Main Point: Our trials can make us stronger when we trust in God.
I. God permits trials in the believer’s life.
A. God tested Abraham.
B. God still tests His children.
II. Some fail and some grow stronger.
A. Some experience hardship and abandon God.
B. The faithful increase their faith.
III. God always provides for those who trust Him.
A. Abraham saw God’s deliverance.
B. Trust in the Lord no matter what!
Discussion questions for Sunday's message:
1. Read Gen 22:1. When the passage says that God "tested" Abraham, how would you explain this to a new Christian? Does God still "test" His children? Have you experienced an event or crises that you knew was testing you in a profound way? Share what you can with the group.
2. Read Gen 22:2-5 We discussed the meaning of Abraham's words when he said that "we will return to you." Abraham somehow believed that God would still fulfill His promise through Isaac even if Abraham walked in obedience to offer his son. Sometimes when God asks us to do a difficult thing we can talk ourselves out of it by analyzing all the barriers and impossible things that stand in the way. Has this happened to you? Can you think of some examples of this? Explain what faith means in the light of this.
3. Read Gen 22:6-10 Explore as a group all the foreshadows you can find in this story of the sacrifice of Christ. In the message we discussed the age of Isaac and his role of faith in submitting to his father. Describe the faith and life that Abraham lived before his son to get this kind of response from him. How can you reflect this same life in the eyes of those watching you?
4. Read Gen 22:11-14 Abraham concludes that God is the faithful provider. He knows what is best and when to provide it. Do you believe this? What is the most dramatic picture in all human history that God is a God of love? If He is a God of love, can you trust Him? Why do we struggle to trust Him when we are faced with a hardship?
5. Take time to pray and acknowledge again your trust in the Lord no matter what. Even if you are not going through a deep valley right now, this is the time to think this through and make the decision to trust Him no matter what. Train yourself to lean completely on God