What can make that happen?
Why does God let bad things happen to His children?
Rabbi Kushner, the author of the bestselling: “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” said:
“Forgive God for losing control.”
Let’s go to Scripture and Paige’s lecture to see a better answer and to learn how true faith responds to deep suffering.
Thursday: The Movement of Faith in the Woman & Elisha
1. Read 2 Kings 4:8-17
A. What does the Shunnamite woman do that is a good practice of Christian hospitality?
B. What does Elisha ask her and how does she respond? How do you interpret her response?
C. What does Gehazi tell Elisha that informs him of her deepest longing, particularly in that culture?
D. How does she respond when Elisha tells her she will have a son in a year’s time? Why, do you think?
2. Read 2 Kings 4:18-37
A. What happened to the child? (18-21)
B. How can you see that the mother brushes past both her husband and Gehazi to get to Elisha? What do you see in her that is different? (22-27)
C. What does Elisha do initially and why is it evident that this will not satisfy the woman? (28-30)
D. What makes Elisha himself desperate? (31)
E. How do you see a change in Elisha’s response? (32-35)
F. How does this story end? Thoughts?
Friday: The Difference Before and After The Tragedy
3. Listen to Paige from the beginning to minute 24:15 when she repeats: Faith is always unto transformation and describe the contrast in each of the following before and after:
A. How do you see her faith was routine? How do you see her changing from established to desperate?
B. How do you see her burying her real need? How do you see her being honest with her real need?
4. Comment on the following illustrations from Paige. What was her point and how does this apply to you?
A. The friend who was barren and didn’t want people to pray for her anymore because it is too painful.
B. The sports event with a girl pushing her around and her mother appearing.
5. Describe a time of desperation in your life when God came running and it awakened your faith.
6. What else stands out to you from this section?
Saturday: Direction of Down to Up Trajectory
7. Listen to Paige from 24:15 to 31
A. She said “The very things that will strengthen true faith will kill false faith.” What did she mean?
B. How have you responded to tragedy in your life — have you backed away or pressed in? Why?
C. What do you learn from her illustration of moving to Dallas and asking God to grow her?
D. How was the death of her child the catapult of the woman’s faith?
E. Compare verse 13 to verse 28 — what change do you see?
F. Share a time when God put you in a place of desperation or someone you love in a place of desperation and how it catapulted your faith. (something different than you have already shared)
G. What point was she making with the illustration of her husband’s diabetic reaction?
H. Does anything else stand out to you? If so, why?
God Hunt Sunday
8. How has God been at work in your heart or life this week?
Monday: The Posture of Faith
9. Listen to Paige from 31 to 49:50 when she quotes Ralph Davis “When you keep clutching to a God you cannot understand, we have a word for that, and it’s faith.
A. She Goes
1) Quiet times feed our faith but you must she action if it is going in your heart. How have Paige’s lectures changed your actions in thought, word, or deed?
2) Paige brought up other examples from the New Testament of action that showed faith –what were some?
B. She Collapses
1) How do you see this in the Shunnammite woman?
2) When have you done this?
C. She Cries Out
1) How does she now look like Hannah?
2) She said, “Faith is not serenity.” What did she mean?
D. She clings
1) Do you agree we live in a culture that is a posture of faith? Do you have a posture of faith or are you real? In prayer time? In fellowship? With God?
2) What was her point about verse 30?
3) She gave an illustration of a woman with Alzheimer’s – what was her point and how does this apply?
4) She gave illustrations of Jacob, of Jesus in Gethsemane. What do you remember?
Tuesday: The Paradox of Faith
I loved this part, especially when she talked about Elisha being an illustration of what is to come for believers. For it is true, though God raised this son, though He raised Lazarus — that will not happen for most of us or our loved ones before that Great Resurrection Day. BUT FOR BELIEVERS, IT WILL HAPPEN. Recently a dear friend’s son died and though grieving deeply, I see her pressing into God. This is also the 18th anniversary of my husband’s death — and it certainly grew my faith and my children’s faith, for we know this is not the end of the story, and we know we have nowhere else to go but to Jesus. Paige talked about the song “All is Well” which is often sung at Christmas, but which he actually wrote for a funeral of a believer. Prepare your heart with this:
10. What stands out to you from the above song?
Listen to Paige to the end.
11. She has nothing but desperation.
A. It is not the strength of our faith but the object of our faith that matters. Explain.
B. What are some of the clinging and stretching examples from the story?
C. How does Elisha show desperation in the way he responds to a dead defiled body?
12. Elisha is nothing but an illustration. Explain.
13. For justification, we need Jesus. How did He become nothing to save us?
14. She quoted a friend “All it takes in coming to Jesus is nothing but most people don’t have it.” What did she mean?
15. The woman kept saying, “Don’t mislead me.” How do we know the promises of God are true? Give some verses to support your answer.
16. What else stands out to you from this section? Why?
17. What is your take-a-way and why?
18. If you are in a small group and it is time for prayer requests, how might you be honest about your need? Or how might you be honest here so we can pray for you?