Pray: To open your time together.
Read: Mark 4:35-41; Psalm 44
Consider: Some thoughts for your group.
Stories with great heroes need memorable villains. Before Mark tells the story of Jesus’ showdown with death, he pits Jesus against all kinds of lesser bad guys – demons, sickness, hunger and storms to make the case that Jesus has authority over everything. For all of us reading Mark’s gospel, the message is clear – nothing could stop Jesus then, nothing’s going to stop Him now. But in 2022, with wars, plagues and droughts raging across the globe, is God really in control? Pastor Evan looked at the doubtful response of the disciples when faced with the threat of drowning during a storm. Instead of relying on their faith in Jesus’ power, fear caused them to question Jesus’ concern for them as they woke him with, “Don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
Sometimes we wonder if Jesus cares for us (He could do something, but he’s not responding), other times we may doubt his authority and power over the trouble we face (He would intervene, but He’s not able). By voicing those fears and doubts in prayer, we may think Jesus will turn away from us because of our lack of faith. However, in Mark 4, it is the questioning of the disciples that awakens Jesus to their need and activates His authority in the middle of the storm.
Questions for your Group
When you read the stories of Jesus’ miracles, are you encouraged by the accounts of Jesus’ authority, or confused why things don’t always turn out well in our day-to-day lives?
How do circumstances (positive and negative) affect your view of God’s power in your life?
Do you find it difficult to pray honest prayers when experiencing doubt, frustration or confusion?
The difficulties of life and the realities of a broken world have the power to shake our belief in God. How might our belief in God mature to become unshakable, even in seasons of suffering?
Spend some time praying for one another. For those experiencing sickness, financial trouble and relationship difficulties, pray for a renewed faith and trust in Jesus.