The God Story 2 – Suspension of Disbelief– 3-16-14 Scripture: Genesis 18.1-15 (NIV) Key Verse(s): “Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” – Genesis 18.14 (NIV) Summary: We are all a part of a much larger story than the story of our little lives. It can be hard to believe in this larger story when our life isn’t going the way we hoped or planned. But God welcomes our doubts and fears. He wants our honesty. But God never leaves us there, when we place our faith in Him, especially when everything in us tells us not to, he amazingly brings us into His bigger story showing us that he always delivers, even if it is in ways we did not expect. Discussion Starters: Have you ever felt you were in a situation that was even too much for God to rescue/help you? Did you cling to Him anyway? How did you move beyond that struggle? Think back to sometimes when God did not deliver in the way you thought He would. What did you do? How did you feel? Read and Discuss Unless otherwise noted, scriptures have been researched and referenced based on the New International Version (NIV); however any translation is perfectly acceptable to use for discussion. 1. Abraham and Sarah had tried hard to follow God and live according to His way yet they had not received their promised role in God’s Story. Read Genesis 12:1-3 Read Genesis 18:1-15 How discouraged do you think Abraham and Sarah were waiting for God’s Story and their story to collide? Why do you think they still remained faithful to God, even though they hadn’t seen proof of His great plan for them? How do you think God felt when He heard Sarah laugh? And why do you think once Abraham and Sarah had a son they named him, Isaac, which means “he laughs”? 2. We see in this story Abraham’s great faith, but we should see even more boldly how God longs for our story to merge into His. God ultimately sends Jesus into human form to bring us back to Himself that we may play our part in God’s great redemption plan. Read Romans 4:16 - 5:5 In verse 4:18 Paul writes, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed…” How do we believe in the hope of God, when there is no tangible hope to cling to? Paul argues we get the privilege to play a similar role as Abraham in God’s Story, because of what Jesus did. Do you want to play an important role in God’s Story? If we are playing this role in God’s story, does that change how you handle heartaches, setbacks, and sufferings? 3. C.S. Lewis the great Christian author who wrote, The Chronicles of Narnia and many other Christians classic’s wrote: (Referring to Aslan – The Jesus Character in the story) “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. –Collected Letters The God Story 2 – Suspension of Disbelief– 3-16-14 Scripture: Genesis 18.1-15 (NIV) How does knowing God is good give you hope in the tough times? The cliché is that you can either see God through your current circumstance or you can see your current circumstances through God. But how does seeing all of life through the lens of what Jesus did for us, help you to see your struggles and triumphs differently? Prayer: God we thank you for keeping your promise to Abraham, please don’t forget about us. We need you to show up. Bring us into your Story, even if it is ways we weren’t expecting. Help us to trust you and live a life that we are called to even in the tough times. Like Abraham, may we be a blessing to all the people that we encounter. You are our hero. In Jesus name, Amen.