Have you ever been disappointed with God? Have your feelings, your circumstances, your experience of God ever contradicted what you knew, or thought you knew, about God?
The Jewish people found themselves in that very place. It was in the midst of that hopelessness that God sent Jesus, His final word to a world wrestling with feelings that undermine faith and circumstances that turn convictions into questions.
1. The story of God is filled with people who felt distant, even abandoned, by God. Have you ever found your faith in conflict with your feelings? What circumstances led you to that place?
2. A faith that is led by feelings will ultimately fail. But a faith based on facts gives hope. What are some of the facts about God that have been a source of hope for you?
3. There was a long period of silence from God in the story of the Jewish people. Over 400 years without a word, without a miracle, without a Davidic King. Yet in the midst of the silence, God was working. Have you ever gone through a similar period only to look back and see that God was working on your behalf? Share your story.
4. In the days preceding Jesus, many people had walked away from faith, citing unfulfilled promises and a God that was either absent or heartless. How does that compare with many people’s reasons for walking away from faith today?