Message given October 5th at Reston Bible Church in Sterling Virginia.
In the dark times of life, we are never alone – God teaches us things in the darkness that we would never have learned in the light. God is present and purposeful in our pain.
What was one thing you found particularly interesting, insightful, helpful or difficult to understand from this sermon?
Have you ever had a “black water” experience, where you felt isolated, alone, and in the dark in your Christian life? What happened? Did you struggle to sense God’s presence and purpose in your trial? Did that situation resolve?
Do you struggle with diving into the living and active Word of God with purpose? How does the Word of God prepare our hearts for trials?
Consider some of the passages from Mike’s message: Psalm 22:1-2, Psalm 23. Psalm 139:7-12, John 16:33, Job 1:1, Psalm 145:18, James 1:2-4, 2 Samuel 22:5-7, 17, Hebrews 12:7-11, 2 Corinthians 4:17. What do these tell us about out “black water” experiences?
How would you describe your prayer life? How does this change in times of darkness?
If God’s Holy Spirit suddenly left you, would you notice? Why or why not?
If you are in a trial right now how, are you coping with the reality that you don’t know when or if it will end? What perspective does prayer, scripture and the gospel bring to your situation?
How has God ministered to you during trial in prayer, in the Word, or through connection and guidance?
In looking back at your own “black water” experiences, what are some things you can see you learned during those times? How do you think God used that time in your life to shape you spiritually into the image of Jesus?
Spend some time in prayer about the things you’ve discussed.