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Music Discussions

Worn
08/23/2013

Dynamic ImageMain Point of Discussion: Although the circumstances of life may wear us down, Christ renews us inwardly and gives us hope for eternity.

The Song: Worn
Tenth Avenue North has been a fixture atop the Billboard Christian charts since their first single “Love is Here” was released in 2008. If your students listen to Christian music or Christian radio stations at all, they have probably heard some of their music.

Tenth Avenue North’s lead singer, Mike Donehey, nearly died in a brutal car accident as a teenager. It left him with a broken back, unable to move from bed for months, and effectively ruined his lifelong dream of playing sports. Donehey shares though, that it was during this time, when he could do nothing but lie on his back all day that he first picked up a guitar and learned to play. Years later, his music has touched the lives of millions across the world. It was through this difficult and painful experience that God made (as the lyrics state) “a song to rise from the ashes of a broken life.”

The song, Worn, comes from Tenth Avenue North’s most recent album, The Struggle. Both the song and album wrestle with some of the most difficult issues of faith, such as finding God in the midst of suffering. The song, Worn, is quite similar to many of the Psalms in that it depicts the deep turmoil and pain that people experience in life; yet it expresses the profound longing for God to bring hope out of the midst of seemingly hopeless situations, and the belief that He is at work in the midst of it all.

If you would like to know more about the Donehey’s personal story, which was touched upon earlier, as well as his thoughts behind this song, watch this 4 minute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGJS5MLgMZc

Introducing the Song—Say Something Like This:
Tenth Avenue North has been one of the most popular Christian artists around during the last few years. Today we are going to watch the music video for their new song,
Worn. The song wrestles with some very difficult feelings that you have probably had before, but the video uses some powerful imagery and symbolism to remind us of the hope that we have as Christians. Let’s check it out and see what you think.

The Music Video: The video can be purchased on ITunes or viewed for free here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zulKcYItKIA



Song Lyrics:

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I'm too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left
Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn

Transitional Statement:
The musicians of Tenth Avenue North sound like they are simply exhausted, emotionally and physically. Many of you have probably felt that way before too. Yet, their song still expresses faith and hope that God is working in their lives. Can we have that same hope in our own lives? Let’s talk more about that in our small groups.


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: Before we dive in, tell us your name and what class in school leaves you feeling the most worn out.

  2. ASK A FEW: From the lyrics or from the video, how would you describe the artist’s feelings?

  3. ASK A FEW: Can you relate to his feeling of being “worn”? What are things in your life that have made you feel worn down before?

  4. ASK A FEW: Clearly Tenth Avenue North feels worn down by the circumstances of life, but does the song or video offer us any message of hope? If so, from where?

  5. ASK A FEW: What was the significance of the leaves and bodies rising from the ground? How did that tie in with the lyrics to the song?

  6. Transitional Statement:
    Leaves that have fallen to the ground are what? Dead. They’re a symbol, a reminder that this world is dying—it’s wasting away. Yet, in the midst of what outwardly looks like death, we see God bring about new life. The video shows us that “all that’s dead inside can be reborn.” This seems backwards to us, but it’s how God can work. Out of the death of one man, Jesus, God raises Him and brings about eternal life for the whole world. And out of the hardships, difficulties, and even tragedies in our own life, God can renew us with hope and new-life. Today we are going to look at a passage in the Bible that also expresses this feeling of being worn down by struggles and difficulties in life. Similar to the song though, it expresses this paradoxical hope that God can bring new life out of the midst of death and decay.


    Read the following passage from the Bible:

      2 Corinthians 4:7-18

      But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

      It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

      16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

  7. ASK A FEW: From reading this Scripture, how would you say Paul, the writer, felt? What evidence do you see that he may have felt “worn”? (Leaders - He says he feels hard pressed, perplexed, struck down, persecuted, he says death is at work in us, etc.)

  8. ASK A FEW: Despite his feeling worn, what cause for hope does Paul give us? How does he “let us see that redemption wins”?

  9. ASK A FEW: Verse 16 might be the key verse to understanding this entire passage. It says that “though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” What do you think this phrase means?

  10. ASK A FEW: What does he mean we are “wasting away”? What evidence do you see that our physical world is “wasting away”?

  11. ASK A FEW: Paul does not finish with “wasted away.” He says that although outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. How do you think God renews people? (Leaders - A lot of answers might make sense here, but there are two ways that really stand out. First, God is renewing us after the image of our Creator, meaning He is in the process of making us more like Christ. This is a process that goes on for our entire lives and is pushing towards the second, more complete sense. The second way is God renews us by giving strength and hope for eternity. No matter how bad life seems, Christians know that these struggles are not the final word in their story. One day they will be renewed in the eternal sense. This point is really driven home in verse 17.)

  12. ASK A FEW: After reading verse 17, do you think Paul is saying that you shouldn’t face many difficulties as a Christian or that your life will be easy? Why or why not?

  13. Say something like this:
    Let’s turn over a few chapters and read something that I think will help answer this question for us. Listen to Paul, as he tells us about the trials he faced after he became a Christian.


    Read the following passage from the Bible:

      2 Corinthians 11:23-31

      23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.

    Say something like this:
    This does not sound like someone who had a really easy life or who never faced difficulties, does it? In fact, it sounds like Paul faced intense and unrelenting suffering during his ministry. What Paul is not saying is that you’ll only face very minor difficulties as a Christian; actually, the Bible says that we can expect to face troubles and hardships as a Christian. What Paul is also not saying is that you should always be happy and excited during these times—we saw earlier that Paul himself felt worn down at times. You can know that no matter how difficult of a situation you walk through, no matter how long you face trials, no matter how “worn” you feel, when these feelings are compared with the everlasting life to which they are leading, they are nothing but a passing moment. We know that this deteriorating physical realm is not our final destination, but that one day we will find ultimate rest with Christ. In that place, there will be no more tears, no more struggles, no more death, and decay (Rev. 21:1-7). Our lives will no longer be worn. No matter how crushing your trials may seem, they will be like nothing when compared to the eternal life with Christ that awaits all those who have trusted their lives to Him.

  14. ASK A FEW: How does this passage that we just read about Paul’s sufferings put our own suffering in perspective?

  15. AROUND THE CIRCLE: How can this passage encourage you during difficult times? How can you remember these truths in the midst of difficulty?

Wrap Up:
Some of you may feel worn by the situations that you’ve faced in life: your parent’s divorce, the names you’ve been called at school, the death of a loved one. These things have left you feeling exhausted.

The scriptures tell us though that when you accept Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you. Tonight’s scripture is reminding you that the same power that raised Christ from the dead now lives inside of you. When you feel worn, when you feel “crushed by the weight of this world,” when all seems lost, the power of Christ lives in you and it can renew you, strengthen you, and make you more into the person that God desires you to be. Ultimately, God renews you with the hope that you have of perfect and eternal life with Christ.

The scripture says that outwardly everything is wasting away, it’s decaying, it’s dying but inwardly you are being renewed.

There is one other important verse in this passage that we didn’t talk much about. Verse 7 says “but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” Some people think what Paul might have been referring to here were these small clay pottery lamps that were sold in the Corinthian market.

The outside of these lamps were very fragile. They could chip or break quite easily, but what made the lamp valuable was not the outside; rather, it was the light on the inside that shone through all the cracks and the holes. Even as the outside became chipped, the light would just shine through all the more. The outside might have been brittle and worn, but the real power was on the inside.

This is what our lives as Christians are like. We are fragile people, we feel hurt at times, the weight of life feels like it may crush us; and although physically we are wasting away, our real strength comes from within. We have the Spirit of Christ within us that renews us daily by giving us strength and hope, regardless of what life may throw at us. No matter how worn down we may feel by the circumstances of life, nothing this world can throw at you, can ever take that light, that strength, or that hope, away from you

For outwardly we are wasting away, but inwardly we are being renewed. Let’s thank God for that now.


Close in Prayer

Written by Brandon McCarroll

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Comments on this post

   Christine Foote         9/1/2013 5:02:47 AM

A wonderful powerful song and so life like. Thank you for this is a great lesson for my teens.

   dan manns         8/28/2013 8:30:55 AM

This. Was. Awesome. thanks brandon for the submission!















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