Be sure to encourage your group to check out Daily Steps, Cornerstone's companion devotional guide -- a resource to help them spend one-on-one time with God throughout the week using daily readings from the Psalms.
Check out our sermon series resource page for additional information. If you need help with conducting your group meetings online, take a look at this guide.
In this section, your group will spend time catching up since your last meeting together.
Pastor Steve invited us to rest peacefully in the protection that God has promised us. The questions this week are designed to empower your group to identify the fears, disappointments, anxieties, conflicts, emotions, or thoughts they are having that may be preventing them from finding rest in the protection of God.
- Have you ever found yourself caught in an unexpected downpour? Hailstorm? Thunderstorm? Was it comical or terrifying? What did you do? What made it funny? What were you trying to avoid or escape? What fear or concern motivated you the most to find shelter or get out of the storm?
- How does thinking about God as a shelter in the storm, a solid rock, a refuge, a fortress, strong tower, shadow, hiding place, or spreading His wings to protect us, encourage you, or change your perception of Him? Which of them appeals to you the most right now?
In this section, your group will dive into the themes and Scripture passages from this week’s sermon, and learn more about their meanings and relevance for us today.
- Pastor Steve opened his sermon by reminding us that, “The Psalms are so good for us mainly because they mirror real life. Every skeptical thought that crosses our mind, every fear, every frustration, every threat we face these days is addressed in these poetic prayers. Good poetry survives the ages not when it is pretty but when it is honest. The Psalms have lasted because they confront the hazards of real life.”
Think about your “real life” right now. What are your worries, concerns, victories, hopes, frustrations?
- Take a minute to read the excerpts from Psalm 27, 31, and 61 together as a group. Consider having everyone read a different section aloud, or reading all together. Perhaps the leader could mirror their screen so that it is seen by everyone as it is read.
As you read, think about which of the following lines speak to you the most. Why are those lines particularly relevant to you?
- The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?
- The Lord is the stronghold of my life. What will I be afraid of?
- Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
- From the ends of the earth, I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint.
- Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue.
- Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
- Be my refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
- I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
- In the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in his dwelling.
- I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
- Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
- Pastor Steve reminded us that when the Psalmist calls God “Lord” in Psalm 91:1-2 we are assured that our God is powerful and capable. He knows every joy and fear in our roller-coaster lives.
Do you feel like you are on a roller coaster? If so, in what way?
What truth do you want to hold to this week if you find yourself on a roller coaster of emotions?
- Read Psalm 31:4 and 91:1-2 together. In these passages, we learn that God SHELTERS us, PROTECTS us, and allows us to REST. He also NURTURES us and SUFFERS for us.
Which of these truths do you connect with the most right now? Which of these truths applies the most to the emotions/feelings you have been experiencing? The challenges you are facing?
- Pastor Steve said, “He will either heal me or take me. Either way, I am good. As believers, we have committed to Christ that our lives and times are in His hands; our dream is that our days might bring Him eternal glory.”
Have you found yourself doubting God’s protection this week? In what ways is it hard to believe that He will protect you?
What is your reaction to Pastor Steve's statement about God either healing you or taking you home to be with Him? Does it give you peace? Why or why not? If not, what about that statement is unsettling to you? Take time to discuss with your group.
In this section, your group will discuss how to apply what you’ve learned from the Scripture passages to real life.
In the Psalms, we find many descriptions of God, His character, His power, and His promises. Throughout our lifetimes, the descriptions that resonate the most change based on our circumstances, life stage, and spiritual growth.
- As a group, select one of the following Psalms, and come up with a list of descriptions about God or His promises. Psalm 27, 31, 55, 61, 91
- Now take a few minutes to turn those descriptions into names or titles for God, like the Supreme God, Creator God, Knowable God, etc. If you have time, let each person share which name means the most to them and why.
- Later this week on your own, take a few moments to review the list you made as a group, and pick your favorites to post around your home on sticky notes or index cards. As you write them down, spend a few moments praising and thanking God for who He is.
Read Psalm 46:10, Exodus 14:14, and Psalm 37:7. Discuss how these verses apply to our current situation. Pastor Steve talked about intentionally taking a sabbath or a time of rest from stories about COVID-19 in the news and on social media.
- Have you tried taking a break from the news recently? Did it help you feel more peaceful? How can you manage your intake of news and information in a way that is empowering and balanced based on what we learned this week about who God is?
- Write down what you want to remember about who God is when you worry and emotions and frustrations are overwhelming. Schedule several times on your calendar this week to refer back to your notes.
- What are practical ways you can move under God’s shadow this week? Reflect on how you most often experience Him. Is it through music, reflection, activity, studying, journaling, etc.?
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
Grow closer to Jesus each day and explore the Psalms.
Have you checked out Daily Steps?
Daily Steps is a weekly devotional message designed as a companion to this sermon study guide. You will be guided as you spend time with God through personal reflection, Scripture readings, and prayer prompts.
DAILY STEPS - PSALMS - WEEK 2
CF Beyond Sunday is LIVE this Monday!
Don't miss our LIVE stream on Monday night, April 27, at 7:30 pm! After each weekend sermon, our pastors and various church leaders, will sit down and have a 15-20 minute discussion around the weekend's sermon.
Mark your calendar, set your alarm, join us on YouTube, and don’t forget to subscribe!
It's Never Too Late to Find Peace and Joy — If you are struggling with anxiety or discouragement during this time of sheltering in place, you may find this two-part essay especially helpful. It was written by someone prone to anxiety herself, our own Community Team Study Guide Writer, Sara Goetz.
READ PART 1 OF THE ESSAY