Nov 13/14 Trials and Testing
Nov 13/14 Trials and Testing

Nov 13/14 Trials & Testing

Nov 13/14 Trials and Testing



Calling all Singles 35+. Friendsgiving is November 19 at the East Paris Campus. Join us for a Thanksgiving celebration and game night. For more information and to register, visit


This month we are focused on the group value of stories. Try to find some time this holiday season to talk about your stories as a group. Maybe plan a group Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and talk about what the holidays were like growing up.


If you couldn’t attend the November 7 Small Group Leader Huddle or want a refresher on the key points, watch the Huddle Recap available now on our Small Group Leader training platform. Find the recap at


This is our third week of the sermon series, 26 DAYS OF GRATITUDE. Today’s discussion focuses on the importance of giving thanks and choosing joy during adversity.

Take a few moments to share a few things from last week’s daily gratitude practice. Mention a couple of things that you have been grateful for. How is this practice changing or challenging you?

Have someone James 1:1-5 aloud. What do you think are some of the key words?



James opens his letter with a shocking instruction to choose joy during trials. Why do you think he jumps right to this instruction?

Pastor Aaron Buer said joy is not happiness based on circumstances but is an inner contentment, peace and trust rooted in our relationship with Jesus. How does this definition differ from our culture’s view of what brings joy?

Who have you seen choose joy in adversity, and how does their example encourage your faith?



What are some common responses or feelings to adversity today?

James says adversity provides the opportunity to test our faith by using metalworking imagery that implies a refining process that removes impurities and strengthens. What types of things may God want to refine and remove from our lives to purify and strengthen our faith?

James encourages believers that God will produce perseverance through the testing of their faith. Where have you seen God develop perseverance through a trial in your life?



James says perseverance will do the work of making us mature and complete. What do you think a mature Christian looks like in our world?

Adversity can often accelerate the maturity process in our spiritual life. What are some ways adversity can lead to maturity?

Traveling through adversity can change us for the better making us more like Christ, or can leave us bitter and toxic. How do you think developing a practice of gratitude through adversity will shape us to be more like Christ.



Have someone read Romans 5:8 aloud. How does knowing God provided Jesus before we knew we needed him encourage you to ask God for wisdom in a current hard situation?

Share with your group any situations where the way forward feels unclear. Commit to praying for each other and asking God for wisdom.



This week we discussed gratitude in the context of adversity and the gifts God offers through adversity of perspective, perseverance, transformation and dependence. How could practicing gratitude in the midst of current adversity keep your heart soft toward God?