Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Refiner's Fire (Psalm 66)

Read Psalm 66:8-15. Which is your favorite verse? Why?

Verse 9 says "He preserved our lives."  What do you think this means? Is the author talking about a one-time act of God or an on-going preservation of life? Is it both?

Has there ever been a moment in your life when you felt that God preserved your life? What happened? How is God preserving your life right now?

How is it comforting to know that your life is in God's hands? How is it challenging to know that he controls when you will live and when you will die?

Verse 10 says that God tested Israel, so that they could be refined. How do difficult times help to make us into better people?

Read James 1:2-4. If we handle it well, what opportunity for growth comes with suffering? How have you experienced this to be true?

In the New Living Translation, verse 11 reads like this: "You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs."  How do you think God used Israel's slavery to make them into a better nation?

Verses 13-15 describe the proper response when God has brought us through a difficult time. Which part of these verses do you most appreciate? Why? How can our generosity demonstrate thanksgiving toward God?

For what can you be thankful to God today? What is something He has brought you through recently? How has he helped you grow?

Who in the group is in the middle of a difficult time right now? Does anyone feel that God is refining them right now? How can the group walk through this time with you?

Spend time praying with and for one another.

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