Welcome back to the Womens Bible Cafe and Week Three of our online Bible study, Fight Back with Joy by Margaret Feinberg. We are half way thru the study, time sure flies when you are having fun!
My Sisters, what a week this was! I was blown away with being able to give myself permission to “take a break and rest” when I felt physically tired, or to “put my to do list down” when I became overwhelmed. Did you have to read that section two times like I did before it really sunk in?
I learned this week that God doesn’t want me to over book my schedule doing “things” so that I become too tired or worn out and cannot do what He has purposed me to do. The equation, “ACCEPT + ADAPT + DEPEND = STRENGTH” didn’t make sense to me at first. That was because I have been looking at strength with my worldly eyes. When I put on my spiritual eyes, I realized that as the scripture states, when I am weak, I am made strong by God. (2 Corinthians 12:10) In other words, when I accept that I cannot do something on my own, adapt to my need for help, and begin to depend on God for help, deliverance, strength, and patience, whatever I need; I will become strong because He is with me and He will provide. I placed this simple equation on my date book and looked at it all week. I plan to keep it there throughout this study. I encourage you to do the same as a reminder.
Strength was the foundation of this week’s lessons. Facing those midnight sessions of fear, depression, sadness with scriptures and positive, and life giving words to our spirits gives us strength to go on. Once I realized and remembered that Joy comes from God and is mine for the taking, I began to speak the phrase “ACCESS DENIED” when faced with satan’s tricks that try to access and steal my joy. Say it with me, “ACCESS DENIED to my children, ACCESS DENIED to my marriage, ACCESS DENIED to workplace bullies… the list is endless. Each time I said it, I began to get more strength and faith in God that He would see me thru. That He would provide me with what I needed to stand firm and strong and celebrate in the midst of pain, loss, and sickness. Do you believe it? If you do, as I suspect, scream ACCESS DENIED when faced with joy robbers.
As I close, this week’s lesson also taught me to celebrate on purpose, even while going thru times of struggle. Celebrating during these times certainly doesn’t mean that we are excited about what is happening, but it sure does allow us to exercise our faith in our heavenly Father to be by our side every step of the way and to look forward to our future joys that we have dreamed of!
Are you starting to see the holes of light in your darkness? I see rays peeking in.
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, Habakkuk 3:17-18
- Record your joys each day in the journal in back of the workbook or your own spiritual journal
- Use scripture to speak positive words to yourself this week.
- (Optional) Try the Yummy Balloon of Joy cookies this week and share with a friend or family member.
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: Complete this sentence: In the face of , I give myself permission to . (page 79). How did putting this down on paper/in your own words give you strength or release pressure? (When you answer the question, put Q1 before your comment so we know you’re answering question one)
- In what area of your life do you most need to embrace celebration as a discipline right now as an act of trusting God despite the circumstances? (page 86) (When you answer the question, put Q2 before your comment so we know you’re answering question two)
- What is one change you’ve been meaning to make around your house that would bring you joy but wouldn’t take much time or money to accomplish? (page 101) When you answer the question, put Q3 before your comment so we know you’re answering question three.)
- Why do you feel that mourning the large and small losses in our lives impacts our spirituality? Do you feel it is a positive or negative impact? (page 91) (When you answer the question, put Q4 before your comment so we know you’re answering question four.)
- CELEBRATE: Share one thing you can God has done for you this week that you can celebrate and give thanks for. (When you answer the question, put Q5 before your comment so we know you’re answering question five)
Remember to accept where you are and what limitations you have, adapt and make the necessary changes, begin to solely depend on God for your help and watch your faith muscles grow!
Choosing Joy with you!