Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on August 23, 2020
Passage: Psalm 23:4
This Sunday, Mike continued our “Panic” series based on Psalm 23 by showing us how our Shepherd leads us through the dark valleys of life.
Looking back at your notes from Sunday’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time, caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
What was the darkest valley of your childhood?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. In Israel there is a real Valley of the Shadow of Death. It’s a steep, deep and narrow canyon. The sun only hits the bottom of it when it’s directly overhead at high noon. The rest of the time the bottom of the canyon is dark. David probably led his sheep through the valley of the shadow of death as he was growing up. In Psalm 23:4, David said that our Shepherd will lead us “through” the valley, not merely “to” the valley. What promises can you hold onto from the following verses for when you experience dark valleys in life?
1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV)
6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)
10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
James 1:12 (ESV)
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
- How have your dark valleys tested, proven, or matured your faith personally?
- How have your dark valleys changed the way you view God, yourself, and others?
2. As David walked through the dark valleys of life, he said, “I will fear…no evil… You are with me.” David overcame his fears because his Shepherd was leading him. When we are in the valleys, fear is one of our greatest adversaries. What assurances can you gain from the following passages that can help keep fear from gripping your heart?
Psalm 34:4-5 (ESV)
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
Psalm 46:1-3 (ESV)
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
John 14:27 (ESV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
- What is your greatest fear about the future?
- Using the truths found in the above verses, write a message of encouragement to yourself so you can read it to yourself in the coming weeks. Perhaps, write it on a postcard and put it where you can see it as a daily reminder that God is with you.
3. David found comfort in God’s rod (protection) and staff (guidance). What comfort do the following passages bring you concerning God’s protection and guidance?
Psalm 34:7-9 (ESV)
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
Isaiah 41:10-12 (ESV)
10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. 12 You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all.
2 Timothy 4:18 (ESV)
18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
- What are you asking God to protect you from?
- In what area of your life do you especially need the Lord’s guidance today?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?