Restoration is a major trend in our society. People take old, beat-up motorcycles and restore them to their original glory; turn rusty classic cars into collectors’ pieces; and replace green Formica countertops with quartz and wallpaper with smooth beige walls. At Eastside, we just restored a campus in Bellflower so it can serve its community like it used to.
Over time, almost everything needs to be restored: cars, houses, kitchens, churches, and… us, because nobody can get through life without going through some brokenness. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to consider how God can restore our broken dreams, broken confidence, and broken lives.
Share one word that describes your week.
The dictionary defines confidence as “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something.”
What types of things might cause us to lose confidence in ourselves or others?
Have someone read Genesis 15:1 and Exodus 14:13.
When God wants to do something powerful in our lives, one of the biggest hurdles we face is the hurdle of fear. Fear keeps us from experiencing all God has for our life. Many times in the Bible, we see that right before God was about to do something big, He would use these four words: “Do not be afraid.”
Share a time you were facing something big in your life and you sensed God was saying “Do not be afraid” to you.
1. Do not be afraid to stand alone.
Have someone read Genesis 6:5–9.
Noah was the only blameless person on earth. Everyone else on the earth was filled with bitterness, evil, and envy. Do we see a bit of that in our world today?. We will all find ourselves at a crossroad more than once in our life. We will have the option of moving forward in the good life God has for us or moving backward, hindering what God has for us. God’s restoration in our lives depends on our willingness to stand alone and stand up for God.
Herbert shared how he grew up in a small town in Oklahoma in a home filled with abuse, violence, and dysfunction. At the age of 13, he was sexually abused over several months. He felt confusion, shame, anger, and bitter. He didn’t want to tell anyone. When he was 16, his parents split up. On Christmas morning shortly after they split and he was alone with his dad, he questioned, “Is life worth living?”
At age 17, Herbert was invited to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting. He heard about the hope found through Christ, and he surrendered his life to Jesus. His life was radically changed. He was bold—and possibly irritating—but he was living full-on for Jesus.
Herbert described how he would drive around and talk to Jesus saying, “I will stand up for you.”
Where have you made a decision to be salt and light in a situation instead of being negative along with everyone else?
2. Do not be afraid to make a difference.
Have someone read 2 Peter 2:5 and I Peter 3:20.
You can make a bigger difference than you think you can.
Noah must have felt like he was failing. For 120 years he preached to people, and no one listened, no one got on the boat. We would have been more than a little defeated. Oftentimes when we are making a difference, it looks like we are making a mess.
Share a time you were being faithful but felt like nothing was happening.
Life can be messy, and we can get hit with multiple things. Noah made a difference for his family when he stepped out in faith. Ultimately, God saved his family. The animals were saved. We wouldn’t be here if not for Noah’s willingness to be mocked and to do something far outside his comfort zone.
Being faithful might look different for each of us, but we can all be obedient. We can be faithful by spending time daily reading the Bible, tithing, and taking the next step we feel God is calling us to do. In our Small Groups we can encourage each other and pray for each other to overcome the fears that might hold us back.
Is there a place God is calling you to make a difference, to be faithful?
3. Do not be afraid to step out in faith.
Have someone read Hebrews 11:7.
To experience restoration, we must not be afraid to step out in faith.
What area in your life is God calling you to step out in faith?
For God to restore our brokenness and build our confidence in Him, we have to overcome fear of failure, fear of man, and fear of the past. Remember that Herbert talked about driving around in his car, talking to Jesus out loud, telling him, “I will stand up for you”? Sometimes speaking the words out loud gives us boldness and builds our confidence.
Think of a one-word prayer statement you can write out and say out loud when you feel fearful.
Never regret stepping out in faith and obeying God. Herbert stepped out in faith and followed God which led to him experiencing so many God moments in parenting, relationships and faith. When we do this and experience those moments, it helps restore us and builds our confidence. When we follow the path Jesus is calling us to, we will never regret it.
Break up into groups of two to three, and pray for the confidence to step out in faith and experience restoration.