Relentless: The Book of Acts
August 05 - 11 – Week 9: Standing Firm

Introduction

This week we see that often, suffering is a catalyst for the advancement of God’s Kingdom although in the moment, it doesn’t feel like that.  Through the stoning of Stephen and displacement of believers throughout the historic Roman empire, we see one of many examples of how suffering can be redeemed and used by God to serve His purposes.  As Christ followers, we have the opportunity to live a life focused on eternal things rather than temporal things by standing firm in faith even during times of suffering.   

 Main Point: 

Relentless devotion to the True God will lead you to relentlessly stand firm when you engage with suffering in your life.

Discussion Questions

  1. When you think about the word, suffering, what comes to mind? 
  2. A question the world often asks is, “If God is love, then why is there so much evil, pain, hurt and suffering in the world? If a friend asked you that question, how would you answer? 
  3. What are some specific examples past or present, in the lives of others that you would classify as suffering? 
  4. In regards to question number three, how have you seen God work in and through that person experiencing that suffering?
  5. As a result of the message, Jacob challenged us to share with someone else about our personal current sufferings, big or small.  He challenged us to “lower our guards” and to be transparent about our current sufferings.  Share with one or two other people where you are currently suffering, and together seek and pray how God may be using it for His Glory. 

 Next Step Challenge

Suffering is a universal reality in the human experience.  Emotional, social, and physical suffering are a regular part of the human experience. By recognizing that there will be suffering in this lifetime, it’s important that we truly commit to stand firm in faith and in the security of the Holy Spirit, so we can enable God to finish His work of redemption, not only in our own lives, but in the lives of others.  And as you go about this week, continue to take note of your current sufferings, big or small, and seek God in what He wants to do in and through you for His purposes and His glory. 

Key Verse

“And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.”  - Acts 8:1b

All other Scripture References

Acts 1:8, Acts 6:8-10, Acts 7, Acts 8:1-3, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, John 16:33