Faith Comes by Hearing

Keep Talking 

  • Waiting – In today’s fast-paced culture, this is perhaps one of our least favorite words. What thoughts or feelings do you have when you think about ‘waiting’?
  • In the past, how have you responded in your season(s) of waiting?

 

Keep Reading

In most of our Bibles, only one page separates the Old Testament from the New Testament, but there was actually a span of about 400 years of silence between Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets, and the coming of Jesus as told in the Gospel accounts. Not only that, but 700 years separated Isaiah’s prophecies of the coming Messiah and the arrival of Jesus. Those are long periods of waiting!

With that in mind, let’s read Luke 2:25-38 for insight on waiting on God:

  • What do you see in this passage concerning waiting on the promises of God? What jumps out to you?
  • This passage deals with Simeon and Anna, two devoted followers of God, waiting expectantly for the promised Messiah. They were faithful in always showing up and they listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, even when it didn’t make sense after so many years of silence.
    • Have your responses to the seasons of waiting in your own life lined up with how we see Simeon & Anna responding?
    • If not, what can you learn from Simeon & Anna to apply to how you approach your own season of waiting?

 

Keep Discussing

  • Christmas – the coming of Jesus – was birthed out of a season of waiting.
    • Luke 2:25 tells us that Simeon was “waiting for the Consolation of Israel,” and Pastor Todd explained that the fuller definition of the word ‘waiting’ in the original Greek means “eagerly anticipate.” Interestingly, verse 38 tells us that Anna “spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem,” in which the word ‘looked for’ is the same Greek word as ‘waiting’ in v.25.
      • What are some things that you are eagerly “waiting” and looking for” today?
      • How does this unified theme of “waiting” and “looking for” with eager anticipation in this passage impact how you think about your own seasons of waiting?
  • There’s a fine line between silence and a whisper.
    • Just because God seems silent, doesn’t mean that God is ignoring me.
      • Psalms 139:17,18
    • As Pastor Julie noted, a whisper requires intimacy, and James 4:8 gives us this promise: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
      • Why do you think God uses a whisper?
      • What are some practical ways that you can position yourself to hear the voice of God?
        • How can you lean in and listen for the whisper?
      • Think back to past seasons when you’ve been waiting on God and all you heard was silence – was God actually silent, or was He speaking to you in a still, small voice while you were looking for the mighty wind or earthquake?
  • Don’t allow disappointments to move you away from your God-given appointment.
    • During the seasons of waiting in our lives, we can get distracted, lose hope, and let go of the promises of God – we allow dis-appointments to move us away from our God-given appointment.
      • What are some areas where you have let your pain rob you of your promise?
    • Pastor Todd pointed out that Anna lived a life far different from what she probably envisioned for herself, yet she continued to eagerly anticipate the fulfillment of God’s promise [see Luke 2:36-38]. He also shared the words of Jesus from John 8:12 – “I am the Light of the world. So if you follow Me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path.”
      • Don’t doubt in the dark, what God has shown you in the light.
        • What is that promise from God from which you’ve allowed the disappointments of life to distract you and cause you to let go of?
        • What is your next step to get you moving back toward your appointment?
      • Pastor Todd mentioned that sometimes our focus during times of waiting is on what we want God to do for us, but God is often more concerned with what He wants to do in & through
        • Does recognizing this change your perspective on your own season of waiting? In what way?

 

Keep Moving/Going

  • Pastors Todd & Julie gave some good practical ways on how we can hear what God is saying as we wait on Him:
    • His Word (the Bible) [read Romans 10:17, Jeremiah 29:13]
    • The Holy Spirit [re-read how the Holy Spirit led Simeon in Luke 2:25-27]
    • His people [re-read Luke 2:29-35 to see how God spoke to Joseph & Mary through Simeon]
    • What is it that you need to do to place yourself in a position to hear the still small voice of God?
  • Pastor Julie told us that waiting with expectancy is a life of movement – it doesn’t mean we’re stuck. Simeon was led by the Holy Spirit as he waited on the promise of God, and Anna continually placed herself in a position where she could see and recognize when God was moving. We also need to be in a place of intimacy with Jesus so that we can recognize when and where the Holy Spirit is leading us during our seasons of waiting.
  • Challenge: Don’t let your “season of silence” silence your faith. Get into the Word of God and press into that place of intimacy with Him where, like Simeon & Anna, you are constantly moving where He leads you. God is working in the waiting.
    • God is always working in the wait….Are you letting Him or you trying push ahead with your own agenda?
    • God is always speaking in the wait….Are you leaning in and listening to Him?

 

Keep Praying

  • Prayer requests from everyone at group
  • Prayer