies for Life. Youc an see and read more about the eBooks here: Bible Studies for Life eBooks.
- Adult Personal Study Guide and Leader Guide (CSB)
- Adult Personal Study Guide and Leader Guide (NIV)
- Young Adult Personal Study Guide and Leader Guide (CSB)
- Young Adult Personal Study Guide and Leader Guide (NIV)
- Daily Discipleship Guide (CSB)
- Daily Discipleship Guide (KJV)
- Advanced Bible Study (CSB)
- Herschel Hobbs Commentary (KJV)
COMING IN SPRING 2022
- KJV Adult Personal Study Guide and Leader Guide
- Senior Adult Personal Study Guide and Leader Guide (CSB)
- Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide