TRUST GOD IF YOU CAN
Too often, the Church has been a stumbling block for people coming to know the real Jesus. We don’t have to allow hypocrites or cultural Christians to keep us from the life God has for us. Followers of Jesus can develop a genuine faith that transforms us and enables us to create the community He desires.
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.) If we are honest with ourselves, we all have areas in which we can grow to trust God more. In what areas do you struggle to trust God?
2.) What is your view of God (distant, near, angry, gentle, friend, holy, etc)? How have you come to that view of Him?
3.) Read John 1:17-18. These verses say that Jesus has revealed God to us. How does thinking about Jesus like this affect your view of God?
4.) Read Job 28:28 & Proverbs 1:7. How was the fear of God described in the message?
5.) What stood out to you from the message? Where are you struggling with this topic of trust?
6.) Read 1 Peter 4:15-19. There are three kinds of suffering described here: consequences (for the bad that we do), persecution (for the good that we do), circumstances (for the world in which we live). Are you facing any of these types of suffering? If so, which one and why?
7.) Read Psalm 142:1-7. Do you ever cry out to God like this? Why or why not?
John 1:17-18 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Job 28:28 And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
1 Peter 4:15-19 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
Psalm 142:1-7 I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him, I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
1.) Where do you struggle to trust God? Spend some time being honest with God about the area you are struggling in. Take the step this week to talk with one other trusted friend, who knows and follows God, about this.
2.) God is all-powerful, and He does care for us when we suffer. God is all-powerful and loving and allows us to suffer yet He can bring good out of that suffering. Do you wrestle with suffering in your own life or the world and believing that God is good? How can you take steps this week to apply what you heard in the message? Where do you need help or clarity?
For more on trusting God in the midst of suffering, go to ericbryant.org for the extended version of this message