Main Idea

God wants us to experience joy even in difficult circumstances.

Starter

What is one of your most joyful memories from your home growing up?

Discuss:

If you had a “joy meter” on your life right now, how full would your “joy tank” be?

1 (Empty)__________________(Half full)_______________________10 (Full)

Describe something that brings you joy and something that tends to kill joy in this season of your life.

Read:

Read a few of the promises God makes in His Word about joy.  Have a few people read the following verses:  1 Peter 1:8, Ecclesiastes 3:12-13, John 15:11, Galatians 5:22-23 and discuss:

  • What do these verses say about how we can experience more joy in our life?
  • In what area of your life would you like to experience more joy (marriage, parenting, friendships, work, church, alone, etc)? Why?

Sometimes, we blame our lack of joy on our circumstances rather than dealing with the issues inside of us that keep us from finding joy. Read how David deals with the problems inside of him when he messed up big time in his life.  Read Psalm 51:12.

  • Do you think those close to you would say that you ask for forgiveness quickly or respond more defensively when you make mistakes? Why?
  • How do you think asking for (or giving) forgiveness more quickly could help you experience more joy in your relationship with God and others?

Apply:

  • Share one way you could turn towards God with something difficult in your life right now.
  • What is a step you could take toward giving or receiving forgiveness to someone in your life?
  • Spend some time praying for each other’s struggles and to experience more joy.

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