Trusting the Father
A disciple trusts the Father’s loving providence in every area of life.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
· Scriptures Used: Matthew 6:25-34, Luke 18:17, Mark 14:36
· “Do not worry” is a command of Jesus that we often break
· Yet his picture of “the good life” involves living one day at a time, free from worry
· Even when we have food/drink, find other things to worry about (e.g. Maslow’s Hierarchy)
· Jesus connects a lack of worry to fully trusting in our loving heavenly Father
· When we live under God’s reign (in his kingdom) we have his resources to help us daily
· Our worries are an opportunity to grow in our relationship with God
Putting it into practice:
Every time we worry, it’s an opportunity to draw close to God. This week, each time you find yourself worrying, do your best to direct your attention back to your loving heavenly father. Remember the reasons he can be trusted. Consider the birds and flowers, and how he cares for them. State your willingness to do what he wants (seek his kingdom) and trust him for the rest.
Each night before you go to bed, take some time to consider when you heard the voice of worry through your day. Turn those situations over to him in prayer, and ask him to help you learn to trust him more tomorrow.
For personal reflection:
1. Find 20-30 minutes of silence and solitude with a Bible and journal (or blank piece of paper). Quiet your heart before God and ask him to speak to you. Read Matthew 6:25-34 slowly and repeatedly, and allow it to sink in. Try to picture the birds and flowers Jesus refers to. How does God see them? How does he provide for them (through all seasons and all kinds of weather)? If they could feel emotions as we do, how do you think they would feel?
2. In a column on the left of your paper make a list of the things that cause you worry (whether often or occasionally). Now, consider how God sees those things, and how he sees you. On the right side of each item, write a short sentence that captures why you can let go of worry, and trust God with that situation.
Small group discussion questions:
First, check in with each other and pray for each other (since mutually supportive relationships are at the heart of a small group). Give each person opportunity to share a highlight of the last week, a challenge they are facing, and anything else they would like prayer for. Then pray.
Have you ever prayed for something only to discover later it wasn’t what you really wanted?
Scripture: Read Matthew 7:7-11
Jesus is contradicting an all-too-common misconception that God likes to play cruel tricks on his children—giving them something harmful or useless when they look to him for providence. Have you ever struggled with this? What are some other misconceptions about God that keep people from praying?
While everyone experiences God’s grace and providence to some extent, here Jesus is specifically talking about the good gifts he gives “to those who ask him.” It seems that, although God knows what we need before we ask, he still wants us to “ask, seek, and knock.” Why do you think this is?
How do you think this passage connects to what we talked about on Sunday (see reverse)?
On Sunday, Jeremy referenced Luke 18:17: “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” What are the traits of childlikeness that you think are important to living “in the kingdom of God” (under his reign)? What do you think we miss when we are too “adult”?
Making it personal:
What are the things you find hardest to pray about or trust God with personally?
End with a prayer asking God to help you grow in your ability to trust him and not worry.