Living With Courage in Difficult Times

The story of Gideon is a needed reminder that our inadequacy is a poor excuse for inactivity. We are not called to follow Christ because we are courageous, but rather God awakens courage in us with each step of obedience. -Pastor Dave

Open: Have you ever had a time you cowered in fear? Describe the situation:

Read: Judges 21:25; Judges 6-8; Hebrews 11:32; 1 John 4

Discuss: 1. Describe the sin cycle in the book of Judges: What is the condition of God’s people at this point in history? Who is ruling over them?

2. What are your first impressions of Gideon? What made him afraid? Is this a healthy fear? What are the things that bring us fear in our lives today? How does fear keep us from obeying God?

3. Compare the words of God to the words of Gideon in 6:7-15. How did Gideon’s view of himself differ from God’s view of Him? How did Gideon’s view of the problem differ from God’s? In what ways do you feel inadequate for God’s service?

4. In 6:25-32 what was God’s first command to Gideon? Why was this important? How do small steps of obedience help move us to greater levels of opportunity? How do you account for Gideon’s need for more signs of God’s presence (6:36-40)? Why do you suppose God obliged Gideon’s “erratic” faith? Describe how God continued to work on Gideon’s faithfulness in the preparation for battle with the Midianites?

5. How does the story of Gideon show us God’s patience with His people? Gideon’s life ends oddly. Describe the overconfidence of Gideon: How do we move from lacking adequacy to overconfidence in our spiritual journey?

Pray: Pray that you would release the fear that grips you and step out in obedience in the places God is calling you.

Memorize/Meditate: When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? Psalms 56:3-4 O