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Finding God in the Dark

June 10, 2018 Speaker: Eric Naus Series: For Every Season

Passage: Psalm 22–22

Community Group Questions: For Every Season - Psalm 22 - "Finding God In The Dark"

Printing Instructions: To print these discussion questions for use in your Community Group or other study, first highlight the text, then right click and select "print" from the dropdown menu that appears.

Read Psalm 22:1-31 aloud as a group and then work through the following questions:

  1. Most Christians immediately recognize Psalm 22 as a prophesy describing the suffering of Christ on the cross. Before exploring this profound level of meaning in the Psalm, let’s consider it in it’s original context as a Psalm of lament composed by King David.  How would you describe the tone of this Psalm?  In which “season of life” is this type of Psalm especially relevant?
  2. In verses 1-2, David expresses some very raw, honest, emotional questions to God. Is it OK to question God like this?  If so, why are we often so hesitant to bring our honest questions to God?  Why is it significant that David says, “my God,” even while asking such provocative questions?
  3. In verses 3-11, David remembers God’s character, and he remembers God’s providential care over his life from the time of his birth until now. Why is it so important to remember God’s character when we’re going through seasons of pain and doubt?  What have you learned about God’s character when you’ve gone through seasons of suffering, especially those aspects of His character you otherwise would never have discovered?   
  4. In verses 12-21, David pleads for God to rescue him, describing his troubles in graphic detail. In your opinion, why does God invite us to plead with him for help?  How does Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow shed light on this topic (see Luke 18:1-8)?  Have you ever seen God answer prayer in your life after a prolonged period of seeking him in prayer?  Tell the story.
  5. In verses 22-31, the tone of the Psalm suddenly shifts to joy, confidence, praise, and celebration! Though David hasn’t yet been rescued from his enemies, he has received a flash of insight that God has “heard” his cries (see vs. 24), and therefore, David can rest his full confidence in God.  He even invites others to praise God too!  David is like a man lost at sea, stranded on a life raft, who knows the passing rescue plane has seen him – deliverance is just a matter of time because he’s been noticed.  How should David’s example inspire us in our own present-day troubles?  What can we learn from him about trusting God, even when our trials remain?
  6. Finally, Psalm 22 has been cherished by Christians through the centuries because of its powerful, clear, and graphic depiction of Jesus’ suffering on the cross. Look up the following passages in Matthew’s gospel, and compare them to the corresponding verses in Psalm 22:

Psalm 22:1

Matt. 27:46

Psalm 22:7

Matt. 27:39

Psalm 22:8

Matt. 27:43

Psalm 22:18

Matt. 27:35

 

In addition to these explicit parallels, Jesus’ quoting of Psalm 22:1 signals the fact that he considered the whole Psalm as a fitting expression of his experience on the cross.  If that’s the case, what do we learn in Psalm 22 about Jesus’ suffering for us, that we otherwise would not know?  How does this Psalm draw your heart closer to the Savior who loved you and gave his life for you (Gal. 2:20)?

  1. How does Jesus’ lament and suffering on the cross give Christian believers the absolute confidence that all their lament in life will ultimately turn into everlasting joy (see Rom. 6:5)? In your life, how has a view of Jesus’ suffering for you given you strength to endure your daily trials?

Prayer suggestion: Spend time sharing about the laments, pains, and trials you’re going through.  Pray for one another, and spend time thanking Jesus for his ultimate suffering for us as our substitute and representative on the cross.

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