When You Hate Your Circumstances

When You Hate Your Circumstances 

Discussion Guide  

Life has a way of getting messy. Sometimes, circumstances overtake us or people get in the way of our plans. Occasionally, we are in a certain situation because of our own bad choices and actions. When we are dealing with a crisis, what we do and where we turn amid the trouble can determine how it is resolved. Jonah, in the middle of a mess of his own making, turned his heart back to God for rescue. We can turn to God, no matter what circumstances are surrounding us.  

What you will need: A Bible or your Bible app, a notebook, pen, and highlighter. The verses highlighted below are linked so that you can easily access them during your study time. 

Jump Start 

1. Have you ever heard the phrase, “the messy middle?” In what area, hobby, or activity do you usually start off with vigor, then get stuck, finally needing encouragement to finish?  

2. Seek God in the middle. Read Jonah 2:1-2 and Psalm 105:4. What is the gap/the middle thing in your life right now? How good (and fast) are you at seeking God in the middle of the crisis, the argument, or temptation? Do you depend on yourself or try to find other options for rescue first? What is one way to remember to press pause and pray? 

3. Follow God while frustrated. Read Jonah 1:1-3 and Jonah 2:9. How do your feelings affect your faith and ability to follow God? Why types of feelings do you experience in a crisis? Why is it important to have faith when things are hard? Do ever feel God urging you to stop and pray during a tough situation? What prevents you? When you do pray, when you turn to Scripture or a praise song, what does this do? How does repentance and obedience honor God in our situations?  

4. What does Titus 3:2 instruct you to do / not do when things are not going well? Why did Paul need to write this to the believers of this time? Who are you talking to more: friends, family, or God?  

5. Read Jonah 2:10. After Jonah gets right with God, what happens? Why? Pray: Lord, how can I better honor You in my situation? Then be quiet. Listen. Be ready to submit to His guidance and do it. Write down any verse He brings to your mind. Move in the direction and next steps He gives you. Action Step: determine in your heart right now that you will stop, pray, and seek God in the next storm of your life. 


6. Read Jonah 1. What did God ask of Jonah? How do you know the events that followed are directly related to his disobedience? In verses 11-16, how do you feel Jonah acts? How are the men in the boat changed? 

7. Read Jonah 3:10-Jonah 4:4. This passage occurs after Jonah is delivered from the belly of the great fish and arrives in Nineveh to preach. He delivers the message that Nineveh will be overthrown by God in 40 days for their wicked ways. Why is Jonah upset when God chooses not to destroy Nineveh? What environments and/or mindsets could be causing this petulance? When has your pride or jealousy ever caused you to be annoyed at someone else’s blessing? 

8. Jesus compares Himself to Jonah in Luke 11:29-32. In what ways are they similar?