Heights.
Public speaking.
Identity theft.
Terrorism.
Snakes.
Hell.
Bankruptcy.
Death.
God.
Clowns.
FOMO.

The list of our fears is long and varied, ranging from the most trivial to the
most dire.

And in our day, people live with it, exploit it, and try to deny it.
But what do you fear? In what order? And what do the Psalms tells us about
our fears?

This week, we’ll be reading Psalm 34 together, for fears.

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SEE IT // BE IT

(WEEKLY COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE)

Title: For Fear // Psalm 34

ARRIVAL / SOCIAL TIME 15-20 minutes
Spend the first 15 minutes or so of your time together catching up and socializing with one another. Also, find time to catch up together on how the assignments from last week turned out.

SERMON REVIEW 5-10 minutes
When David wrote Psalm 34, he was in fear for his life as he sought refuge in the city of Gath. Having more references to fear than any other Psalm, Psalm 34 describes two failing strategies for dealing with fear: the Way of the Lion (vs. 10) and the Way of the Lie (vs. 13). We often either strive to become strong enough or smart enough or wealthy enough to power through our fears, or we lie to ourselves, trying to deceive ourselves into thinking we’re not really afraid. In the end, we are still fearful.

The only way to overcome our fears is by trading them for the fear of the Lord. Fear of the Lord involves taking God with the utmost seriousness as the foundation of our very lives. We seek Him (vs. 4) by seeking to know Him and His ways. We taste and see that the Lord is good (vs. 8) by giving up all sense of our own control and replacing it with surrender to God. We sing to the Lord, together (vs. 1-3) because we are not meant to face “many afflictions” (vs. 19) on our own. As we surrender to the fear of God, we experience God delivering us from all our fears.

THE MAIN THOUGHT keep this in mind as you facilitate discussion.
In the fear of God, we find freedom from the fear of all else.

SEE ITQuestions 10-15 minutes
Picture (What is the story saying?): What are the two ways that people try to manage their fears? What are we to replace our fears with? What does it mean to “taste and see that the LORD is good”? Why is community essential to living fearlessly?

Mirror (Where am I in the story?): Which of your fears have you tried to manage through the way of the lion (being tough enough, smart enough, etc.)? Where have you deceived yourself into thinking you’re not afraid? How have you sought the Lord about your fears? How do you regularly taste and see that the Lord is good?

Window (How does the story change how I see those around me?): Who around you seems to be in bondage to fear? How could you speak life into them and encourage them to trust in the goodness of the Lord?

BE IT – Practice
Change UP // Exercise 5 minutes
Sing together one (or both) of the following songs on Psalm 34—By Shane and Shane or Jenn Johnson/Bethel.

Change IN // Group Activity 10 minutes
Share how you’ve tasted and seen the goodness of God. Share specific examples of God’s faithfulness, goodness, kindness, and graciousness to you.

Change OUT // Life Application Assignment 5 minutes
Pray for anyone who came to mind in the Window Activity. Also, pray for our country and its leaders as they make decisions concerning many of the fears that consume our citizens (terrorism, school shootings, pandemics, etc.) Pray for God’s wisdom and peace to prevail and for people to seek the fear of the Lord.

CLOSING PRAYER 5 minutes
Take a few minutes to gather any prayer requests and pray for each other to SEE IT and BE IT this week.

Jon Stallsmith

Jon Stallsmith