Emotions, Impossible Questions, and Doubts | Reasonable Doubt | Week 4

Sermon Notes

Emotions, Impossible Questions, and Doubts | Reasonable Doubt | Week 4
Pastor Dave Pretlove

  1. Wrestling with these questions is normal.
  2. Wrestling with these questions is biblical.
    • Job 19:7; Habakkuk 1:1; Psalm 13:1-2; Psalm 22:1; Psalm 73
  3. Wrestling with these questions can actually build our faith.
    • Romans 8:22-25

Group Questions

  1. As we’re talking about emotions this week, emojis have become the standard way to add emotion to text. What are some of your favorite emojis to use? 
  2. Was there anything that caught your attention, challenged you, or confused you from the message? 
  3. Read Psalm 13 together. What do you notice about David’s language and how he talks to God? Do you normally pray or talk to God like this – why or why not?
  4. Read Romans 8:18-25 together. Paul holds two things in balance here. In one scale he puts the sufferings of this present time and in the other scale he puts the glory that will be revealed – and we see the weight is an exceeding and eternal weight of glory! How can you keep an eternal perspective in the midst of present sufferings? 
  5. Pastor Dave brought up a few questions that we tend to wrestle with. When you ponder pain, suffering, and injustice, how do you normally wrestle with those questions? How will you begin to wrestle with doubts and questions moving forward? 
  6. Beyond this series, how can this group continue to be a place where you feel comfortable bringing in and wrestling with your questions and doubts?

Scriptures To Meditate On

“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord ’s praise, for he has been good to me.”
Psalm 13:1-6 NIV

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Romans 8:18-25 NIV


Video | Certainty, Doubt, and Christian Faith by Dr. William Lane Craig 
“Certainty isn’t any guarantee of truth and similarly, doubt and uncertainty is no indication of error.”

Devotional | “Learning From Both Suffering and Fun” by Annie F. Downs 
“Who we really are, what we are really made for and made of, is revealed when there is smoke, when there is struggle, and when there is suffering.”

Article | “The Problem of Evil” by Dr. William Lane Craig 
Examines both the logical and probabilistic arguments against God from suffering and evil.

Spiritual Practice To Try

This week, explore the spiritual practice of meditation. Richard Foster describes meditation as “the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word. It is that simple.” And Thomas à Kempis describes meditation as a way we grow in “a familiar friendship with Jesus”.

If you’re not sure of a Scripture to meditate on this week, start with Romans 8:23-25. Our task is not to dissect each word in deep study, but to enter into the text with the help of the Holy Spirit. Instead of studying hope or redemption, we actively enter into experiencing hope and experiencing redemption. Hope springs forth from within us, because of the work of the Holy Spirit through our quiet meditation. Use this Scripture as a jumping off point to communing with God in meditation this week.

Something To Think About

In my personal reading plan this week, I found myself in Psalm 23. I know it’s a section of scripture we’ve all heard and read numerous times. I think it’s for good reason though – every time I slowly digest it, I find something new. This week, I felt the Holy Spirit point out the word “walk” in verse 4. David writes, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…“

Can you imagine how the valley of the shadow of death must have felt for David? I think many of you have experienced what this feels like, whether figuratively or literally. We’ve experienced all the weight, emotions, questions, and doubts as we’ve walked through our different valleys. But David doesn’t talk about stopping or standing still or sitting or lying down in this valley. David says he walks through the valley.

As we wrap up the Reasonable Doubt series, I can’t help but come back to this verse. Yes, you will have doubts and questions. Yes, those doubts and emotions are all valid. And yes, you will have community here at LifeChurch as you wrestle with these questions and feelings. But we’re not going to sit down – we’re going to keep walking through. I pray we will be people who continue to walk and lift others up who are limping or sitting down in the valley. I pray we will be a church that continues to walk together through the valleys of doubts and uncertainties and questions. And as we walk, we get to partner with the presence of the Lord and he will walk with us through each step.

Grace and Peace,
Lydia Long
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