To the Leader: We are almost half way through our series studying the Fruits of the Spirit. We hope that your discussion has been rich and your group is starting to settle into the idea of allowing the Holy Spirit to produce good things in them rather than working for them! 

There are a lot of questions this week, so we want you to pick and choose what works best for your group. Don’t feel like you need to ask them all, and as always you can add your own! Today’s conversation is more than about being patient, it’s about perseverance!  Jesus, certainly persevered here on Earth and it is a good thing it is that He invites us into that with Him!

Have you ever felt torn making a decision? Maybe between what you want to do and what you should do, or maybe between what culture does and what God says to do? What if there was a simple way to know the right choice? What if there was a clear way to live in step with how God wants us to live?

The good news is the Holy Spirit helps us do that. However, many people view the Holy Spirit as unapproachable, mystical, or just too confusing, but He doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve ever wondered what it actually means to live a life guided by the Holy Spirit, then this series is for you.

Start Talking

  • What is something you have waited  in line a long time for?
  • What kinds of things do you think are worth waiting for (food at your fav restaurant?!) and what is not worth waiting for (a new driver’s license!?)?
  • Do you consider yourself good at waiting? Why or why not?

Think About It

  • We live in a culture of instant, and as a result we often check out of anything that may take too long. Have you ever given up on something because you didn’t see results fast enough?
  • Gerald pointed out that it’s not often that big of a deal when our short term plans don’t happen as quickly as we like (like eating at a restaurant). But what about when it’s something important? Have you been tempted to check out in any of these areas because the progress was slow?
    • A Conflict: They won’t apologize as quickly as you want, so you give up on the friendship
    • A Job: You aren’t getting promoted fast enough
    • A Relationship: The marriage or dating relationship isn’t getting better as quickly as you want so you move towards a divorce or break up
    • Your Kids: They aren’t changing a habit as fast as you like so you lash out on them
    • Point of Prayer/Trust in God: You have been praying about something for a while & haven’t seen results, so now you are doubting God.
  • If we are honest, we all have a problem with patience in some area of our life. As a Christ follower, what is the danger in moving past or checking out of a situation that isn’t moving as fast as we would like?
  • Tell us about a time where you learned something valuable in a time of waiting.

Look It Up

  • Read James 1:1-4
    • Who is James writing to?
    • What is going wrong for these people? 
    • How is their patience being tested?
    • What does James say is the result of trials in our life?

The passage above is good news for those of us who do not consider ourselves naturally patient! From what James says, patience is a process. It is something earned and practiced and certainly given by the Holy Spirit, which means we can all obtain it. Yet, in order to obtain it, we must remain or stay in difficult things rather than check out of them! We must do more than wait, we must stay and persevere!

  • Based on what Gerald talked about on Sunday, what is the difference between waiting and staying?

What Now?

  • What area of your life do you currently need more patience?
  • How can you stay engaged in this situation and not simply wait or check out of it?
  • Patience isn’t a product. The end game of our situation is not more patience, it’s that we look more like Jesus, that we are mature and complete and have more of His fruits in our life (Galatians 5:22-23)! The solution isn’t rushing through, it’s staying in.

Consider this list: 

Keep showing up
Keep having the hard convo
Keep loving
Keep being a present parent
Keep praying
Keep searching for the job
Keep believing
Keep hoping
Keep engaging
Keep pushing
Keep caring 

Which one of these things do you need to do this week? How can our group support you?

One Thing to Remember

When we check out, we miss out!

Additional Resources

The Blessing by Elevation Worship (Song)
The Joyful Christian by C.S. Lewis (Book)
Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray (Book)
Where You Are by Leeland (Song)