Think back to high school. If someone made a hero’s journey movie about your time in high school, what one scene would best represent the hardship or suffering that made you the person you became by the end of senior year.
This week we talked about “the road of trials,” arguing that hardship is one of the most effective ways to help a hero become who she’s supposed to become.
What do you think about this sentence Justin shared on Sunday: “God likes suffering”?
How does that make you feel?
Is it true? In what way might it be true?
Why might God like suffering?
Have you ever seen God use suffering to transform a person? Share what you observed.
Has God used suffering to shape you? Give an example.
Read the following passages about suffering:
What does God intend to do to us in hardship and suffering?
How does viewing hardship through this lens change the way you approach/endure it?
Joseph says to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
Have you ever been hurt by another person and watched God use that hurt/offense to make you better? Share.
Knowing what we know about hardship, why do you think we so often avoid suffering? What would it look like to embrace suffering?
In addition to hardship, another way God transforms us on the “road of trials” is through a mentor or guide. Consider your favorite hero stories and make a list of mentors or guides (if you’re struggling consider these stories to get you started: Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Star Wars, Moana or watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_NgqiCECIg).
What is the purpose of the mentor or guide?
Does the hero usually embrace the mentor or guide immediately?
What mentors or guides has God used to grow or shape you? Who were they? How did they influence you? Did you want their help from the start? What caused you to embrace what they had to show you?
For this series’ small group scripture readings we’re looking at some of the hero’s journey stories in the Bible.
This week, read Genesis 16:1-15
- Who, in this story, is walking “the road of trials”?
- What exactly does she have to endure?
- What good seems to come out of this hardship?
- Who perpetrates the evil against Hagar? Is that hard to understand? What does this chapter reveal about what it means to be human? Think about that through Hagar’s eyes, Sarah’s eyes and Abraham’s.
Because suffering is a big part of our journey, you can be sure that your group members are going through some tough stuff. Tonight, share the difficult things you’re up against right now and pray that God would equip, empower and shape you in the midst of it.
Watch this compilation video of “road of trials” moments:
What do all these moments have in common?
What are you fighting these days? Where are you encountering opposition?
How might God use that to shape you?
Lots of movies about heroes in the making include a training montage. Watch this one from the movie Rocky 2:
- What might be in your training montage?