As believers, we know we have to depend on Jesus for many things: for salvation, for guidance, for forgiveness, for daily needs. But what does it mean to to depend on him for everything? This is a profoundly biblical idea. These studies explore what it means that Christ is sufficient for any and all circumstances.
Getting the Most Out of Depending on Jesus: Discovering the Sufficiency of Christ
This section introduces the topic, explains the structure followed in each study, and offers tips for those approaching the study on their own as well as those participating in a group.
Strength Withing Powerlessness
Unexpected difficulties can make us feel like we’re skidding on ice. Brakes are useless; the steering wheel has no effect; our confident sense of control is lost and we are powerless to save ourselves. The apostle Paul desperately pleaded with the Lord to save him from a bad situation and received a surprising answer.
2 Corinthians 12:6–10
Direction Within Frustration
We each face experiences in life when we are confused and frustrated. What is God doing? Why is this happening? In Scripture we see that a fter a time of fruitful ministry in Asia Minor, Paul, Silas, and Timothy found their way blocked by the Holy Spirit. As they searched for the right direction to go, they must have been mystified. What was going on? What did the Lord want, and what was he doing? This study looks more closely at this experience to help us understand how we can rely upon Christ during our own experiences of frustration.
Rest Within Work
Our jobs can leave us drained and exhausted because work is, well, work. When Jesus invites the work-weary to come to him and rest, we often doubt if he means we should all go on permanent vacation. In this study, we’ll explore what he does mean by “rest.”
Renewal Within Defeat
Defeat and discouragement can cripple us. Who could feel more defeated than Jesus’ followers after his death? In Luke 24, two of them discussed their dashed hopes as they trudged home from Jerusalem. Then a stranger joined them and revolutionized their outlook.
Help Within Hostility
Pressure can make us feel fragile—as if we are about to break. But Paul was not ashamed to write that we Christians carry the treasure of the gospel in easily broken clay jars. We are fragile, but Christ is unbreakable.
2 Corinthians 4:7–18
Courage Within Injustice
At times we may be treated unfairly. In Scripture, we see that the followers of Jesus Christ frequently meet and endure injustice and disloyalty. The apostle Paul and his companions often found themselves treated unfairly. And of course Jesus himself, innocent of any sin or crime, received the most unjust treatment of all.
Restoration Within Ruin
When we face seemingly hopeless situations, we may naturally feel despair. Jesus met many people who one way or another were hopeless or facing despairing circumstances. He had compassion on them and mercifully restored them to full and meaningful life.
Belonging Within Loneliness
We all want to belong, but the sensation of belonging may have nothing to do with how many clubs we join or how many people we have around us. Belonging is deeper than mere association. Even in a Roman prison, Paul experienced the reality of belonging to Christ and to his fellow believers.
2 Timothy 4:9–22
Empathy Within Faltering
When we go through hard times, Scripture assures us that Jesus understands us because he actually has experienced all that we experience. He did not stay aloof from our frail human condition but freely entered into our brokenness—yet without succumbing to sin.
Mercy Within Failure
Peter professed absolute loyalty to his Lord, promising to go with him even to death. Shortly afterward Peter lied and said he did not even know Jesus. Who could forgive failure like that and restore such a person to fellowship and useful life again? Only Jesus himself, the very one Peter had so miserably failed.
John 18:15–18, 25–27; 21:15–19
Total number of pages: 69
Dale and Sandy Larson are writers living in Rochester, Minnesota. They have written more than 40 books and Bible studies together.