Christlife Posture: Loving Like Jesus

Topic: Persevering When Things Aren't Going My Way

Suggested Approach: Choose 1 thing from each of the three boxes

OR Choose 1 from Media or Reflection + 1 from Scripture 

Media Excursions          (Watch/read/listen and be ready to discuss Q's)

Painting/Sculpture

  • Eight Bells (Winslow Homer) What is your impression of what these two men must face together? What has the painter chosen to emphasize or deemphasize as important for their journey? How does their focus contrast with how we sometimes focus in times of difficulty?

  • Sculpture Perseverance (Chris Navarro) How well does this sculpture express how it feels for you to persevere in a difficult job, relationship, or task? What do you notice most about the sculpture? Do you think Jesus felt anything like this as he journeyed to the cross?

Video Clips

  • Running With God  (Chemgal77) What words or images stand out to you or inspire you to persevere when things are hard?

  • Love God, Love Neighbor (FTE) How does this invite us to re-imagine our place in circumstances that are sometimes difficult to persevere in?

  • Tony Dungy on Disappointment  (I am Second) What stood out to you in Tony’s story about how he responded in the midst of his disappointments?

  • Jesus Creates Harmony from Tension (The High Calling) How does this illustration help you think about being able to persist in a tense situation?  

Song

  • Even When it Hurts (Hillsong) If you are in the midst of a hard time, what encourages you about this song?  If you aren’t, use this song to pray for others you know are struggling to persevere.

  •  You Hold It All Together (Sons and Daughters) In what way(s) do you relate to in the difficulties these songwriters are experiencing? How does the song depict leaning on God in order to persevere? 

Articles 

  • Bible Study: What is Perseverance? (Melanie Newton) What did you learn about the difference between endurance and perseverance? What does the article suggest is important in being able to persevere?  Do you agree? What would you add? 

Video Teaching 

  • Why Easy isn’t Always Best (Be the Bee #121) How do these reflections on Lent make sense of choosing sacrifice?  What do you think of his ideas for purposefully choosing the less easy route in simple things?  Think about the extremes related to this concept--what is the middle choice to make in order to learn to persevere?

Reflection Options  

Journal  (Reflect on one or more of these questions)

  • What is the most difficult life or relationship situation you have had to endure?  How did you get through it? What part did God play in your ability to persist?

  • A common self-care strategy to use in the face of things not going as planned or hoped for is: “Are they bad or am I sad?” How strong is your tendency to want to blame something or someone when things go wrong?  How willing are you to take time to actually mourn with Jesus the things that you wish were different?

  • Think of a situation where you were having difficulty hanging in there.  Make a list of things you think you need to help you persevere.  Now cross off things that might be unreasonable and ask God for help or wisdom in the things that are left.

Quote Interaction  (Agree, disagree or otherwise engage with the quote/quotes) 

  • “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” (and) “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King Jr.

  • “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”  Albert Einstein

  • “Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” William Barclay

Reading & Reflection from the book, Shaping The Journey of Emerging Adults:

  • Read the section on “relational consistency” (p. 162). Spend some time evaluating your own strategies and mindset in relational sticking points and be ready to share them.

  • Read the section “Wanted: Spiritual Risk Takers” (pp. 205-206). What stands out to you about perseverance in this section? Click here if you want to read more about Earnest Shackleton and the Endurance expedition.

Explore Scripture

Meditate on one or more of the following passages. Always look them up in context.  Take some time to really explore the verse in relation to this topic.  What can you find in these verses about how to understand or practice perseverance?  Make a note of what you discover to share later.  See "Learn More About Ways to Study Scripture" below for help in getting the most out of the verse.

  • I Chronicles 16:11

  • Psalm 16:8

  • Luke 14:28-32

  • Romans 5:3-4

  • I Corinthians 13:7

  • Galatians 6:9

  • Philippians 3:7-14

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:13

  • Hebrews 12:1,2

  • 2 Peter 1:5,6