The Power Of God's Presence
Passage: Haggai 2:1–2:9
Community Group Questions: Haggai 2:1-9 “The Power of God’s Presence”
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Read Haggai 2:1-9 aloud as a group and then work through the following questions:
- What comes to mind when you hear the expression the ‘good ol’ days’? As you grow older, do you find it difficult to find contentment and excitement in what God is doing right now in your life, without longing for the former ‘good ol’ days’?
- The primary issue we encounter in Haggai chapter 2 is one of discouragement rather than disobedience. Notice vs. 3, where some of the older Israelites were comparing the current temple project with the glories of Solomon’s temple, which they would have seen as little children before it was destroyed. They were remembering the “good ‘ol days” and feeling discouraged about the task at hand. Even though they were obedient to God in rebuilding, they still felt very discouraged by the results. Do you relate to the people’s discouragement? Have you ever found yourself in a situation in which, from your perspective, you did everything God called you to do, and yet, you were burdened with setbacks, frustrations and struggles? What should we do in times like these?
- The power of God’s presence is the central promise of verses 4-9. Specifically, we find the provision of strength (v. 4), courage (v. 5), and hope (vv.6-9) that all flow from the power of God’s presence. Given the discouraging situation the Israelites found themselves in as they began to rebuild the temple, which provision do you think they needed the most? How about your situation…which of these is what you need most for such a time as this?
- The promise of God’s presence is a thread we find throughout the Bible. Can you recall other people in the Bible that were given a similar promise? You may consider the story of Moses, Gideon, Joshua, the 12 disciples. What encouragement do you find in recalling some of these stories, and the consistency of God’s presence?
- It’s often easier to talk about experiencing the power of God’s presence, than to actually experience it afresh in our lives. Share with the group some practical, yet personal steps you have taken that have proven to be helpful for you to experience God’s presence in your life, particularly through seasons of discouragement.
Prayer suggestion: Share areas of discouragement in your lives, and spend time praying for God’s strengthening presence in those situations.