Study Guide


Psalms - Week 5

Posted by CF Study Guide Team on


Be sure to encourage your group to check out Daily Steps, Cornerstone's companion devotional guide — a resource to help 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.

This week, Kevin Madsen led us through Psalm 46. He challenged us to think about the nature of control and WHO is in control of our lives. As you work through the questions this week, encourage your group to consider what they feel compelled to control and how they can find rest in a good God.

  • At what age did you stop believing in magic?

  • Have you ever been to a magic show? Did you enjoy it?

  • The job of a magician is to create illusions that seem so real that you believe they are actually doing something physically impossible. Have you ever seen a magician perform any tricks so amazing that you had no idea how he or she did them?

  • In what way is the idea that we have control over our lives like the illusions performed by magicians?

  • Describe a time when you thought you had control over something you did not. What happened as a result?

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. 

In the sermon, Kevin said that having control of our lives is ingrained in the American culture, both in terms of personal destiny and our collective patriotic mentality. Americans have always been known for blazing new trails and taking pride in our independent spirit.

  • What are the positive aspects of American culture when it comes to having an independent, take-charge spirit? 

  • In what ways does our society emphasize the need for control to be successful in school, in a career, parenting, and even in relationships?

  • Why is the sense of being in control so alluring? What are the benefits of being in control? 

  • Given the recent dramatic change in daily routines and habits, do you feel out of control? In what way has your sense of control changed?  

Read Psalm 46 together, using at least one literal translation of the Bible (i.e. ESV, NIV) and one paraphrase (i.e. The Message, NLT). 

Kevin explained that if we were to stop reading at verse 4 it would be like climbing a mountain and reaching a “false summit.” We would see a pretty view, but we didn’t complete the climb. It would be like declaring that God is in control but also believing that He is predictable, small, and understandable. Essentially, if we stop reading at verse 4, we put God in a box.

  • In what way would a predictable, small, and understandable god be dangerous? Disappointing? Powerless? Useless?

  • How have you been guilty of putting God in a box in the past? Why is it sometimes more comfortable to assume that God will act or do something we expect Him to do? 

  • How does acknowledging and praising God as all-powerful with unlimited authority make you feel? 

Read Genesis 1:1-2, John 1, John 15:1-8, and Psalm 23. Kevin reminded us that God is God. Through the Bible, He tells a story that is SO much bigger than us. He loves us desperately, but we are not the main characters in the story that He is telling. 

  • Who is the main character?

  • If we are not the main characters in the story, then what is our role? 

  • How does God help us with our role? 

Read Mark 4:35-41.

  • Why were the disciples terrified when Jesus calmed the storm?

  • What did they realize about who Jesus is?

  • How did this act set Him apart as more than “just a good teacher?”

  • What does this miracle teach us about Jesus' power?

  • If anyone in your group would like to spend more time reflecting on this story, check out "Daily Steps Devotional - Philippians - Week 4" which focuses on the disciples' reaction to Jesus after He calmed the storm. 

In this section, your group will discuss how to apply what you’ve learned from the Scripture passages to real life.

Take a minute to identify areas in your life that you wish you could control, fix, change, etc. Reflect on when you feel the most anxious or frustrated about/with these areas.

  • What are you doing or thinking when they surface? 

  • How do you think God would prefer you to react when your need for control flares up? What are some helpful disciplines or strategies that you can practice that will help you surrender control back to Him?

  • What have you learned about God’s good character that can give you comfort and peace when you are confused, sad, agitated, or stressed?

  • Share a verse or prayer that has helped you with this in the past. As each group member shares their strategies and/or verses, write down one new verse, strategy, or prayer that you can apply to your life and hold onto when you are overwhelmed by things out of your control.

In the sermon, Kevin said that being still is not an action step we take, but something we arrive at. He said that when we come to grips with God’s power and authority, we can then arrive at a state of being still. Being still is the evidence that you’re no longer trying to control things. You are also not trusting in your own ability, ambition, or intelligence. You are not striving to impress God with your good behavior. 

  • What can you do in this coming week to practice being still more often? What might that look like for you and how often? (Tip: For more guidance in learning to be still, visit this week's Daily Steps personal devotional.)

  • In what ways do you need to rely more on Jesus’ power than your own? 

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. 


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