Over It Week 1: Joy Over Dispair
weekend in review
This week Mike Breaux shares how we can choose joy over despair because our true joy is based on the good news that the savior, the light of the world, has come to us.
Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like, but here are potential questions to get the conversation going.
How did you celebrate Thanksgiving this year?
What were you most thankful for in this season?
Read Luke 2:10-14. Mary and Joseph waited nine months for their promised child to be born, but the people of Israel had been waiting centuries for their promised Messiah, God’s anointed Savior. With Jesus’ birth, that promise finally came true, but not in the way many people expected. What is the longest you’ve ever waited to receive something you’ve been promised, and what was it? How did you feel when the promise was finally fulfilled?
Read John 10:10 and John 15:11. Jesus was saying that to be known as people who are full of joy is possible. What are you known for?
Who is the most joyful person you know? Explain why.
Read Philippians 4:4. “Rejoice in the Lord” is stated as a command. That means Paul was explaining that it’s not just a suggestion. We can choose joy. It isn’t something that comes and goes depending upon our circumstances. Would your friends and family say you are known for joy? Would you like to be?
Read Galatians 5:22-23. Joy is not on the surface; it is something that runs deep. It comes from a real relationship with God who invites everyone to benefit from that good news. Mike suggested that gratitude and humility aren’t included in this list, because they are things we can choose to do on our own, preparing the soil so that the things of God can grow within us. How can we put gratitude and humility into practice?
Mike said, “Joy grows in soil that’s been cultivated by humility and fertilized with gratitude.” What is the condition of your soil right now? What do you need to cultivate more of so that God can grow in your life?
Read I Thessalonians 5:16-18. What three things here are God’s will for your life? Which of the three comes easiest, and which is the biggest struggle?
If you struggle to find joy, talk it over with your group and discuss steps you can take as well as how you can help each other and hold each other accountable to living with joy.
WRAP UP & PRAYER
Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each other.
Pray about who you might invite to join you for one of our Christmas services, in person or online.
Pray for boldness to invite those who are far from God to receive this gift of the Savior this Christmas.
Pray for Eastside that God would bless our year-end offering and pour out a river of resources through our people so we have the tools to share the good news around the world.