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Date: January 10, 2021
Weathering the Blues
The Point: God lifts us up when we feel down.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce today’s session.
The Bob Ross Experience recently opened at the Minnetrista museum in Muncie, IN. Bob Ross’s TV series, The Joy of Painting, has continued to make him a household name, decades after the show finished filming in 1994. At the Bob Ross Experience, visitors can view original paintings and take part in painting their own “happy little trees.” George Buss Jr., vice president of visitor experience, noted, “Bob Ross has an incredible, fearless creativity. There is a confidence and a positivity that no matter how bad it looks on the canvas, it’s gonna turn out. He takes what looks like a mistake and turns it into something beautiful.” With Ross’s combination of art and positivity, the Bob Ross Experience is poised to lift spirits and inspire visitors.
Ask: What are some things that lift your spirits when you’re feeling down?
Study the Bible (Option from Young Adult Leader Guide)
Provide copies of the commentary for Psalm 31:1-2 (on page 71 of the Leader Guide) to help group members understand that trusting God with our burdens calls for us to take action as well. Continue with the directives under Bonus Content in the Young Adult Leader Guide.
- Split the group into two to three small groups, and provide each group with a copy of the commentary. Ask each group to study Psalm 31:1-2 closely. Encourage them to read the passage from multiple translations.
- Instruct each group to make a list of David’s actions in these verses— actual or implied.
- Next have each group share what they came up with and write their responses on the board for everyone to see.
- Discuss what this tells us about our role in trusting God with our burdens.
Study the Bible (Option from Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide)
During your discussion of Psalm 31:1-2, share information from the following article to discuss what to do and say to help someone who is depressed. Note this advice comes from a medical/mental health perspective.
Study the Bible (Option from Senior Adults Leader Guide)
After reading and leading a discussion about verses 7-8, read or enlist a group member to read the poem titled: “Footprints in the Sand.” Ask volunteers to share about a time when they have experienced God carrying them through a difficult season. Say, “Did you realize God’s provision in the moment, or in hindsight?”
You can read the poem here: http://www.wowzone.com/fprints.htm
Use the following to conclude today’s session.
The tallest mountain on earth is even taller than we realized. Scientists in China and Nepal have taken new measurements of Mt. Everest and determined it is approximately two feet farther above sea level than previously measured. The mountain hasn’t grown, but our understanding of its true magnitude has.
In Psalm 31, David referred to God as his “mountain fortress” (v. 2). David knew that God was his refuge and he could always trust Him. While God’s greatness doesn’t grow, our understanding of His greatness can.
Ask: What are some ways your understanding of God’s greatness has grown? Emphasize attributes such as God’s goodness, power, and protection.
Close by encouraging the group to look to God as the one who can truly provide refuge and hope in difficult times.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom, writer, and Bible study teacher.
- What was the last thing you were genuinely excited about?
- What’s your favorite way to deal with a rainy day?
- What’s your go-to food when you need a pick-me-up?
- What are some things we need from God when we are feeling down?
- How do you tend to respond when you are feeling down?
- What are some benefits of studying biblical laments?
- How can we recognize nets that entangle us before we get totally twisted in them?
- When have you felt God’s strength as your rock?
- Why might we hesitate to take our concerns to God?
- When have you experienced God setting your feet in a spacious place?
- How can God’s love pull us up and out of low times?
- What characteristic of God from Psalm 31 do you need to cling to most this week?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
Tips for Leading Bible Study Groups
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