Pressure Points Session 1: Introduction option for Young Adults/Collegiate Groups

SaphireConsider sharing the following illustration as part of the Guide step on page 13 of the Leader Guide.

Roy Whetstine was a gemologist from Texas. In 1986 he visited a gem and mineral bazaar in Tucson, Arizona. There he spotted an egg-sized violet and blue rock in a Tupperware container, priced at $15. Whetstine offered the owner $10 and the rock was his. He suspected, however, that there was more to this rock than the vendor realized. After months of appraising it, he determined that the rock actually was a 1,905 carat star sapphire with an estimated uncut value of $2.28 million! One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. The rock had not changed. The difference was in the eye of the beholder.

Likewise, crises can be seen in different ways. Some view them as negative, to be avoided at all costs. Others regard them as opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.

There’s no greater challenge than a God-sized assignment. That is, any task God gives you that only He is capable of carrying out. Such assignments not only reveal your character, but also help to develop it.

Excerpted from Experiencing God: God’s Invitation to Young Adults by Richard Blackaby and Henry Blackaby.

We want to hear from you! What are some of your ideas for getting into the topic of trials with the young adults you lead? 



  1. Min. Yvonne Tyler says:

    A good illustration but I am not sure how it emphasizes the lesson or even relates to it. What was the trail that the gemologist went through? Was there an ethical dilemma that I missed? I failed to see how this illustration demonstrates a pressure point or crisis in this story that relates to the pressures that seniors face everyday.

    • James Jackson says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Ms. Tyler. What I got from the illustration is that sometimes something that seems of little value (like a tock in a Tupperware container) can prove to be priceless. In the same way, we usually don’t think of trials as being anything that can add value to our lives. But much like the Apostle Paul was able to boast about his weaknesses (2 cor. 12:9) because of how they brought glory to God, it is possible even to see our trials as treasure. I think that was what the writer was trying to get across.

  2. Rob Holliday says:

    Maybe a good illustration but to be honest what jumped out at me was …. Why did he not share the treasure with the person who had it and didn’t know it? I am sure my Young adults would immediately think.. He was not up front in his business. Not trying to be controversial, just telling what I saw.

    • James Jackson says:

      Great thoughts! Sounds like, if this illustration doesn’t work for you for this session, you’ve already got some great ideas for how to use it in a future Bible study. Blessings!

  3. sally porter says:

    Wondering whether anyone has thoughts on whether we have opportunities to opt out of trials only to learn that we have missed growth.

    • Your question makes me think of the song “Refiner’s Fire” and scramble to Bible references like Psalm 66: 9-12 and Isaiah 48:1-11. Seems to fit nicely with the lesson on page 15 where it lets us compare thoughts about a “trial-free life” vs. a life where we embrace the trials, looking forward to the endurance they will produce. Ultimately, The Refiner’s Fire is meant for our good! :-)

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