HOW DO I KNOW I’M HEARING FROM GOD?
Series: You Asked For It

How do we hear from God in a world of noise and multiple, sometimes conflicting voices?

Discussion Guide

What are some reasons believers want to hear from God? What do you think are some fears or concerns that believers may have when it comes to hearing from God? For example, do you think people worry that they would miss out on God’s plan for them if they do not “hear” correctly? Where do you think these fears or concerns come from?

Psalm 23 depicts God as the shepherd who provides and cares for his people. The role of the shepherd is to guide the flock to food and water and keep the sheep safe from predators. What does Psalm 23 tell us about God’s willingness and ability to guide us as we navigate the challenges of life? How then should we respond to him as our shepherd? Think of the many characters in the Bible whom God took the initiative to communicate to so that he could lead them in his plan. Do you trust that God would also take the initiative to reach you and lead you? Why? How does knowing that God is willing and able to communicate to us enable us to seek his guidance with assurance that he will lead us? Why does knowing that God is bigger than our mistakes assure us that we need not be anxious that we may hear him incorrectly?

1) God speaks to us through the Bible

What do you think are the dangers if we ignore God’s will that is already revealed in God’s Word? If we can already hear from God through Scripture and yet we don’t bother to know and practise it, what does this say about our willingness to obey God in anything? How can we grow in our submission to Scripture? What can the LG do to encourage one another to obey all that God says in his Word?

2) God speaks to us through other means (eg prayer, life circumstances and godly counsel)

How can you cultivate spiritual disciplines such as prayer to draw closer to God and position yourself to hear from him? How can the LG support each other to do so? Who are some people you allow to speak into your life? How do you know you can trust them? If we are seeking God’s guidance for a certain decision, why does it benefit to hear from Christians who show signs of walking right with God?

 

Reflection Questions

How does knowing that God is willing and able to communicate to us enable us to seek his guidance with assurance that he will lead us? Why does knowing that God is bigger than our mistakes assure us that we need not be anxious that we may hear him incorrectly?

1) God speaks to us through the Bible

If we can already hear from God through Scripture and yet we don’t bother to know and practise it, what does this say about our willingness to obey God in anything? How can we grow in our submission to Scripture?

2) God speaks to us through other means (eg prayer, life circumstances and godly counsel)

How can you cultivate spiritual disciplines such as prayer to draw closer to God and position yourself to hear from him? If we are seeking God’s guidance for a certain decision, why does it benefit to hear from other Christians who show signs of walking right with God?

WHY FOLLOW JESUS WHEN IT’S HARD TO?
Series:You Asked For It
Jesus calls us to follow Him, which is often filled with challenges. Is it worth following Jesus when the cost is high?
 
Discussion Guide
 
Following Jesus can be difficult
What are some common reasons why people find it hard or restrictive to follow Jesus? Do you agree? What are some areas you struggle to follow Jesus in? Following Jesus may create tension between us and our closest friends and loved ones because they do not understand our commitment to Jesus (Matthew 10:34-36; Luke 14:25-27). Share an instance where your faith led to a problem in your relationships. How do you think you had grown through the incident? Why do you think being a Christ-follower is often filled with challenges? Was there ever a time you felt like compromising or giving up on your faith when the going got tough? Who or what helped you to tide through that period? What did you learn from that experience?
 
Discipleship is essentially a relationship
Why do you think some tend to see discipleship as a bunch of rules and regulations or a set of do’s and don’ts? At the heart of discipleship is not our ability to put on our best behaviour but our willingness to commit to Jesus. Why do you think this personal commitment is important? How would it help the believer to hold onto God when hardships or afflictions come? If we acknowledge Jesus as our Lord then we are His servants who do God’s will as we are empowered by the Holy Spirt. How can the LG cultivate such dedication to Jesus together? How can you cooperate with the Spirit who wants to empower you for godly living and for ministry? How are you being receptive in allowing the Spirit to guide you? What tangible steps are you taking to draw closer to God this week? How can the LG help you?
 
Jesus is worth it
Read Rom 12:1. How has God shown His mercy to you? To what extent has He displayed grace towards you? Sometimes we may think that God only wants to take from us or that He is not faithful in giving us what we want. But what does the cross tell us about how much He has already given to us or the love that He has already poured out generously on us? When we compare Christ’s sacrifice for us with what we go through in order to follow Him, which do we think weigh more? Why? This doesn’t mean we belittle or disregard our suffering. Jesus understands our difficulties because He also went through suffering in His obedience to God. How can the LG point each other to Jesus when the going gets tough? How can we learn from Jesus’ example when coping with hardships (1 Pet 2:21-25)?

Reflection Questions

 
Following Jesus can be difficult
What are some common reasons why people find it hard or restrictive to follow Jesus?
 
Discipleship is essentially a relationship
At the heart of discipleship is not our ability to put on our best behaviour but our willingness to commit to Jesus. Why do you think this personal commitment is important? 
 
Jesus is worth it
Sometimes we may think that God only wants to take from us or that He is not faithful in giving us what we want. But what does the cross tell us about how much He has already given to us or the love that He has already poured out generously on us

IF GOD IS GOOD, WHY IS THERE SUFFERING
Text: Genesis 3:14-19
Series: You Asked For It

Suffering is certain in anyone’s life – we may be able to mitigate suffering but we cannot escape it. During such moments, we may question God’s goodness. Since suffering is inevitable, how should we make sense of it?

Discussion Guide

Where does suffering come from?

Briefly share what is one suffering that you are currently going through or have gone through in the past? If not, what is one suffering that you see in the world right now? When man first sinned by rebelling against God and disobeying his command (Gen 2:16-17; 3:6), God who is holy and righteous punished their sin. Read God’s judgment pronounced in Gen 3:14-19: 1) Constant struggle between the forces of evil and the human race (v15), 2) Mankind will experience physical and mental suffering on this earth until they die (v16-19), 3) The ground is cursed, bringing imbalance to all creation (v17-18). How do the above-mentioned play out in the suffering we experience and/or witness today? How do you feel about living in a fallen world?

God’s attributes and suffering

Sometimes we suffer because of our own sins. Sometimes we suffer through no fault of our own but from the sins of others. Why do you think people’s experience or witness of suffering might cause them to doubt God’s goodness? How does knowing that God is all knowing and eternal help you to understand suffering? From the Bible, we learn of accounts where God used suffering and evil for the good of those who put their trust in Him. Can you recall some of these accounts? What do they say about God’s character in times of hardship and how his people should respond? What is a word or encouragement or comfort you can glean from the Bible?

Coping with suffering

When we have God in our life, suffering can be meaningful. We may not have all the answers to why we suffer, but we have God who walks with us in our pain and works in us for His glory. Which of the points resonates most with you: Through suffering, (i) God draws us closer to him, (ii) God trains us in his holy character (Heb 12:10), (iii) God offers us the opportunity to trust in his sovereignty (Isa 55:8-9). Why? How can we learn from the example of Job when we wonder why bad things happen to good people (Job 42:1-3)? How does knowing that there will be an end to suffering and evil (Rev 21:1-4) help us to cope with present afflictions? How can we encourage for one another during times of suffering? How will we respond when our pre-believing friend asks: If God is good, why is there suffering? Looking to the cross where Jesus suffered and died for our sins, how can we gain strength and courage to persevere in faith through our hardships?

Reflection Questions

Where does suffering come from?

When man first sinned by rebelling against God and disobeying his command (Gen 2:16-17; 3:6), God who is holy and righteous punished their sin. Read Gen 3:14-19 – how does God’s pronouncement of judgment in these verses play out in the suffering we experience or see today?

God’s attributes and suffering

Why do you think people’s experience or witness of suffering might cause them to doubt God’s goodness? How does knowing that God is all knowing and eternal help you to understand suffering?

Coping with suffering

How can we learn from the example of Job when we wonder why bad things happen to good people (Job 42:1-3)? How does knowing that there will be an end to suffering and evil (Rev 21:1-4) help us to cope with present afflictions? Looking to the cross where Jesus suffered and died for our sins, how can we gain strength and courage to persevere in faith through our hardships?