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-- Bible Study: Naming Your Chaos --

Navigating the Chaos
Week 1: Naming Your Chaos

Summary

  • God created all matter out of nothing and then arranged it into the well-ordered world we live in. He created humans to partner with him in establishing and maintaining order. Genesis 1:1-2; Isaiah 45:18
  • The first humans rebelled against God’s well-ordered plan. Chaos has ruled ever since. Genesis 3, Isaiah 45:9
  • The Bible ends with a picture of a world without chaos, similar to the Garden of Eden. In heaven there will be no more disorder physically, emotionally, relationally, or spiritually. Revelation 21:1-4, 2 Corinthians 4:6
  • We all experience some level of chaos in our lives; however we can lean into our faith, our Christian Community, and God in the midst of chaos.

Discussion:

  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Name the Chaos in your life … what has caused or is causing disorder, upheaval, unrest, etc.,?
  3. What do you want God to do for/in/through you during this Lenten period?
  4. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

-- Bible Study: Chaos from a Biblical Perspective --

Navigating the Chaos
Week 2: Chaos from a Biblical Perspective

Summary:

  • The Bible is not devoid of chaos. In fact, the opposite is true.
  • The Biblical narratives help us to see that chaos is inevitable in our lives, no one is exempt from some form of chaos in their lifetime
  • The biblical narratives remind us that chaos can show up in many different forms and at any given time
  • The biblical narratives remind us that even amid chaos, God is there regulating the situation
  • The biblical narratives demonstrate that no matter what we may be going through, we should not leave God out of the equation
  • The biblical narratives show us that sometimes the chaos is God inflicted, while other times, we are the source of our own mayhem

Discussion:

  1. What are your initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. How do you view the chaos that ensued in the biblical narratives highlighted?
  3. How does it make you feel to know that God himself inflicted chaos in some of the biblical narratives highlighted?
  4. Why do you think God would use chaos to get our attention? Do you see this as being a good thing or bad thing?
  5. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

-- Bible Study: Chaos, Community, and Conflict --

Navigating the Chaos
Week 3: Chaos, Community, and Conflict

Summary:

  • Chaos impacts more than the individual. An individual’s chaos or suffering can spread to the community that surrounds him/her 
  • Sometimes entire communities are flung into chaos at once through internal disagreements, lack of competent leadership, external agitators, natural disasters, or even a pandemic.
  • Although chaos is an inherent part of community, healthy communities are essential to our physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental well-being. To achieve healthy communities, we must learn to deal with conflict because conflict jeopardizes or severs healthy relationships.
  • Christian communities are not exempt from conflict. 1 Corinthians was written from Paul to the Church of Corinth which he founded during a missionary visit.(Acts 18) Paul received reports that the community was experiencing chaos and conflict due to Divisions (1 Cor 1:10-17,3:1-9); Sin (5:1-6:20); Behaviors and Perceptions (1 Cor 8:1-13); Disorder (13:1-13;14:26-40)
  • Paul admonished the Corinthians to seek the common ground of the Gospel and Jesus’ love to resolve their conflicts in order to restore healthy communities.
  • Some useful conflict resolution tips include seeking common ground, taking responsibility, being open to something new, managing feelings, and active listening.

Discussion:

  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Has your individual chaos ever impacted your community? If so, how?
  3. How do you feel when someone else’s chaos bleeds into your life or community?
  4. Have you ever experienced community chaos? What are some of the factors that caused or contributed to the chaos?
  5. What did you learn from the community of Corinth that can help you address or prevent conflict in your communities?
  6. Is there a relationship that has been severed that you would like to mend?
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

-- Bible Study: It Is Possible to Grieve Amid Chaos --

Navigating the Chaos
Week 4: It Is Possible to Grieve Amid Chaos

Summary:

  • Grieving is a process…it can be short lived or a long daunting experience
  • No one grieves the same and should be allowed to grieve in their own way at their own pace
  • Grief can result from our own chaotic experiences as well as the chaotic experiences of others
  • No matter the reason/source or emotions of our grief, we should not leave God out of the process
  • To grieve amid chaos, we must:
    • Take it straight to God– See Psalms of Lament = Psalm 119:28, Psalm 34:18, Psalm 6, Psalm 38, Psalm 130…See Psalms of Praise = Psalm 40, Psalm 145, Psalm 146,
    • Don’t stuff it – See 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 18:2, Matt. 5:4, 2 Samuel 18:33
    • Engage with people – See 1 John 1:7, 1 Thes. 5:14, Gal. 6:2, James 5:16, Prov. 27:17, Romans 1:11-12, Acts 2:44-47, Romans 12:15
    • Get some rest – See  11:28-30, Mark 6:32, Ps. 4:8, Hebrews 4:9-11, Phil. 4:6-7

Discussion:

  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What are some sources of grief you’ve experienced - great or small?
  3. What are some grieving strategies that you have found to be most helpful? Or, less helpful?
  4. Why do you think it’s important to connect with other people in times of grief?
  5. How have you experienced hope in the midst of grief?
  6. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

-- Bible Study: Chaos Can and Should Drive us to Faith --

Navigating the Chaos
Week 5: It Is Possible to Grieve Amid Chaos

Summary:

  • It can be said that faith plants the seeds and love makes it grow. And, since God is Love, when the seed of faith is planted, God - aka “Love”- will make it grow – See Ephesians 3:14-19
  • Chaos should cause us to run toward the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus…let us fix our eyes on Him - See Hebrews 12:1-2
  • Chaos and grief can and should catapult us into the presence of God, thereby driving us to a deeper faith walk – See Matthew 17:20
  • Faith is what keeps us connected to God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So, when we are steeped in chaos and grief, who better to turn to than God? See John 16:20
  • Chaos is a time for self-assessment, a time to search for where we need to repent – See Lamentations 3:38-40
  • We must practice our faith in ways that verify our credibility as a follower of Christ
  • God will reward those who are faithful – See Proverbs 14:14
  • In chaos, we need a robust view of God. God is our only source of hope.

Discussion:

  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 - What do you learn from Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” experience? Why do you think God used suffering throughout history?
  3. Read Lamentations 3:22-26. Share the new insights you’ve gained about God and his character through times of suffering?
  4. Read Lamentations 3:27-42. What does God invite us to do in these verses that can help strengthen our faith?
  5. Read Psalm 139:23-24. How can these verses be a gateway to deeper faith in God?
  6. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?