We all will experience stressful and sometimes significantly trying times in our jobs. What if fear doesn’t have to have the loudest voice? Phil Wright, one of our spiritual overseers at Gateway, shares his story that will show us how we can trust God’s way, even when conventional wisdom says otherwise.
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. Share about a time when you were put in a compromising position where doing the right thing would be hard and the wrong thing would be easy. What did you do?
2. What stood out to you from the message?
3. Read Psalm 46.
◦ Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):
▪ Who is talking?
▪ What is the circumstance?
▪ Any repeated phrases?
▪ What surprised you?
▪ What stood out to you?
◦ Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean)
▪ What questions do you have?
▪ Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points?
▪ What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this?
▪ What do you learn about yourself and your choices?
◦ Now make some applications (what’s my response)
▪ How do you respond to what you are reading?
▪ How does this apply to your life?
▪ What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this?
▪ Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?
4. Read Numbers 13:25-33, 14:1-9, 20-24 (These events take place after Moses sends men to spy on the land God is about to give them to see what it is like). Phil Wright, in his message, observed that, “Our beliefs give birth to thoughts, those thoughts energize our feelings and our feelings animate our actions.”
- Trace this process (beliefs to thoughts, thoughts to feelings, and feelings to actions) for the spies in the story and compare their process to Caleb’s. What is the result of their actions?
5. Read Romans 12:2. We all have narratives in our heads when it comes to making difficult choices in our lives. As Phil explained, “Narratives have much power, either for us, or over us” and we’re faced with the choice of turning to fear and trusting in unreliable sources or turning to hope and trusting in God as the source of our strength and wisdom.
- What is the narrative that tends to play in your head when facing difficult decisions? What truths about God or from the Bible can you turn to in those times that will help you believe the right narrative and walk that out?
6. How is God inviting you to trust Him in deeper ways right now? What beliefs about God or yourself need to change in order that you might respond with trust?
Psalm 46 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
TAKE A NEXT STEP
1. Now that you have explored the ways God is inviting you to trust Him more deeply. Take time to write down the places you are having difficulty trusting. Then, find passages in Scripture (the Psalms are a great place to start) that reflect on God’s character and use those words to write out a prayer. Admit where there is doubt and fear and ask God to re-write the narrative of your mind with His good narrative.
2. For a great, in-depth study on Numbers 13, check out the Bible Project Bible Study on Trusting God in the Wilderness: https://bibleproject.com/bible-studies/reflections/trusting-god-in-the-wilderness/
FOR THE PARENTS
Hey, families! Here’s a look at what we’re covering with your kids so you can help them continue to grow at home during the week.
This week, kids learn about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s devotion to God and how they ended up in the fiery furnace.
Because sometimes you and your kid need a conversation starter that isn’t, “So . . . how was church?”
- When was a time you felt alone?
- When was a time you felt God was with you?
This month, your kids are memorizing the Bible verse
Nahum 1:7 (NIV), in case you want to work on them together.
EC: “The Lord is good..” Nahum 1:7a
Elem: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he know those who trust in him.” Nahum 1:7
Next week, kids will learn about Daniel’s interpretation of the writing on the wall.