Perfection sang in perfect harmony and danced with precision in this Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve could stand naked and unashamed — physically, emotionally, and spiritually because they had no other opinion to contend with but the pure love of God Himself. ~ Lysa
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” — Genesis 3:1
Welcome to the It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way Online Bible Study with Lysa TerKeurst!
Hi there, friends! In case you’re new to our Online Bible Studies, I’m Laurie McClure, editor at FaithGateway and your OBS leader. I’m passionate about Jesus, a born and bred Bible study nerd from a family chock full of preachers and Bible teachers, I’m a huge fan of films, plays, and great stories, and the beach is my happy place. I have five kids (three bigs, two middle schoolers — three homemade, two by adoption) and over the last several years I’ve grown to treasure the joys of singleness. Special fist bump to all my fellow single moms! If we were face-to-face, I’d brew a big pot of coffee and split a steak Caesar salad and some hot sourdough with you at my hand-me-down kitchen table with mismatching chairs.
I’m so thankful to be your leader through this study. If you have ever heard Lysa speak before or read her books, you know what a gem she is. Laser-focused on our Savior, full of hard-won wisdom and relatable struggles and stories, and funny even in suffering. She’s just one of my favorite humans. I know you’ll love this study because Lysa shares openly and beautifully about the kind of heartbreak we know all too well… and points us to the Healer every step of the way.
Are you ready to get started?
This week we are going to challenge what may be some of our assumptions about God. Who He is. His character. We’re going to watch the anatomy of doubting God through our sister Eve’s story (which is a foreshadow of my own story and yours, too).
I assume sometimes that I know what a good God should do… Something will happen to me and I think, “God, You are so big, so powerful, so mighty. You could fix this, God. So I start making assumptions that I know what God should do in this situation. And then, when my life doesn’t unfold like my assumptions of what a good God should do in this, then not only am I disappointed in my circumstance, not only am I disappointed in people, I can easily become disappointed in God. ~ Lysa
Are you disappointed in God? One time I asked my daughter what she prays the most often — school, friends, family, personal stuff? She said no as I asked again what she asks the Lord repeatedly. And, I so related and laughed and laughed when she answered…
“What the heck, God?”
It’s so easy to give God the side-eye and grow suspicious of His character when we get hurt, or have to wait for something we want so badly, or our plans get upended, or people are cruel, or the world doesn’t make sense. It’s a slippery slope to then look at God as some kind of cosmic meanie who’s just waiting to unleash plagues on us completely undeservedly. As believers, we have to remind ourselves of the truth. We sin. But, God loves us. We have to choose to walk the divine groove of believing that God is good. No matter what. Doubt our doubts!
In this study, we’re going to retrain ourselves to believe. To trust. Rock solid. And to look to Him and Him alone.
We will steer where we stare. ~ Lysa
So, where are we looking? At troubles? At hurts? At unfulfilled longings? At something juicy and sinful that not only won’t ultimately satisfy, but will actually lead down a terribly painful, heartbreaking path of unforeseen, crushing consequences? Or are we looking at God, even in real pain, and declaring that He is good, and He is in control, and those truths are never going to change.
Let’s change our focus and look to the Creator of Eden, the One so overflowing in beauty and love that He planted this gorgeous, abundant place for us… and who will lead us there again someday. Can you imagine it?
Let’s fix our eyes on Him and filter this life through His goodness! Amen?
This week in your study:
- Watch the video for session one on DVD, or on our study home page with other participants. Take notes in your study guide on pages 10-14.
- Go through the study questions and activity with your group or on your own on pages 15-22.
- Read It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Chapters 1-4.
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 23-39.
- Join the conversations about the study and get to know fellow participants in the private Facebook group!
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Father, You are good. You are the Author of beauty and perfection, the Creator of life and love, the Hope we hold out for. Sometimes, that’s hard to remember when we’re hurting, when life and people are so disappointing. Doubts creep in. Help us to refocus on You and the truth that You are good. We want to walk the narrow path of trusting You, relying on You, and believing in You. We love You, God. Amen.