The Necessity of Belief
Jeremiah 17v5-10; 14
- What kinds of advertising or salespeople are you most skeptical of? Why do you think you tend to doubt these things?
- What type of research do you do before making a major purchase or travel reservation online? Have you ever made a blind “leap of faith”? How did that work out?
- In what ways do you see faith and doubt interacting? Does doubt erase faith or does doubt enhance faith?
“Everyone, even the most jaded hipster, has faith.”
- Most people assume that faith is only as strong as a person is certain and that doubt is the enemy of faith. But the all-important center of Christianity is not a mental assent to correct doctrine; it’s a life-giving relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.
- Faith is not the absence of doubt but rather a commitment to Christ even in the midst of uncertainty. God calls us into a covenantal faith that embraces doubt and uncertainty in the context of a love relationship
- In verses 5–8 Jeremiah gives us a picture of two trees, and they are depictions of the human heart. What is the common characteristic of both (vv. 5, 7)?
- Every expression of doubt is an assertion of faith. Every single person, whether they believe in God or not, is committed to a particular view about God and spiritual reality. Discuss.
- Read v. 6. What kind of roots does a desert shrub have? What Jeremiah is saying here is every human heart has to put its roots into something. You can make God the center of your life, but if God is not the center of your life, there will be something else you will suck on for your significance, for your security, for your purpose and meaning, with equal intensity that you would for God. What are the results?
- Read v. 7. Why is Jeremiah being repetitious here?
- Read vv. 5-8. Notice Jeremiah doesn’t say, “Here’s a shrub in the desert and here is a tree by the water.” He says, “Here’s a shrub in the desert and here’s a tree planted by the water.” What is the big difference?
- Read v. 14. What does it mean to ask God to heal our hearts?
Do you believe in miracles?
Is love an accident?
Do you believe in miracles?
Is this all we get?
- Jeremy Messersmith
- A lot of people say “I believe in a god of love.” But let’s step back for a moment, where is the evidence for that belief? What’s the basis for that belief? Where did you get it from?
- Who in your life can you share your doubts (about God, Jesus, the Bible, etc…) with? In what healthy ways can you share your doubts with these people? “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - John 4v14
- Jesus died of thirst so we could have the river of God. Jesus was uprooted so we could be planted in God. When you grasp the gospel, the gospel grasps you and lifts you up and replants you. It gets your roots out of all of these other things and puts you down into God.
Lord, with Your glorious, unlimited resources, empower us and make our roots grow down deep into your love, Holy Spirit. Help us to understand today how long, and wide, how high, and deep is Your love. May we experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to fully understand.