December 4, 2022 – Pastor Mark Albrecht
Message Big Idea – Just as Daniel, we as Christians face a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) future. In this, we should expect persecution and difficulty to intensify. Yet, our trust in God’s reliable Word, our knowledge of God’s purpose for our lives, and the promise of God’s final victory should lead us to a deep sense of peace amidst this VUCA world.
- Take a moment to reflect (if you are going through this on your own) or share (if you are with others in a group setting): What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
- Do you have a quirky fear or anxiety? Perhaps you don’t like snakes. Maybe you startle very easily. Has this led to any funny stories?
- Read Daniel 7 (Read twice – ESV and either NLT or Message)
- Go around the group and briefly retell the passage in your own words.
- What word or phrase “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most? Why?
- In a vision, Daniel sees a churning sea in which four beasts emerge, unnatural and terrible to behold (vv. 2-8). Later, Daniel confesses to his anxiety and alarm at seeing these things (vv. 15, 28). He responds by seeking truth from a trustworthy source (v. 16). How does the world feel about sources of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity? Is it similar to Daniel? How does the world respond?
- What are some of the ‘Beasts’ out there in the world today (e.g., nations, corporations, threats, etc.)? How do they differ across different groups and sources (e.g., conservative/liberal, media outlets, etc.)?
- Take a moment to examine your personal sources of anxiety and alarm, recognizing that Daniel experienced similar emotions. What are they? How do they align/disagree with the various groups and sources discussed in the previous question?
- Now, reflect on how you have responded to alarm and anxiety in the past. Where do you go when seeking truth? Why?
- Discuss some practical ways you can incorporate the reliability of God’s Word, the knowledge of God’s purpose for your life, and the promise of God’s final victory in how you respond to our VUCA world. Try to be as specific as possible. For example, if you suggest prayer, discuss how you want to pray. Is it prayerful meditation on God’s Word? Is it prolonged reflection on God’s sovereignty? Is it done in silence, disconnecting from your phone and other disruptions?
Live It Out:
- What is one thing God seems to be asking you to do in response to this passage? (i.e., “I will ….”)
- Who can you tell about this “I will” statement in the next 48 hours?
- Journal about your time in God’s Word this week. Stop to listen to what He might be telling you. Celebrate His presence through His Word!
- Spend some time in intentional prayer. Present your anxieties before the throne, asking for peace and stillness. Reflect on how the Lord has prophetically fulfilled his plan in the past as revealed in His Word. Thank God for the assurance of His promises. Meditate on knowing He has a purpose for your life. Linger on how the Ancient of Days guarantees His ultimate victory. Amen!