A devotional is an in-depth Bible study. A typical devotional should take you anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to complete. Download and print a PDF version of this devotional for yourself, or use it with a friend to create an engaging discussion.

Opening Question

  • Do you have trouble admitting you need people? Do you prefer to always be the one helping, but never getting the help?
  • When times get tough, we need to learn to rely on God and friends instead of handling life independently.

Why do we need God?

God quenches our thirst

[13] Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, [14] but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:13-14 NIV

When we try to go meet our needs on our own, apart from God, we always end up thirsty again. We can never be satisfied. What areas of your life have you been taking on alone? School, work, dating, friendships, family?

How could you start relying on God more in these areas?

God is our lifeline

[4] Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. [5] “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. [6] If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. [7] If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. [8] This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

John 15:4-8 NIV

God is the vine and we are the branches. The branches rely on the vine to supply them with all the nutrients and water they need to survive. If we are not staying connected with God then we wind up feeling weak and ineffective.

What do your personal quiet times say about your conviction on this scripture? Are you going to God daily to supply you with all you need? What can you do differently to get more of what you need from God?

Why do we need friendships?

Encouraging yourself gets old

[12] See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. [13] But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 3:12-13 NIV

The Bible teaches that we all need each other to function well as a church (1 Cor 12), but also to get encouragement to keep us from becoming hardened. What are some areas of your life you have been discouraged about? Make a decision to talk to someone about those things today.

What unbelief do you need to talk about? Share it.

The light is what connects us

[6] So if we say we are his friends but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying. [7] But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin. [8] If we say that we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.

1 John 1:6-8 TLB

This scripture teaches us when we live in the light (transparent with others about our thoughts, emotions, sins, etc.) we experience wonderful fellowship and joy! Are your relationships built on living in the light together?

What are things you don’t like being in the light about – sin, emotions, fears, insecurities? Choose one of these to take on this week and share with others consistently.

Without the fellowship, we miss the power

[31] After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and boldly preached God’s message. [32] All the believers were of one heart and mind, and no one felt that what he owned was his own; everyone was sharing. [33] And the apostles preached powerful sermons about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and there was warm fellowship among all the believers

Acts 4:31-33 TLB

When the believers were sharing everything with each other – meals, prayers, homes, lives – they were able to preach boldly, powerfully, and experience warm fellowship.

Who is someone who you can work on growing closer with this week? Set up a time to connect and be committed to sharing everything with that person during your time.

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This article was created by a member of the Deep Spirituality editorial team.

Deep Spirituality logo

This article was created by a member of the Deep Spirituality editorial team.

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Lean on Me: Relying on God and Friends When Times Get Tough 6