The Shelter of God's Promises Participant's Guide

The Shelter of God's Promises Participant's Guide

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by Sheila Walsh

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In a world of uncertainty, pain, and struggle, where do you find solid assurance and unshakeable truth? In The Shelter of God’s Promises, a ten-session small-group Bible study, gifted Bible teacher and inspiring speaker Sheila Walsh searches Scripture for what God has promised us, what God's promises mean, and


In a world of uncertainty, pain, and struggle, where do you find solid assurance and unshakeable truth? In The Shelter of God’s Promises, a ten-session small-group Bible study, gifted Bible teacher and inspiring speaker Sheila Walsh searches Scripture for what God has promised us, what God's promises mean, and how those promises provide the foundation for daily confidence, joy, and hope.

Through vulnerable storytelling and powerful in-depth teaching, Sheila offers a life-changing study on ten bedrock promises of God to help you gain a trust in Him that will sustain you for a lifetime.The Shelter of God's Promises Participant's Guideincludes individual and group activities, between-session personal studies, and additional material that will enhance your experience of the video sessions. 

Designed for use with The Shelter of God's Promises DVD-Based Study (9781418546052), sold separately.

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Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Sheila Walsh
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-7505-9

Chapter One




For no matter how many promises god has made, they are "Yes" in Christ And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of god —2 Corinthians 1:20

Day 1: Jesus Is the Promise 12 Day 2: Surviving the Broken Promises 16 Day 3: The Threat of a Storm 21 Day 4: Delayed Promises 24 Day 5: Out-of-Reach Promises 27



For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. —2 Corinthians 1:20

For many of us, the word promise is a reminder of how people are unfaithful or relationships disappoint. But I want to look at what the Bible says a promise really is: Jesus is the Promise in the flesh. Let this definition really sink deep into your mind and heart. Jesus is the Promise, and all His promises are true. When we believe God's promises, we are standing in agreement with Jesus that He is who He says He is and that He can be trusted with every part of our lives.


Watch session 1 on the Shelter of God's Promises DVD. Keep your Bible nearby for reference and take notes in this book as needed. Fill in the blanks below as you listen to Sheila's message.

* "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are '__________' in __________" (2 Corinthians 1:20).

* No matter what might be raging around you right at this very moment, God promises _________ and ________ when you're at your most _________ and _________.

* We can ____ a God who is _______ the entire universe together to _______ us together, even when everything seems to be falling apart.

* Our ______________ does nothing to diminish God's _______________.

* The Father is truly the only promise ________ who is _________ a promise _________.






Break into small groups and discuss the following questions:

1. As you read the promise in 2 Corinthians 1:20, what hope and encouragement does this bring to your life right now?

2. What is there about this promise that challenges you?

3. Do you believe this promise is for you, for whatever you are facing right now?

4. Sheila told the story of a camping trip she took with her friends to the eastern Highlands of Scotland. She described the harsh realities of a storm she weathered. What are some of the harsh realities you've encountered in a recent "storm"?

5. What helped you navigate that storm?

6. What were some of the conditions of the storm or unexpected circumstances that threatened to keep you from relying on the promises of God?

Bonus Question: What are some things God taught you after the storm was over?


Dig deeper into Scripture to understand the context of this promise.

Now let's unpack 2 Corinthians 1:20, a verse that extends throughout this book: "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ. And so through him the 'Amen' is spoken by us to the glory of God."

The leaders of the church in Corinth were frustrated with Paul, and rumors were flying that Paul was fickle (2 Corinthians 1:17). They probably grumbled, "He promises to visit us and then changes his mind without even asking us!" Paul was hurt, and he defended himself in verse 17: "When I planned this, did I do it lightly?" Paul served God, and he knew it was critical that these believers knew that God is faithful. He wanted his actions to mirror Jesus', so that these brothers and sisters in Christ would know that God had been faithful to fulfill His promises in Jesus. You see, with God, there is no wavering between "yes," "no," and "maybe." There is nothing in His nature that is unreliable. And because God is faithful, we too can be faithful to follow Him.

But the fact remains that Paul was a man, and at times his plans might have changed by choice or circumstances beyond his control. That's why he was so insistent that the church understand that God is always and forever faithful. There is no uncertainty or confusion when it comes to Jesus' "yes" and "no." The Old Testament promises found their fulfillment in Him; Jesus is the personal guarantor of all the promises of God.

God is faithful, and He is covenant keeping. He is the only Promise Maker who is always a Promise Keeper.


Meditate on the following question and hear what God is teaching you through His Word and through your study group. Share your insights with the group, if you feel comfortable doing so.

"Then they believed his promises and sang his praise" (Psalm 106:12). How would it impact your daily life if you were able to hold on to the promises of God each moment of each day?


Discuss ways to apply what you've learned this week with your group.

Think about the cultural voices that promise shelter in things other than God. For you, which "voice" is most tempting to listen to and competes with God's promises for your life?

Prayer 5 MINUTES

Take time to pray with your group to close the session.

Focus on praying for God to open your hearts to receive His promises. Give thanks for Jesus' saving work on the cross.



For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. —2 Corinthians 1:20


When you hear the word promise, where does your mind wander? do you think of a broken promise before you think of a promise kept? In the midst of struggle and disappointment, sometimes the promises we thought were a sure thing give way and we find ourselves alone. I know I've been there, and I'm sure you have too.

What is so painful about broken promises in our human relationships is that sometimes they make us question God's promises to us as well. So we have to allow God's promises to speak more loudly in us. One of the promises He deposited in my heart when I was baptized in my youth is a verse I still hold on to today:

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John 15:16)

* What verse or verses do you hold on to when you are shaken to your core?

* What pain do you carry as a result of a broken promise? do you think you've allowed the pain to influence your heart more than God's promises? explain.


There is a promise that runs throughout all the topics of this book, and it's found in exodus 33:21-22. It's the promise of shelter, God's protection for our own good. let's look a little more at the circumstances that led up to this promise. read exodus 32.

When Moses heard the promise from the lord, he had spent forty days on Mount Sinai conversing with God. He heard the law, and finally God handed him two stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments by God's own hand. The experience was life changing. Then, at the end of that time, God instructed Moses to return to His people because they had fallen into sin.

Before leaving, Moses pled with God not to destroy them. "Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened" (exodus 32:14). The Hebrew word for "relent" here is naham, which means "to change one's course of action." God was going to destroy those who rebelled against their covenant, His promise; but because of Moses' plea, He decided to have mercy.

Moses began his descent off the mountain, and he met Joshua, who had been standing watch over the people of Israel while Moses was away. They continued down the mountain, and as they approached the camp, they heard the people dancing and singing, worshipping an idol they had made.

Having just been in the presence of God's holiness, Moses responded to the Israelites' sin with passionate, righteous anger. He broke the stone tablets that were engraved with God's handwriting. Seeing that the people rebelled so fiercely against God's covenant, Moses burned their golden idol. Sadly, the Israelites broke their promise to God—specifically, the second commandment.

Later, in exodus 33:18, Moses said, "Now show me your glory."

Then the lord said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by." (exodus 33:21-22)

This passage reveals God's great mercy. He not only spared the lives of His sinful people, but He extended great favor when He gave Moses this special privilege. Who wouldn't want to be shown God's glory? Moses alone witnessed this wondrous sight. How incredible!

The Israelites had abandoned their faith and their leader, worshipping an idol that suited their own desires. They broke their promises when they let go of their faith in the one true God. But God's faithfulness never ended, and He responded to the sin of the people with blessing and protection.

Even though the Israelites had a history of breaking their covenant with God, God continued to show them mercy over and over again.

1. What does this passage reveal about God and how He relates to His people even when they are rebellious?

2. Reflect on a time when God showed you profound mercy even when you knew you didn't deserve it. How did this affect your response to God?

In this passage, Moses knows the Lord is angry at the Israelites. And Moses does the unthinkable—he tries to pacify the lord:

But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. "O lord," he said, "why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the egyptians say, 'It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.'" Then the lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. (exodus 32:11-14)

God said to Moses, "What you ask I will do." If there was ever a time a prayer was not deserving of an answer, it was at this moment. Yet He did answer, and He revealed His glory to Moses. Glory refers to the complete power of God, His perfection, and the radiance of His person. Moses was allowed to experience this without being taken from this world.

However, God told Moses that He would protect him from the most powerful force man could ever face: the presence of God. The lord stepped forward in Moses' behalf to protect him from Himself. There was no way Moses could stand before a completely holy God. Exercising abundant love and mercy, God hid Moses in the cleft of the rock and covered him with His hand, then His glory passed in front of Moses.

Ultimately, however, this promise was fulfilled through the work of Jesus on the cross. The promise God made to Moses to reveal His glory was finally manifested— made "Yes!"—in His Son. It's a privilege to be on this side of history, where we can see the crystal clear fulfillment of God's promises.

Moses showed a great deal of boldness with God. He knew what intimacy with God was like; therefore, he knew he could be completely honest in his requests. We can approach God in this same way. God shields us by bringing us closer to Him. He wraps Himself around the one He loves and holds him within the radius of His glory and power. Because He holds the one He loves close, nothing can penetrate that shield of protection, the shelter of God.

3. Moses shows us the story of redemption in many ways. He knew God's people well, and he was aware that they were in desperate need of a merciful God. In what ways are you in need of God's mercy today?


Approach God with boldness today. Ask Him to bless you by revealing His glory to you. Recognizing that God has shown you profound mercy, what can you do to share His mercy with others this week?


Lord, I often forget that Your promises surround me with Your mercy every day. Thank You that mercy is here for me today, that You know me by name and You protect me with Your hand. Show me today that I'm surrounded by Your mercy, and may Your voice be the loudest voice I hear. Fortify my heart with Your promises. In Jesus' name, amen.



For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. —2 Corinthians 1:20


In some key moments in my past, I wasn't well prepared to face certain storms because I didn't take time to read the clouds or know where the storm was coming from. Sometimes this information helps us to know how to respond more effectively, but other times there is no way to know until the storm has blown over. So as God's children, we need to know how to weather storms and endure the threatening waves that pass over us.

* Think about the last storm you came through or the one you are in now. Are you able to discern its source? does that help or hinder your faith?

For me, choosing to study the promises of God in depth began with a letter. I get very few actual delivered-to-my-mailbox letters these days. Most of my friends communicate via e-mail or text message, so a handwritten envelope on my desk was something of a novelty. I picked it up and tore at its seams with curiosity. Then I began to read.

I have not met the woman who wrote to me, but apparently she once attended an event I had been speaking at and sensed a connection with me. She wrote about some of the struggles she had been through the few years prior. These were not small things: illness, financial hardship, and the breakup of her marriage. Amid her description of all these hardships, one line in the letter arrested my attention because of its profound simplicity: "I would not have made it this far without the promises of God."

* Fill in the blank based on your experience: "I would not have made it this far without ___________________________________."

I thought of friends and others I've met in my thirty years of traveling the globe and speaking to groups around the world. I remembered people who have faced very similar, difficult circumstances and struggled to find hope in the middle of their mess. I read through notes left on my Facebook page, notes slipped into my hand at the end of speaking events. From the darkened caves of countless hearts I heard the same primal cry, the same questions over and over again:

Has God forgotten me?

Does my life matter?

Is there a plan somewhere in all of this mess?

How am I going to make it?

What will happen to me when I die?

What if I outlive my children?

How do I know that God even heard my prayer?

All of these questions reflect thoughts that are normal to have when the threat of a storm is looming. But rather than being filled with only these questions, we need to be filled with God's promises when we need them the most. They help us before, during, and after the storm.


Excerpted from THE SHELTER OF GOD'S PROMISES PARTICIPANT'S GUIDE by SHEILA WALSH TRACEY D. LAWRENCE Copyright © 2010 by Sheila Walsh. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Sheila Walsh is a powerful communicator, Bible teacher, and bestselling author with more than five million books sold. She is the author of the award-winning Gigi, God’s Little Princess series, Peace for Today, Loved Back to Life, The Storm Inside, Five Minutes with Jesus and The Longing in Me. She is cohost of Life Today with James and Betty Robison. Sheila lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, Barry, and son, Christian.



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