*LEADERS STUDY GUIDE 11.08.2020
WISE LIVING FROM PROVERBS:
November—The Wisdom of Contentment
OPENING QUESTION: Think about your life as a whole, would you describe it as a life of contentment or discontentment? Explain your answer.
Objective: Today we want to look at how we proactively pursue hearts that are growing in contentment.
-Especially when life is disappointing or confusing…when what we see doesn’t seem to align in some ways with what we believe to be true about God.
LESSON DISCUSSION 1: HABAKKUK—The Righteous Shall Live By Faith
Background: Habakkuk lived about 100 years after the Northern Kingdom (Israel) had fallen. Israel was split in half by the actions of the foolish son of Solomon. He lived just before the Southern Kingdom (Judah) fell to the Babylonians. He loved God, his theology (beliefs about God’s nature and character) was correct; it was formed from God’s word, His actions in history, and personal experience. He was puzzled by God. When he looked around at the world, his beliefs did not match what he saw.
Read: Habakkuk 3:17-18: “17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Discuss: Terry said what Habakkuk faced “is a common human fork in the road. There are many variations on this, but in general, there are two paths. 1. Move forward by faith, puzzled by what you see in the world, and yet trusting God as he has revealed himself in his Word, in order to continue to make sense out of life and move down the faith path. Not the blind faith path, the faith path. 2. Move forward by sight and/or emotions, puzzled by what you see, and trust your own mind and emotions to make sense out of life. I suspect that even for followers of Christ, option two is very common. But Habakkuk took option 1. He trusted God, not his own emotions and perceptions. He did not, however, do so passively, but he proactively took his struggles to God.”
- Think about the two different options/forks in the road, which option are you prone to go to and why?
- What role does your own emotions and perceptions have in driving your decisions?
- What would it look like for you to consistently choose option 1, the same option Habakkuk took?
Discuss: Terry also said, “In this OT prophetic book, the gospel is foretold. The righteous of every generation, of every time, and every circumstance (COVID, racial unrest, elections), WILL LIVE BY THEIR FAITH. Not by what they see or feel, but by what they know by faith to be true because God has revealed it and he cannot lie, and his purposes cannot be thwarted.”
- So, if this is true—and it is—what will you do personally to proactively, not passively, take your struggles to God? What can we do you feed contentment in God and starve discontentment?
Application: Take the right fork—Make Habakkuk 3:17-18 your anthem. Read it, memorize it, and keep it close to your heart.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”