"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

13 April 2014

By Faith or By Sight?

We are about half -way through our Bible Study for the Got Teens?! small group that I lead in my home.

It has been an excellent study so far!  (see sidebar for book details).

Here are the notes for Lesson 5 which centered around balancing faith with sight.

I began the group by asking which game(s) they used to play as children, in the dark...and why did you like it (or not)?

Answers were Manhunt, Hide and Seek, Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

Two of us liked that there was a sense of adventure...of risk....one person said she didn't play games in the dark nor would she have liked it as she would have been scared.

This was a great lead in to the thoughts expressed in the study...sometimes we have to just trust and walk by faith....with no seen things.....and other times we can see evidence of God at work.

  • We can use creation..the world around us, the universe, as evidence of God's work.  Creation is a perfect example of  "things seen".  
  • Question 2 had us exploring Psalm 145:4

photo courtesy of spiritual memoirs blog

It is our job as moms to share with our teens (and younger children) the things of God...the mighty works He has done for us......from Creation to the unseen things like Hope, Peace, Joy.

Non-believers might not agree that God created the heavens and the earth, so our actions and words will need to point them to God's Love. They will also get a glimpse of God based on how we, as Believers, face our trials and the "storms of life".

  • Discussion of #3 centered around things we cannot see....things we need to have faith for.  I gave the example of something God created that we can't see:  Wind.  We cannot see the wind but we can know its effects on us or the earth...we can see the results of wind...we can feel the wind.  It is no accident that God uses the word "wind" to describe the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2).  We can't see the Holy Spirit but we can see the fruit from trusting in Him....we can see the results of the Holy Spirit's working in us, our teens, our spouse, our families.....the church as a whole....

  • This lead in to discussing question 5 which centered around Hebrews 11:1....I have this verse memorized in the King James Version but here it is in simple language:

photo courtesy of blossom art via deviant art
HOPE is the power behind faith.

We can't see hope yet without it we can get discouraged or bitter.

Faith is having a confidence...a trust...in things we cannot see....in God....a knowing that He works ALL THINGS for good.  It might be a horrible situation we are in or someone we care about is in, but there will always be some purpose to it. We might not know what that purpose is while still on this earth in our humanness, but we can have the CONFIDENCE of knowing that God holds us.  And Jesus prays for us!!  He makes intercession to the Father on our behalf.  That is good news!

  • #6 centered around the fact that we do walk by faith and not by sight.  We discussed in depth about how getting to that complete trust in Christ comes from RESTING IN HIM.  That intimacy that we need to draw closer to Jesus and thus, trust in Him more.  This question is an example of how one lesson in the study builds on another.  Unless you have a good grasp of what it means to fully rest in Him, and unless you are consistently practicing the Presence of God...fully resting in Him....you will have difficulty fully trusting in Him and hearing from Him.  We need to be in Him to hear His plans and purposes for our lives.
I then wrapped up our discussion with question 7 and with 2 of us sharing about  the Scriptures found in the Dig Deeper section.

  • Psalm 31:4 is summed up like this:

photo via pinterest

This is a declarative statement!!

We can have confidence and say with all of our heart, mind, and soul that we are trusting in God.  That He is our God!!

and...we need to be telling others about our God...about His marvelous works, both seen and unseen.

Let's strike the balance....let's have the faith to pursue the things we cannot see and speak about the things that we CAN see.

Isaiah 65:24 says that before we even call on God, He hears us.  And He knows.  Sometimes all we need to pray is "God".  He knows.  

Are you walking by faith and sight??  

as with all Small Group Notes under that label, you do have permission to copy this post.


Dianna said...

What a beautiful study to be doing. I love the balance of it all. Thank you so much for sharing this particular lesson here with us, Faith.

Susanne said...

Those are great questions and I'll bet made great discussion.

Carla said...

Good things to think about...