Welcome back to the Womens Bible Cafe and Week Two of our online study, Fight Back with Joy by Margaret Feinberg. Facing our fears, choosing joy and resting were our focus this week.
As I began this week’s lesson, I time travelled to my childhood, remembering my fear of the dark and how vivid my imagination was about monsters hiding in my closet and under my bed. Fear, as we learned this week, is very personal to each and every one of us and can completely paralyze us. Matthew 14:27, “Take courage, I am here!” (NLT) really resonated with me because I was reminded that God is always with me, no matter what I fear, what I am going thru, and when I give Him my worries, fear will not take center stage in my life, God will.
Did you see a few of your own items on the list of things we are afraid of? I know I sure did. Going to the dentist was my biggest one this week. It brought all those horrible thoughts to the surface, long needles, drills, and pain. But from the moment I scheduled the appointment to when I actually met the staff and the dentist, everything was explained to me and I began to understand what would be done to uncover the source of my pain and fix it. Just like the fear that we run from or put on the back burner, once we uncover its source and face it, God can begin to show us the way to overcome it. We begin to realize, that although the situation is real, we can be freed from its hold on us. And, the funny thing is, it often times wasn’t as bad as it seemed.
What I loved about this week’s lesson was the hope I received in knowing that no matter what fear I faced from day to day: financial pressure, health issues, addictions, depression, envy, the weapon to use remained the same: JOY. “…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is my strength!” Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV) God’s joy is my strength, God’s joy is your strength, God’s joy is our strength and we can use it to fight everything that tries to steal our joy. Joy refocuses our sights onto God and places Him back where He desires to be in our lives, FIRST. Our outlook on every situation changes when we face our fears, and allow God’s joy to reign in our lives.
I know, I know, every day is not a joyful one. We often become weary and tired due to worry and stress. But remember what we learned last week, several verses that show us God’s love for us and each day we are identifying and celebrating the joys that God sends our way. These things will help us refocus when life gets tough. And this week we learned the equation no rest = no joy! (page 63)
I encourage you to face your fears, choose joy as your weapon of choice and take rest in God every day!
ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS WEEK
- Attend a small group this week. We meet here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCSmallGroups/
- Read Week/Session Three in your workbook and complete the daily lessons.
- Memorize the scripture for the week, James 1:2-4
- Record your joys each day in the journal in back of the workbook or your own spiritual journal
- Choose JOY each day.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK
(You will have the opportunity to share your answers to these questions during your small group time. You may also post them here. Consider also recording your answers in your spiritual journal)
Question 1: When you find yourself in a difficult situation, is your natural response fight, flight, or freeze? Explain why. (When you answer the question, put Q1 before your comment so we know you’re answering question one)
Question 2: What does it mean for you to fight back with joy in the midst of a current circumstance you are facing? (page 54) (When you answer the question, put Q2 before your comment so we know you’re answering question two)
Question 3: How does loss of sleep or rest affect your attitude and response to situations, family, and work? (When you answer the question, put Q3 before your comment so we know you’re answering question three.)
Question 4: Share one way you have or are going to carve out moments of rest this week. (When you answer the question, put Q4 before your comment so we know you’re answering question four.)
Question 5: JOY CHECK: On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “depleted” and 10 is “overflowing”, where is your joy meter currently reading? NOTE: record this answer we will revisit this question during the study. Look back on your answer for Introduction week, has your joy improved? (When you answer the question, put Q5 before your comment so we know you’re answering question five)
Remember, we are on this journey together.
Choosing Joy with you!