For Your Connect Groups – 19 March 2017

This week, we began a two-part mini-series looking at the Book of Habakkuk.  May these notes, reminders and questions assist your conversation, meditation and prayer as you meet together this week.

Pray Together

  • What are some of the church needs you’re aware of?
  • Who in the church needs your intercession?
  • What are you and your loved ones praying for at the moment?
  • What wider situations can you pray into?

Read Together

Today we looked at Habakkuk 1:1-2:1.  In our text, we see Habakkuk wrestling, trying to reconcile what he knows about God with what God is saying and doing.  Please take a moment to re-read the text together.

  • Was there anything that particularly resonated with you in the sermon, or as you re-read it now?

Don’t forget if you want to listen again, or if you missed the sermon, you can listen to it here or via our podcast.

Take It to The Lord in Prayer

Habakkuk’s main question to God is “how can You use such a wicked people as the Babylonians to judge Your relatively righteous people, Judah?”  For God, Whom Habakkuk knows to be “of purer eyes than than to see evil and cannot look at wrong,” to use evil for His purposes seems impossible to understand.

Habakkuk’s response in this is to take it to God.  We heard how Habakkuk is one of several examples of people who take their hardest and most difficult things to God.  Job, the Sons of Korah in Psalm 88, and others.  We could look at Hannah’s prayer (and how she prayed), too, in 1 Sam 1:10ff.  This kind of prayer, where we are honest, emotional and passionate with God, is intimate, and God wants intimacy with us.

  • Are you in the habit of bringing your concerns and cares frequently before God?  Or are you more content to pray once and be done?  Recall the Persistent Widow parable in Luke 18:1-8.
  • Are you comfortable with being passionate in prayer?  Is it easier alone with God, or in corporate worship?
  • What barriers do you encounter to being honest with God (and with others) with your struggles and doubts?

God Will Judge Sin

All that Habakkuk has seen and heard is because God hates sin.  He will judge all sin.  The ugliness and brutality of the Cross is our reminder of God’s heart towards it.  We saw in our passage from Exodus 34:6-7 both God’s desire to pardon and show grace, but also His necessity to repay unrepented iniquity.

Numbers 32:23 “… be sure your sin will find you out.”

There is a degree to which all of us accept and tolerate sin in our hearts and conduct.  God’s heart is to be clearing out the leaven of sin.

  • Is there any area of your life that you are aware God’s working on right now?
  • Can you share with your group an example of where you have had deliverance from a persistent sin?

God’s Surprising Ways

Another theme we touched on this week was the surprising way God works.  That which we would, in the moment, consider to be awful and terrible, God will ultimately use for God.  Recall Joseph, who endured threats of murder, being sold into slavery, years as a slave, then repaid by being thrown in prison.  What did he say concerning this, in the end?

Genesis 50:19–20  But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

  • Do you have any examples of where that which seemed bad ended up clearly for good?
  • Conversely, can you think of any examples where you got what you wanted, and it ended up harmful and bad?
  • Do these help you to keep trusting God as He works in often unexpected ways in your life?

Keep Each Other Accountable

Your Connect Groups are intended to be a place where you can talk and share openly and honestly about the areas in which we struggle.  As we’ve been memorising over the last several weeks:

1 Corinthians 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

We all struggle in many ways, so be encouraged so share together and pray together.

Pray for One Another

Paul urges us to pray with perseverance for all the saints.  Make it your commitment to pray for your Connect Group members this week.

Ephesians 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

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