Nothing Wasted: God Doesn’t Waste Your Life

This is a great week to read chapters 1–3 in the book!

Introduction (5 MINUTES)

Leader, please read aloud to group:

Predestined = {a course of events determined in advance by divine will} — Merriam Webster Dictionary

As humans, we tend to want to settle most matters of life in terms of “either-or.” But with God, life is often “both-and.” Although a “both-and” approach to destiny may not make sense to our mortal brain, we are underqualified for the job of universe-ruling. The good news is, God is powerful enough to hold together both his fixed plan for our life, while also honoring our free will to make decisions that influence our future.

The Bible teaches that while our choices do matter and influence the chain of events surrounding the whole of our life, they do not ultimately determine our future. This week we will learn that while God has given each of us the gift of free will, he also predestines our will to fit in the course of history he wants us to take. This view of God is a radical, theology-shifting, terrifyingly-liberating perspective, a perspective I sometimes regret I have experience enough to hold before you now. And yet I pray that, like me, you will never unsee the things we speak of here. That even in the midst of our greatest pain, doubt, and shame, we can confidently stake our claim in a God who says:

Whatever I please, I do, in Heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. —  Psalm 135:6, my paraphrase

I work all things according to the counsel of my will. — Ephesians 1:11, my paraphrase

I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’ — Isaiah 46:9-10, my paraphrase

Watch Session One: Nothing Wasted

(18:30 MINUTES)

Watch Video Session 1 and fill in the blanks below.

  1. It’s not enough to say God uses our life if he does not also ______________
  2. All of life’s dismantling will eventually be seen for what it truly is: __________________________________________________.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. — Romans 8:28 ESV

  1. If we don’t believe our life is designed and purposed by God, we will
  2. God is using our ______________ , _______________________ , ______________ , ______________ , to speak to us!
  3. Never forget! This life is just one big _______________________ by God!
  4. God knows, the closer we are to him, the closer we are to ______________ _____ ____________ ____________ ___________________ .
  5. When God asks us to ______________ Him, He does so only from love, and always for our good.

NOW THAT’S GOOD . . .

Group Discussion Questions (30 MINUTES)

Leader, read each question aloud to the group and encourage everyone to share.

  1. What is your initial gut-reaction to the title of this Bible study: Nothing Wasted: God Uses the Stuff You Wouldn’t? Why?
  2. If you were to describe how God orders events throughout history, what language would you choose? For example, “God permits . . .” “God orchestrates . . .” “God allows . . .” “God hopes . . .” Share your reasoning.
  3. What does it mean for God to be “sovereign” (refer to Intro definition) over everything? What is liberating about this belief? What is difficult about this belief?
  4. Look up and read Proverbs 16:1. As a group talk for a moment about this verse. What feelings, thoughts, questions does it evoke?
  5. As you think about the whole of your life story thus far, to which statement do you most relate? “My story is too rebellious to be useful to God.” Or, “My story is too boring to be useful to God.” Share with the group why you chose your statement. (You don’t have to be detailed in your response.)

SESSION 1 FOCUS

God wastes no part of my story. He has designed me on purpose, for a purpose.

Closing Prayer

(lead out or ask for a volunteer)

Points of prayer for Session One:

  •  Conviction to complete the entire week of personal study.
  •  Supernatural energy and alertness to the way God is speaking to our hearts.
  •  Grace for the days we feel overwhelmed.
  •  Self-control to say “no” to good things and “yes” to best things.
  •  Patience to read and reread the Scripture prompts until our minds are clear with understanding.

* * * 

Your Turn

What did you think of session one from Nothing Wasted? Share your thoughts on our blog!

Kasey Van Norman

Kasey is a 2x bestselling author, national speaker, and professional counselor. She attended Stephen F. Austin State University, earning a B.A. in Psychology, B.A. in Public Speaking, M.A. in Community Counseling, and certification as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. She also received her M.A. in Biblical Studies. With over 20 years serving in vocational ministry, non-profit leadership, and traveling both domestically and internationally to study the traumatic effects of poverty, Kasey is passionate about inspiring others to consider how they might serve the most vulnerable in their community. She believes God’s Word awakens the desire in us to love others intimately and sacrificially.

Follow Kasey Van Norman on:   Facebook   Website

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