REFLECT

Something about understanding gives us a sense of control…if we could just understand why things happen in our lives, we might be able to dictate the outcome of our circumstances. But even with the access we have to information, the harsh reality is, not only are there tons of things we’ll never understand in life, we were never really in control to begin with. Join us this Sunday for the next message in our Plot Twist series, as we all learn the key to embracing the mysteries in our lives and find the peace and freedom we’ve been dreaming of all along.

REALIZE

1.  God is the Potter.

Romans 9:19-21
Leader Notes

  • Throughout our lives, we all experience suffering that leaves us asking, “Why, God?” Suffering and grief often feel pointless to us…There’s no apparent purpose or redemptive quality. And sometimes we ask, and we don’t get an answer that satisfies us.
  • God never condemns us for asking “why,” but when we get hung up on that question we can let ourselves get to the point where we think we deserve the answer…which is exactly what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. They thought they deserved knowledge that belonged to God alone.
  • When you go through something you don’t understand, walking by faith and not by sight is saying, “God, I don’t understand what’s happening, but I trust that you’re good and have good plans for my life.”
  • God knows what he’s making in our lives, and his artistry and creativity is matchless. But it takes great trust on our part to depend on the Lord when we don’t yet know what he’s making.
  • We all get in trouble when we stop trusting the Potter, when we doubt the goodness of what he’s doing, and we start to think we know better. We can end up resisting God in the process.

In what ways are you resisting or saying no to something the Potter is trying to work into your life?

2. Embrace the mystery.

Romans 9:22-24
Leader Notes

  • We’re coming out of a cultural era where people expected complete certainty. (Think the scientific method). But when we expect certainty in our walks with Jesus, we’ll get tripped up every time life happens…the world is totally unpredictable. But God is entirely consistent, and that’s what we can be certain about.
  • When we wrestle through the “why” questions with the Lord, sometimes we need to embrace the mystery. In other words, sometimes we just need to accept the things we don’t understand and trust God anyway.
  • Here’s a good rule of thumb for praying to God when we don’t understand what he’s doing: in some of our life circumstances, we SEE God’s goodness, and so we pray what we see of him. In all circumstances – even the confusing ones, we KNOW God is God. That’s when we pray what we know of him (that he is good)…even if we don’t see it at the moment.

In what places in your life do you need to trust God’s goodness because he’s doing something you don’t understand?

3. Don’t stumble at the stumbling stone.

Romans 9:30-33
Leader Notes

  • The Jewish people wanted to be righteous, but they “stumbled” over Jesus because their understanding of righteousness was that it came by their actions. That’s called legalism, and we can be tempted to believe that lie too.
  • Our salvation doesn’t depend on the works we do. None of us gets saved by good works. But once we’re saved, God has incredibly good works for us to do, and we need to step into the work he plans for us.

What are the good works God is inviting you into for the furtherance of his kingdom?