Bad Plan (part 4): Reason To Fear

TO START

What are you afraid of? Big or little.

(If you want, you can play a game. Read a list of things people might be afraid of and have group members stand if they’re afraid of that thing.)

Which of your fears are ridiculous/unreasonable?

Which fears are more valid?

 

TO DISCUSS

This week we looked at one of the most well-known of all the stories in the Bible. Did you notice anything you hadn’t noticed before as we considered not the story of David and Goliath but rather the story of Saul and Goliath?

  • Do you feel like you understand Saul? Do you relate to him? If so, how?
  • What do you imagine he was feeling as Goliath mocked him, his army, and his God?

We said Sunday, “Saul ends up living in fear because he’s exempted himself from God’s power.” How did that happen? What did Saul do to separate himself from God?

Have you ever exempted yourself from God’s power by distancing yourself from God’s presence?  What did that look like?

What role does pride play in fear? Has your pride ever stirred up fear in you? Share an example.

We concluded in the sermon, “Fear reigns where God doesn’t.”

  • Think of some things we could let reign instead of God. Make a list.
  • Why might putting that thing/person/pursuit in charge lead to fear?

According to our discussion of this passage, God’s presence enables courage. If that’s true, when does fear make sense? When does fear not make sense?

Share a time when you were afraid for no good reason. How did you come to realize you didn’t need to fear anymore?

Consider this quote from Samuel Johnson about courage: “Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other. “

What do you think? Is it true? Why or why not?

We said Sunday, Obedience makes you brave.

What does that mean? Why is that true? What’s so inspiring about obedience?

Share a time when knowing you were acting in obedience to God gave you courage.

Right now, what do you wish you were brave enough to do? What’s holding you back?

 

TO READ

Read Matthew 14:22-33

What does Jesus tell the apostles when they cry out in fear?

What’s the relationship between fear, courage, God’s presence and obedience in this story?

What inspires courage?

 

TO PRAY

How does this prayer (the one we said together on Sunday) make you feel?

  • Is this a prayer you need to pray? Why or why not?
  • Is it one you’ve prayed before (in one way or another)? If so, share how you saw it answered.

Father in heaven,

I’m sick of living in fear.

I crave the courage that comes from your presence.

I pledge to do your will. To seek your face.

And as I do, make me brave because I’m not alone.