Thursday, March 5, 2009

God Uses Your Suffering For Other People (2 Corinthians 1)

Big Idea: Jesus expands our circles of influence through our suffering—we are put in contact with people He has prepared for our witness

When you hear the term "circle of influence", what do you think about?  How many "circles of influence" do most people have? What are some of the typical "circles of influence" people have?

Do you think people have more influence in certain circles and less influence in others?  Can you give an example or examples?

How might someone grow relationships within their circle of influence?  What steps could someone take to expand their circles of influence?

How could God use suffering to expand someone's circles of influence?   Give some examples.

Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.  What do you think is the main point of this passage?

How could an experience of suffering prepare you to comfort someone else who is suffering?

How could am experience of suffering prepare you to share Christ with someone who is suffering?

If we believe that God is using our suffering for someone else's benefit, how should we deal with our experiences of suffering?

How would your reaction to hard times change if every day you asked yourself, "For whom am I experiencing this?"

What is going on in your life right now that God could use to influence those in your circles of influence?  How can you help make this happen?

Who is in your circles of influence right now that could receive a benefit from something you are going through or have been through?  How can you help make this happen?

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