This Song is for You
February 5, 2023 / Nick Parsons
Guest speaker Nick Parsons teaches from Psalm 66, which shows us how to live in the midst of hardship.
- Life is full of hardships. If you haven’t been through a really tough season yet, there’s one coming. But Psalm 66 shows us how to endure hardships and still remain faithful to God. If you’re tired and broken, Psalm 66 is a song for you.
- The psalmist teaches five ways to endure in hardships:
- Tell Someone
- Ultimately, to faithfully endure hardships, we must look to Jesus. As God-in-the-flesh, He knows our every weakness and has sinlessly endured suffering and hardship. Jesus has overcome so that we can endure and overcome too because of our union with Him (Heb. 4:14-16).
ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE REFERENCES:
- Exodus 14:10-18
- Hebrews 4:14-16
COMMUNITY GROUP QUESTIONS:
To kick off your time, try singing a worship song or a hymn as a group. This might feel awkward, but we’re called to not be just hearers of the word, but doers (James 1:22-25). This could be a short hymn, like singing the Doxology (lyrics / rec.), or singing a chorus together from a worship song you’re all familiar with.
- In the sermon, Nick taught that one way to strengthen ourselves is through singing (Ps. 66:1-4), even in the middle of hardship. How has worship through singing and music played a part in your season(s) of difficulty? What psalms has God used to sustain you or made you realize you’re seen and cared for by Him?
- In verses 5-9, the Psalmist reminds the hearers that God is infinitely powerful, holy, and sovereign. The hearers are directed to remember God’s “awesome deeds” in the past and how He has continually provided for them. Can you share a season where God had either restored you or provided for you through overwhelming circumstances?
- Homework: Sacrifice time this week to write down the ways you remember God’s provision in your past as a practice of worship.
- The crux of the Psalm (vv. 10-12) acknowledges that God allows suffering and hardship to come to his children, which is often one of the most difficult pieces of our faith to wrestle with. But the writer, on the other side of hardship, reveals that this “testing” is not meant to destroy us, rather to refine and purify us for our good and the good of others. When you hear this assurance, what is your knee-jerk reaction (or belief) to it? Why?
- Optional follow up: What do you think your answer shows about your belief in God’s character?
- When we’re going through a rough time we can be tempted toward self-entitlement and to disobey God’s good commands. Nick mentioned two different sides we might lean toward: indulgence or stinginess. The Psalmist offers a better way, the way of Jesus (Luke 4:1-13), where we continue to obey God out of love and trust in Him. Which way have you noticed you are tempted toward in hard times? What might this show about your heart?
- Optional follow up: Is there anyone currently struggling with these temptations and can we, as a group, pray for you now?
- God designed us to thrive in community through being truly known by other Christians and we are directed to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:1-2). What are some hesitations we have from sharing our struggles with others? What are the lies we believe about others or ourselves that keep us from being vulnerable and allowing others to carry us?
- Application: What are some specific ways we need to look to Jesus (Heb. 4:14-16) in order to endure in our hardships, both individually and as a church family?