These questions are meant to be a choose-your-own-adventure. That is, use what you like. Skip what you don’t. And add to it in any way you see fit.
- With the nice little clip on Sunday from Never Ending Story as our inspiration, what’s your favorite childhood movie?
- Or better yet, what’s a movie you saw when you were young that has stuck with you, for better or worse?
- This month’s sermon series is called Unfiltered. The basic idea is that, even at church, it’s good to talk about those difficult, messy topics in life. How do you find this to be challenging? How do you find this to be good?
- We’ll cover regret and grief in the next two weeks. What other challenging or messy topics would be helpful to talk about at church or with friends or family?
- Matt talked about the differences between regret & sadness & depression & despair. In what ways do you find it helpful to make those distinctions?
Regret: a slight disappointment over loss
Sadness: a deeper loss over things you can’t control and don’t always expect
Depression: a state of being where effort appears pointless because it seems that nothing can really help or provide meaning
Despair: utter absence of any sense of hope accompanied by a feeling of powerlessness
Read Psalm 88
1 Lord, you are the God who saves me;
day and night I cry out to you.
2 May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.
3 I am overwhelmed with troubles
and my life draws near to death.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like one without strength.
5 I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.
6 You have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.
7 Your wrath lies heavily on me;
you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.[d]
8 You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
9 my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, Lord, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
11 Is your love declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in Destruction[e]?
12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
13 But I cry to you for help, Lord;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Why, Lord, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?
15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.
18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.
- Do you find it surprising or shocking that this is in the Bible?
- If you have experienced depression (and are willing to share), what does depression feel like for you? How would you describe it?
- Like the writer of this Psalm…
- have you ever found yourself being this honest with God about how you feel?
- have you ever been in a place where you feel this isolated or alone?
Read Psalm 89.1-2
1 I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
- These are the very next verses in the Bible. We go from “darkness is my only friend” at the end of Psalm 88 to “I will sing of the Lord’s love forever” here. What do you think is going on? What do you think the writers of the Psalms and God are trying to communicate to us?
- One possible answer to the previous question is HOPE. In any situation or context, when have you seen God give you hope? And how did that change you?