Let's Be honest | Aug. 20, 2017
For many of us, trusting God seems impossible simply because we cannot be honest with Him. This may be a result of not having consistent dialogue with Him, being taught that you aren't allowed to ask God questions, questioning everything God does with suspicion, or fear that honesty with Him will cause Him to be honest with you in a way that you are not honest with yourself.
- In what ways have you struggled to be honest with God? Why do you think it is a struggle?
The opening verses of Habakkuk present the prophet making an honest complaint to God about the world in which he lives. As he compares his theology of God to his experience among God's people, he asks Him two honest questions: 1) How Long? and 2) Why?
These are questions that are common to people everywhere, especially when facing hardship. God, however, does not get angry at Habakkuk for the questions and gives him a direct answer. The big idea was that God allows His people to ask Him honest questions, share honest doubts, and struggle with honest frustrations. Furthermore, the cross of Jesus frees us to be honest with God and with ourselves, because it reminds us of the sinful, disobedient brokenness in each of us and of God's work to redeem us.
The takeaways came from four principles in Jesus' honest prayer in the garden the night before He went to the cross recorded in Mark 14:35-36.
The first principal was Jesus' address. We learned that we can speak directly to God, and we can speak directly to God as our father.
- How do these two truths affect your ability to be honest with God?
The second principal was Jesus' confession, "all things are possible for you." We learn from this that God is the Limitless One and that we as creatures are dependent upon him.
- In what ways does that dependence frustrate us? And in what ways does that dependence help us to be honest with God?
The third principal was Jesus' request. He prayed, "remove this cup from me." We learn from this principle that God is not mad at us when we ask him to change a painful situation.
- What are some things that prevent us from asking God to change things instead of attempting to change them in our own power and strength?
The final principal was Jesus' submission. We learn from this that no matter what, we can rest in the reality that God is good and always does what is right.
- What are some ways we have demonstrated submission to God, especially when he tells us, "No?"