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Music Discussions

In My Blood
06/01/2018

Dynamic ImageMain Point: God is our source of help, encouragement, and protection. Because of His love, we should never lose hope.

Introducing The Song:
Shawn Mendes has been one of the biggest names in music the last three years. Even though he’s only 19, he’s had two number one albums, performed with Ed Sheeran, and even been named to Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Chances are, you’ve heard some of his songs like “Stitches,” or “There’s Nothing Holding me Back.”

What you may not know though is that underneath the surface of all this success Mendes has been secretly battling an anxiety disorder. The young artist said his anxiety hits randomly and sometimes lasts for days. It has, at times, caused him to isolate himself from everyone he cares about to try to battle it alone. In an interview, Mendes said, “The thing is with anxiety, and why it’s such a hard thing for people who don’t have it to understand, is that it is very random and it hits you at moments you don’t expect it.... Sometimes it lasts two hours, sometimes it lasts a day and sometimes it lasts five minutes. The point of the song is that no matter how long that lasts, you can come out the other end stronger and you come out of the other end always.”

“In My Blood” gives Mendes’ fans a front row seat to the battle he’s been fighting for several years. He calls this song “the closest song to my heart that I’ve ever written.” Let’s watch and listen together.

The Music Video:
The video is available online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36tggrpRoTI



Song Lyrics:

Help me, it's like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can't
It isn't in my blood

Laying on the bathroom floor, feeling nothing
I'm overwhelmed and insecure, give me something
I could take to ease my mind slowly
Just have a drink and you'll feel better
Just take her home and you'll feel better
Keep telling me that it gets better
Does it ever?

Help me, it's like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
No medicine is strong enough
Someone help me
I'm crawling in my skin
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can't
It isn't in my blood
It isn't in my blood

I'm looking through my phone again, feeling anxious
Afraid to be alone again, I hate this
I'm trying to find a way to chill, can't breathe, oh
Is there somebody who could

Help me, it's like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
No medicine is strong enough
Someone help me
I'm crawling in my skin
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can't
It isn't in my blood
It isn't in my blood

I need somebody now
I need somebody now
Someone to help me out
I need somebody now

Help me, it's like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can't
It isn't in my blood

It isn't in my blood
It isn't in my blood
I need somebody now
It isn't in my blood
I need somebody now
It isn't in my blood

Transition Statement:
Mendes stated the goal of this song and video was to “make something as serious as anxiety tangible where everybody can listen to it and either connect with it or understand it.” He did a great job. You can’t watch this video without sensing the pain and isolation he feels. You feel how hard it is for him to not give up; yet, you also see the hope on the other side. Let’s talk more about how we can find that hope in God, even in the midst of anxious times.


Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Let’s all take a moment and share our names and our favorite song at the moment.

  2. ASK A FEW: Does it surprise you that someone as famous and successful as Shawn Mendes would battle anxiety? Why or why not?

  3. ASK A FEW: Reference the lyrics sheet if you need to, but what were some of the dangers that threatened to overcome Mendes in the video?

  4. ASK A FEW: How does Mendes explain the feeling of anxiety?

  5. ASK A FEW: Have you ever felt anxious? What was it like?

  6. ASK A FEW: Who or what does Mendes say he looked to help in his battle with anxiety? Did he find these actually helped him? (Leaders – He mentions alcohol, women, pills, technology, etc.)

  7. ASK A FEW: What do you do, or where do you turn, when you feel like giving up?

  8. Read the following passage:

      Psalm 121:1 - 122:1 (NIV)

      I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you-- the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

    NOTE TO YOUTH LEADERS: A Quick Background for Psalm 121
    Here are a few notes about Psalm 121 in case you want to reference it before the breakout discussion. If time permits, you might consider reading this to the students.

      Psalm 121 is the second chapter in a subsection of Psalms, known as the Psalms of Ascent. These Psalms were songs sung by Hebrew pilgrims as they made the trip to Jerusalem for religious festivals (such as Passover). Jerusalem sat at the highest elevation of the cities in Palestine (over 2400 feet above sea level), so for most of this pilgrimage, the travelers were “ascending.”

      This Psalm is situated near the beginning of the section because it is the song of a traveler who’s just starting out on a journey. He’s looking at the long climb ahead and wondering if the journey is really worth the trouble he will surely encounter: hiding spots for robbers, wild animals, loose boulders, etc. Looking at the mountain ahead probably made the pilgrim a bit anxious.

      Worse yet, when he looked to the mountains for help he wouldn’t find good options. Palestine was overrun by popular pagan worship. Many of the religions had shrines set up on the hilltops. These false religions would promise protection for travelers, if only they would offer the correct sacrifice, plant the right groves of trees, sleep with the sacred prostitutes (yes, this really happened), or offer the correct enchantment.

      The Jewish worshipper though, knew that there was only one God, “the maker of heaven and earth.” All the other false gods of the hills were empty and powerless. Thus the writer turns his attention beyond the hills for help. Beyond the hills, he sees a living, active help. He sees a God who is immeasurable, wise, loving and personal. Any Hebrew pilgrim would be encouraged not to give up and to continue his journey up the mountain; because the Lord would go with Him, would guard His steps, and would ensure that He arrived where he needed to be.

  9. ASK A FEW: What were some of the specific dangers mentioned in this Psalm? (Leaders – He lists tripping on rocks in verse 3, heat exhaustion in verse 6, and even “moon stroke,” which they equated with mental illness, in verse 6, as well.)

  10. ASK A FEW: Does it surprise you that someone whose writings are in the Bible would be afraid or feel like giving up?

  11. ASK A FEW: How does this passage say God helps us? How is God’s help better than what the false gods on the hilltops promised?

  12. ASK A FEW: We’re told five different times in these verses that God “watches” over us. Why does the Bible repeat that part so much? Why is that so important?

  13. ASK A FEW: We know what Shawn Mendes turned to when he was desperate – pills, alcohol, women – even though they did him no good. We also know what the ancient Hebrews turned to: false gods, shrines, spells, etc. None of them were able to help, either. What is it that you often turn to in times of need?

  14. ASK A FEW: How is God’s help better than the places we often turn to?

  15. ASK A FEW: If God is guarding us does it mean we should never feel anxious? Does it mean that bad things will never happen to us? Why or why not? (Leaders – No, the Bible never promises a life at the beach if we follow Jesus. In fact, it’s often just the opposite! Rather, the Bible promises us that we will always have the presence of God in our lives, which is sufficient to help us overcome anything we face.)

  16. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is one very specific way you can start trusting the Lord this week?

Wrap Up:
During our time together, we listened to a popular song by Shawn Mendes about his ongoing struggle with anxiety. He candidly shared his attempts to find a solution to his problem, and then openly shared how those didn’t work.

Knowing that many of us in here struggle with anxiety, we then looked at a powerful passage in Scripture, Psalm 121. This psalm never promised that life would always be easy, but it did give many believers encouragement for their journey. I want it to give each of us that same hope.

God doesn’t want us to face the trials of life alone. If you’ve been battling anxiety by yourself or you’ve felt like giving up – and millions of your peers have – let me encourage you to find someone you can talk to. Your parents are a great place to start, but you can also consider a counselor, a trusted friend, or one of our adult leaders here at church. There are many other people—some here in this room—who have fought the battle you’re fighting and can help you see there’s hope on the other side. Maybe God has placed them in your life specifically to guard you during this difficult time.

It doesn’t matter how successful, how popular, or how spiritual you are, from time to time all of us feel anxious, afraid, and in need of help. You may have felt like the Psalmist or like Shawn Mendes before, where you looked at the road ahead and felt like giving up. The great news of Psalm 121 is that there is a Helper available to you who is bigger than any of the problems you face in life. He’s bigger than your anxiety, your fear, or whatever it is you’re facing.

He is Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

If you’d like to talk more about who God is, or how He can change your life, make a moment to speak with me or one of our adult leaders after I close us in prayer.


Close in Prayer

Written by Brandon M.

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