Welcome to the second week of our August sermon series on Psalms called the Poetry of Trust. Psalm 71 was written by an author enduring yet another hardship in his later years, but still clinging to God. Today’s conversation encourages us to build a habit of trust so our hope can be contagious.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
What’s one thing you still hope to do this summer?
What are some ways a group can care for its members? Is there something the group needs to be doing right now?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Work together to take turns reading through Psalm 71 aloud. Recap this passage. What’s the tone of the psalm?
Trouble . . . Once Again
It is likely the author of this Psalm is David, one of the first kings of Israel. What are some of the troubles David went through?
David has gone through troubles before, but how does he describe this one in Psalm 71:10? What does it feel like to be ganged up on?
It seems that when David should be nearing easy retirement, instead he is dealing with trouble. Do you feel like people expect their retirement years to be easier? What are some common problems people might run into during those years?
Often, we can become cynical in our later years when we realize trouble doesn’t necessarily stop. What does it mean to be cynical? What’s the opposite of being cynical?
In Psalm 71:3, what does David say God is? What does he mean? What does it look like for God to be that for us?
A Habit of Trust
The psalmist uses the same phrase two times. Once in Psalm 71:5 and once in Psalm 71:17. What is it and why is it important?
How do you think David’s prior experience with God helps him trust God through this challenge?
There is a strong possibility David was able to trust God when he was older because he trusted God when he was young. There isn’t a faith switch we can throw when we are age 46 or 76 to help us easily be able to trust God in a significant struggle. Trust is a practice built by the decisions of our life. When is the best time to begin to practice trust and why?
We will turn to something when we are hurt or encounter trouble. What are some common things people turn to? What are some ways we can develop a habit of trust and turn to God?
Have someone read aloud Psalm 71:14-18. What is the psalmist doing here?
The psalmist has hope. What’s the difference between hope and despair? What are the root beliefs hope or despair are grounded in?
The psalmist doesn’t just have hope—he is letting others know. What’s the difference between having hope personally and having contagious hope?
The psalmist has contagious hope. Who do you know that has contagious hope? What types of things does a person with contagious hope do?
What would it look like for you to have contagious hope? Who in your life do you desire to have hope the most? What’s a step you can take to make your hope contagious around them?
What’s one time God met you, sustained you, carried you and provided for you through a time of trouble?
Today’s conversation is about trust and hope. What’s one way you have been encouraged to trust God or to have contagious hope? What’s one step you plan on taking this week?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
Last week we asked you to have a conversation about adding to your group. Revisit that conversation this week. Is there someone unconnected to a group that you could add to your group? Spend some time thinking about the different people you know. Maybe it is a co-worker, a former small group member or someone you serve with. Who might need what your group has? Come up with a plan to invite them to join your group.
Download a printable PDF here.