1. What were the issues that caused Paul to have “no rest” for his spirit? Cf. Acts. 19:23-20:1; 1 Cor. 1:11; 2 Cor. 2:1; 12-13; 5:9. What discouragement(s) are you dealing with? Make a list and discuss how they are discouraging.
2. In verses 14-17, Paul shares what countered his discouragement. God’s Promise, God’s Purpose, and God’s Provision. He gives thanks for all three. Let’s look at each of them.
a. God’s Promise – Verse 14a. But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ,
i. Paul first gives thanks to God who always leads. This speaks to God sovereignty and purpose. Look up the following verses – how do they show us that God always leads, and how He leads.
• Psalm 23
• Psalm 119:105
• Matthew 28:19-20
Take a moment to look back over the course of your life, both distant and recent and reflect on how you have seen the leading of the Lord.
ii. As we learned, the word here “lead” θριαμβεύω / thriambeuo – means to lead in a triumphal procession, to celebrate a triumph. 
Take a moment and think back through the word picture I shared of the original meaning. How should this counter discouragement? Whether a crisis, threat, difficulty, (fill in the blank _____________) How does this help us to face anything and everything without being overcome?
Reflect on the following verses:
• Romans 8:28-39
• 1 John 4:4
• 1 John 5:4
b. God’s Purpose – Verses 14b-16a But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.
i. Here Paul is still reflecting on the word picture – What picture did the incense of the Roman priests reflect?
ii. Paul says we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; What does this mean? Cf. verse 16. How is this aroma, metaphorically speaking, to be applied?
Look at the following verses and discuss:
• 1 John 4:7-11
• John 13:34-35
• John 3:16-21
iii. Make a list of ways you and your family can be the fragrance of Christ, particularly at this time in our world?
c. God’s Provision – Verses 16b-17. And who is adequate for these things? 17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.
i. What does Paul mean by this rhetorical question “And who is adequate for these things?”?
Cf. 2 Cor. 3:5.
ii. What does “in Christ” have to do with the adequacy of the Lord? Cf. Gal. 2:20.
iii. Try and think of some examples from Scripture where you see saints relying upon the adequacy of the Lord. What can we learn from them?
iv. Paul adds – For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God. What does the Word of God itself have to do with adequacy?
Go back over our passage and ask and answer the following questions:
1. Is there an example for me to follow?
2. Is there a sin to avoid?
3. Is there a promise to claim?
4. Is there a prayer to repeat?
5. Is there a command to obey?
6. Is there a condition to meet?
7. Is there a verse to memorize?
8. Is there an error to mark?
9. Is there a challenge to face?
Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. (2000). Vol. 4: Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker’s Greek New Testament library (199). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.
 Hendricks, Howard. Living By the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible (Kindle Locations 5193-5197). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.