Welcome back to online Bible Study at the Women’s Bible Cafe™. We’re discussing WEEK TWO from the book “Joseph, the Journey to Forgiveness” by Melissa Spoelstra. This week we reflected on Joseph’s time in prison and his opportunities to forgive and reflect on his offenders. He was literally waiting…to be remembered and released from prison. While in prison he probably experienced a multitude of emotions. Have you experienced similar emotions in your own season of forgiveness?
As I write this, one of my close friends is in a prison season. She has no control over the circumstances that brought her to a time of waiting. She does have a choice in her response, just as we learned this week in our study of Joseph. She can respond with anger, hurt, depression, worry or fear, and those emotions are often expected given her situation. It’s easy for her to gather a group of friends to validate her justified emotions. Yet another response is for her to pray, listen, and allow God to heal her heart. That response is much harder because it’s often done alone, in a prison season.
We can produce fruit from the season of waiting: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
We can uncover tiny pebbles and big boulders in a season of waiting.
We can draw closer to Jesus.
Yet our flesh wants to respond with frustration, fear, revenge, gossip and regrets. As Sonya Morris Nelson says, “The wild horse is at it again!”
My personal advice is to get off that horse, get on your knees, and petition your requests to God. Most likely He’s going to lead you to a healthy and permanent restoration of your heart… only when you are quiet enough to listen.
Let’s move on with our lesson and learn the freedom of complete forgiveness!
BIBLE STUDY TIP: Set a reminder on your cell phone with an alarm to attend a small group and complete your reading assignments in the study book. I am finishing online classes at Liberty University and this is how I keep up. I calendar the assignments and schedule time for them using a repeat alarm on my phone.
Assignment For the Week
- Make sure you subscribe to our email updates so that you receive email updates each week on Monday.
- Select a small group day and time that fits your schedule. The small group schedule will also be pinned to the top of our private Facebook Group. Arrive to the private Facebook group for the one hour meeting you chose to attend. Save the group to your favorites list so you can find us each week.
- Read Week Three: Dreams Coming True in your study book and complete the daily lessons.
- Optional: Watch video session one if you are using the DVD set- available at Amazon
- Download Answers to the Video Session from our facebook group (Look under files tab in group)
Discussion Questions – Answer in your small group or post a comment below
- On page 46 Melissa writes, “Forgiveness of atrocities requires time. If it happens too quickly one might question the sincerity and depth of it…prospering in our prisons means sorting through the wrong done to us.” Do you agree or disagree, why?
- Can you think of a time in your life when you were angry or offended by something that stung initially, but later you realized it was for your own good? (page 56)
- Melissa uses the metaphor of small pebbles that can fill up a backpack with too much dead weight and boulders that can weigh you down. Which are you carrying in your heart right now…a sack of pebbles, medium rocks, or big boulders? (page 56) What plan do you have to unload the weight?
- In our study we are reminded that forgiving others does not open the entrance to heaven; salvation is given through Christ on the cross. Yet it’s important to forgive others and ourselves, and to have a pure heart. How can we tell when our heart is pure or bitter? What should we do if we observe a friend is steeping a bitter heart?
- What is a key concept that you discovered this week in your study? Does the study make you uncomfortable and want to hide, or is the topic helping you learn forgiveness?
Praying for you,