We all grew up afraid of something as children, perhaps monsters in the closet or spiders crawling outside. But generally our parents would make us feel safe. Now, as adults, we have to encounter a whole new set of monsters, like relational conflict or financial ruin. But God offers us a totally different perspective, one where we are more than conquerors. Will we run and quake with fear, or will we find boldness in the security that God offers us?
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. What were you most afraid of as a kid? Are you still afraid of it now?
2. As an adult, what do you fear most—loneliness, financial stress/ruin, failure, rejection, abandonment, having no purpose, or something else?
3. What is a challenging situation you’re encountering right now? What is your fear in it? If fear got to decide how you respond, what would you do? If you had no fears whatsoever, what would you do?
4. Read Isaiah 41:10. God promises over and over that He’s with us. What does that mean for your life, and specifically for any hard situations you are currently experiencing?
5. Read Numbers 13:27-31 and 14:1-3. When we encounter seemingly insurmountable obstacles, we often complain and assume the worst. Do you think the fears described in the aforementioned scripture sound realistic? What about your fears?
6. Read Numbers 14:5-11, 20-24. Joshua and Caleb encountered the same overwhelming forces as the terrified scouts, but they chose to believe God’s character, despite what their circumstances told them. This week, how can you work on shifting the way you see your trials and challenges so that you, too, can be blessed with all that you need, just like Joshua and Caleb?
Isaiah 41:10 – Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Numbers 13:27-31 and 14:1-3 – This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!…But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?”
Numbers 14:5-11, 20-24 – Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?…Then the Lord said, “I will pardon them as you have requested. But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the Lord’s glory, not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice. They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will ever see it. But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land.
As you’re beginning to apply this week’s message, dig deeper by working through the “Trust God” outcome on Gateway’s Spiritual Growth Path at gatewaychurch.com/path
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/trust-god