When we find ourselves in times of desperation we naturally take matters into our own hands. We run…we fight…we struggle. But it’s in these moments that God moves toward us. He contends with us…He burdens our hearts, conflicts our minds, and convicts our will so that we can move from personal desperation to divine deliverance.
Open: Describe a desperate moment in your life; What was the outcome?
Read: Genesis 27-35; 1 John 4:18
1. Define desperation: How does desperation usually show itself when we run out of options? How have you seen this in your life journey? Where do we go when we find ourselves in desperate situations? How do you see this played out in Jacob’s journey?
2. Jacob found himself between a rock and a hard place. Explain the situation: In what ways did Jacob run in moments of stress and difficulty? How does fear work in connection with desperation? What are some typical ways we respond in moments of fearful desperation? Why?
3. How does our human view of desperation stem from self-dependence? In what ways do we try to manipulate and manage God in the midst of our desperation?
4. God uses Jacob’s desperation to get his attention. How does God use desperation to get our attention and to pull us away from self-dependence? In Genesis 32, Jacob ends up in a wrestling match with God. What benefit was God seeking to impart to Jacob when He injured Jacob’s hip? How was Jacob blessed by this moment?
5. God renames Jacob, what is that name? How does God use desperation to move us from who we think we are to who we are in Him? How do our “wrestling” moments with God in times of desperation lead us to a life lived with confidence in the blessings/promises of God?
Pray: Pray that in desperate moments, your attention would be drawn to the deliverance that only God can bring. Remember that desperate moments lead to Divine blessings.
Memorize/Meditate: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:1