Life Together in a World of Hurt


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INTERACTING WITH THE SERMON
SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
In this weeks sermon we continued in our Life Together series and had a chance to hear from Pastor Jonathan Rue, who taught from Romans 12. There are many ways to get hurt in the world we live in. Often times it is not a matter of if, but when you will get hurt. So how do you react? Christian community/the church is meant to be a community of love. One major way that relates to our hurt is that the church is a place of healing. We share compassion with people and we show love to one another, especially when people are experiencing difficulty. The very worst thing you can do when you get hurt is to take it on yourself, to isolate yourself from God and from community. God has given us the church in order to help us deal with Pain. When we are going through times of suffering the first thing we should do is open that up to God and to community and receive the healing that comes from that.
In 5 minutes or less, briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.

GETTING THE CONVERSATION STARTED
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.

•Was there anything Jonathan said in his sermon that stood out to you? Briefly share.
•Are you the kind of person that when someone is hurting, they can come talk to you?
•How do you normally respond when you are hurting? Do you take your difficulties to God and to community or do you tend to isolate yourself?

SCRIPTURE STUDY

Read Psalm 30(TNIV):
1 I will exalt you, LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 LORD my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 LORD, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8 To you, LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me;
LORD, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.

Context: It is thought that in Psalm 30, the word temple is referring to David’s own house. David’s sense of security in his own house would have been enormous. If in a period of great blessing David was filled with pride, the Lord may have chosen to humble him in some way. Whatever the case, it is clear from this text that David had gone through a significant low period and God had delivered him. David uses some very expressive language in this Psalm and gives people a great example of taking our despair to the Lord. David’s desire to call out to the Lord is also contrasted with the temptation to escape into isolation and run from the Lord. But David learns that even in our security we must be calling out to the Lord and that in times of despair, the only way to run is to run toward the Father.

•v. 1-3 – Why will David exalt the Lord? How does God respond to David’s plea? What of God’s character traits are revealed in these first 3 verses? What has your experience been when you take your hurt to the Lord? Has God responded to you in a similar way as He has here?
•v. 4 & 5 – David calls on the saints to sing and praise God because through this experience of hurt and restoration, God reveals that His anger quickly moves to favor and that His favor is everlasting. What kind of hope does this give us as we are going through difficult hardship? Does God allow us to experience a certain amount of pain and if so, why?
•v. 6 & 7 – What dangers can arise when things are going well in our lives and we feel a sense of security? Have you ever interpreted Gods blessing and assurance as your own good work and self-assurance?
•v. 8-10 – “Down into the pit” can be described as escaping into isolation. What do these verses have to say about isolation in times of pain as compared to calling out to the Lord in those times?
•Think about your own experiences and some of the insights of the sermon. Do you find it easier to bring your hurt to the Lord or to escape into isolation?
•Under what conditions would you use words such as “depths,” “dead,” and “pit” to describe your plight? What are some other ways that you express your hurt and frustration to God? How do you think He receives it?
•v. 11 & 12 – Describe the transformation David’s goes through. Have you ever been delivered from a painful season in this way?

MINISTRY APPLICATION

Below you’ll see some options for ministry time with your group. We always encourage you to reserve time in your group to pray for one another and wait on the Holy Spirit.

•As a group, take some time to meditate in silence about God and after several moments take time to share any words or pictures people may have received from the Lord.

•If you struggle to share your true feelings with the Lord, ask Him to reveal His longing for a transparent relationship with you.