This week's Small Group Guide is composed of questions from this week's GPS Guide. The questions relate to the Scripture for that particular day. You can download the full week's GPS as a printable document for the context of each question below (in the printable version, the recommended small group questions are marked with a special bullet point.)
The Common English Bible renders one of the great words of the Old Testament, the Hebrew hesed in verse 22, as “the faithful love of the LORD (Yahweh).” Other English translations use expressions like “steadfast love” or “unfailing love.” The writer somehow trusted in God’s unending love even in the rubble of a burned, ruined city, no doubt with unburied bodies still in the streets. How have you been able to hold to God’s steadfast, unfailing love even in your worst times?
“When Pope John Paul II spoke at Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, he began and ended by quoting from this psalm. He commented, “We are overcome by the echo of the heart-rending laments of so many.” But we are not overwhelmed because we know that “evil will not have the last word. Out of the depths of pain and sorrow, the believer’s heart cries out: ‘I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”’”* What has helped you learn to trust that evil will not have the last word, that you can always trust in God’s love and concern?
Few feelings are lonelier than the sense that you are alone in your problems and must face them with no support or help. Can you recall times when you have felt like the Israelites in Isaiah 40:27: “My way is hidden from the Lord; my God ignores my predicament”? Are there areas of your life today that feel that way to you? In what ways can you reconnect with the Creator who “doesn’t grow tired or weary” of caring for you?
Apparently the letter to the Hebrews spoke to people disowned by their families and facing the Roman Empire’s fury. The writer said Jesus “got” their discouragement and fear. “When we have a sad and sorry tale to tell, when life has drenched us with tears, we do not go to a God who is incapable of understanding what has happened; we go to a God who has been there…. It makes God able to help. He knows our problems because he has come through them.”** In what ways does Jesus' experience-based understanding make you more confident that he can help you when you hurt?
* For deeper study, see Christian counselor Dwight Carlson’s book Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded?
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