If you’ve walked with God for more than a few years, you can likely remember times when your heart sought its rest in God only to discover that God seemed distant or even absent. (You might be in one of those times right now!)
Sometimes, we know there are reasons for the distance, whether due to our own disregard or disobedience. But other times we can’t explain it. Why does it seem like God is far off? What does it mean? What do we do about it?
If you’ve ever asked these kinds of questions, you’re not alone. In fact, Psalm 42/43 not only asks these deep questions of the soul but also suggests—surprisingly—that the way into the deeper waters of God may, in fact, go through drought.
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SEE IT // BE IT
(WEEKLY COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE)
Title: Psalms: For the Soul’s Deep Thirst // Psalm 42 and 43
ARRIVAL / SOCIAL TIME 15-20 minutes
The questions in the drought can lead us to the deluge of truth.
SERMON REVIEW 5-10 minutes
More than 1,600 years ago, St. Augustine famously wrote in his Confessions: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” And yet… If you’ve walked with God for more than a few years, you can likely remember times when your heart sought its rest in God only to discover that God seemed distant or even absent. (You might be in one of those times right now!) Sometimes, we know there are reasons for the distance, whether due to our own disregard or disobedience. Mother Teresa is a telling example of someone who struggled through dry seasons but grew deeper roots in God. Psalm 42/43 not only asks deep questions of the soul but also suggests—surprisingly—that the way into the deeper waters of God may, in fact, go through drought.
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 IT – Questions 10-15 minutes
Picture (What is the story saying?): What is making the deer thirsty? Why do you think the Psalmist is drawn to the metaphor of a panting deer? What do you think is happening in his soul as the picture goes from longing and thirst to the deluge of the breakers?
Mirror (Where am I in the story?): Have you ever thirsted for something like the deer in the Psalm? What awakens your awareness of the longings in your soul? How have you tried to get longings fulfilled? How have you found truth on the other side of drought?
Window (How does the story change how I see those around me?): What do you need to say to your own soul in response to God’s invitation to know him in a deeper way? Who around you needs direction to the source of living water? We can’t take someone’s longing so how can we share the burden?
BE IT – Practice
Change UP // Exercise 5 minutes
Read a Psalm this week and take at least 5 minutes to write down your feelings toward yourself and God. Think of a picture that represents your relationship with God and write about it.
Change IN // Group Activity 10 minutes
Share your longing. What are you believing God for that you haven’t seen answered yet? Pray for each other to find deeper roots in God while he deals with your longing.
Change OUT // Life Application Assignment 5 minutes
Ask God to bring to mind 8-10 people who you could be praying for this week. Or if you have an ongoing prayer list ask God who you need to add to it this week. If God gives you a burden for a particular person on that list, ask how you can help bear a burden for them either through prayer or meeting with them to offer encouragement or just a friendly conversation.
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.