unchristian: reframing our faith through trust

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” “Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.” “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” “Look around and be distressed. Look inside and be depressed. Look at Jesus and be at rest”. These statements were made by Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch believer who, along with her family, helped many Jews escape the Nazis during World War II. The Hiding Place is her biography which tells the story of the family’s efforts to save Jews and Corrie’s time imprisoned in Ravensbrück concentration camp. Corrie could have been full of anxiety because of her circumstances, and yet her faith caused her to live with a remarkable reliance on God. How can you live a life of trust in God, rather than a life filled with anxiety?

SCRIPTURE

25Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34

GROUP QUESTIONS

How would you rate your anxiety level on a scale of 1-10 (1 = “I’m carefree” and 10 = “I’m anxious about everything”)?

Read Matthew 6:25-34. What does the word “Therefore” imply? Do you see the connection between Matthew 6:24 and these verses?

The Greek word for “worry” is “merimnaō”, which is rooted in “merizō” (to divide). We learned last week that Jesus wants you to be single-mindedly devoted to God. How does worry take your focus off of God?

Is there a difference between worry and concern? If so, what distinguishes the two?

Jesus didn’t just tell you not to worry, He gave you the antidote for worry (Matthew 6:33). What is it? What does it mean to seek His kingdom first?

When Jesus said “Do not worry about tomorrow”, does this mean that you should not plan for your future? (See Proverbs 6:6-8 and 1 Timothy 5:8.)

APPLICATION

Aaron asked on Sunday, “Are you willing to trust Him?” If you are, a practical way to put your concerns in God’s hands is to remind yourself of His promises. Read Philippians 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:7. Write out those promises on note cards and post them where you can see them in your house, car, and at work. Mediate on them daily.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

 What are the four things in this passage that Jesus commands us not to worry about? Which one do you tend to worry about the most?

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In Matthew 6:30, Jesus uses the phrase, “you of little faith”. He says this three other times in Matthew. Look up the passages below, and write a brief synopsis of the circumstances surrounding the statement. What do you learn from these passages about trust?

  • Matthew 8:23-27
  • Matthew 14:22-36
  • Matthew 16:5-12

How can you tell if a concern is turning into worry? Read through the questions below. If you answer these positively, you are probably headed down the road to worry. Confess your sin to God, and choose trust instead of worry.

  • Is your concern the first thing on your mind in the morning and the last thing on your mind before you go to bed?
  • Do you think about your concern multiple times in the day?
  • Do you bring up your concern in almost every conversation you have?

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