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Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to Avoid Freaking Out Message Outline

How to Avoid Freaking Out: The Paradox of Confidence
Mark 6:45-52
Hi Def Faith: Part 5

How can we learn to stop worrying about terrible things that may happen and trust God instead?

Gain insight into trusting God by opening your heart to see how God has worked in the past.

1. Develop confidence in Jesus before trouble hits

Mark 6:45–49 (ESV) 45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out,

2. Learn to hear Jesus’ voice

Mark 6:50 (ESV) 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

3. Stay spiritually tender to sense God’s ways

Mark 6:51–52 (ESV) 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

Questions for further reflection and discussion:

  1. What can learn from Jesus' desire to get alone and pray? What other incidents in Mark's gospel can you identify where Jesus did this? 
  2. In the immediately preceding story Jesus fed 5000 people with five loaves and two fish but in this incident Jesus saw the disciples struggling yet he allowed them to continue to struggle? Why do you think this is?
  3. In what circumstances that you face now do you need to hear Jesus saying to you, "Take heart, it is I. Do not be afraid?"
  4. Mark wrote this some years later under Peter's direct influence, reflecting back on this incident under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and he explains that the apostles were astounded because they did not understand about the loaves for their hearts were hardened. The NASB says they did not gain any insight. What do you think Mark means by this? How should they have been able to gain insight? How do we gain insight into trusting God and what does that look like?
  5. In what sense do you think their hearts were hardened? How are you in danger of a similar sin and how can we counter this tendency? 

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