Study Guide - God is Wise

God is Wise

Newbreak’s Sermon Study Guide is an in-house resource that serves sermon-based Life Groups and/or individuals who want to reflect further on how the message contributes to their spiritual formation.

In this week’s study, we continue our sermon series Flash Theology, based on the book. This time we talk about God’s wisdom and hold it up next to the challenge of suffering and hardships. In a world filled with tragedies both distant and close to home in our own lives: Why should we trust God?

Icebreakers for Life Groups

  • What movie is next on your list to see?
  • What is your impression of the book of Job in the Bible?

Going Deeper Into the Message

Why should I trust God?

Read Job 38 – 39 (the sermon focuses on chapter 38 verses 1–11)

Point 1 – God is eternally wise.

The book of Job is a intriguing–and heartbreaking–story. The Bible Project’s video HERE helps summarize it and is great to watch alone or as a group.

After breaking the silence, God addresses Job in his deep anguish, but he doesn’t answer his question. Here we see God pointing to the intricacy and complexity within creation to make the case for his wisdom.

God takes Job on a virtual tour of the universe. He challenges Job that he cannot run the universe, nor can he understand it! It is all way over his pay grade...

Essentially, God says to Job: “You question my wisdom but do you even understand the wisdom displayed in the founding and the sustaining of the world?

This is what God is doing over the next 3 chapters. He is laying down his resume as to why we can trust his wisdom.

→ God’s wisdom is beautifully complex.

Trusting God means welcoming his mystery and wisdom to override our whys and what-ifs. The idea is really well said by the obscure French Domincan Pastor, J. M. L. Monsabre:

“If God would concede me his omnipotence [power] for twenty-four hours, you would see how many changes I would make in the world. But if he gave me his wisdom too, I would leave things as they are.”

Just marinate on that for a moment! But if we had God’s wisdom, wouldn’t we keep things on the trajectory they are going? If we were given God’s power and we would change things, are we not saying that we could govern the world better than him? Is this not a lack of trust in his wisdom?

It is important to note here that we are not saying God likes or condones all that is happening, but in his wisdom, his big plan is not being thwarted and will put things toward an ultimate end far greater than we could contrive! God sees the end from the beginning. His wisdom reverse engineers the end-goal in light of our current position.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. Why is the book of Job an important book of the Bible?
  2. God’s response to Job doesn’t answer his question. However, how does God’s response act as a fitting response to Job?
  3. Without comparing your suffering to Job, in what ways have you related to Job?
  4. Think about the complexity of creation and God as its intelligent designer. What details of creation fascinate you in particular? Why?
  5. Re-read the quote from J. M. L. Monsabre above. How does that quote speak to you and challenge you? Why might this be an important perspective shift?

Why should I trust God?

Read Job 42:1–6

Point 2 – God’s wisdom compels me to trust him.

Job 42:3 (NLT) You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.

Job’s concession means that he believes that everything occurring on earth takes place within the framework of God’s eternal, complex, divine wisdom. God never tells Job that his complaints were invalid or that he was wrong to defend his own honor. For God to begin to unravel some of the complexities brought Job to a place of humility to see that the whole workings of God’s plan could not be adequately explained to him. It is not that God lacks the wisdom to explain it, but Job lacks the wisdom to understand it.

We often treat our suffering like something that needs answers. We think of it as a riddle needing to be solved. But what if it is not so? What if suffering is less of a riddle with an achievable answer and more of a mystery that is beckons our exploration? What if our suffering doesn’t lead us to a “why” but to a “who”?

→ Job’s resolution was not through an explanation from God but an encounter with God.

Trusting God’s wisdom doesn’t mean everything will make sense to you. You may never understand why certain things happened the way they did. However, learning to trust God’s wisdom is way to embracing his goodness as the quality that drives everything in how he governs the universe. He is good and he is wise. If we don’t get something or like something, give it time. If even that fails, trust his character. Trust his heart even when you can’t see his hand in it.

Bottom Line: God is worthy of our trust because he is wise.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. How does Job’s response inspire you as you wrestle with reconciling God’s wisdom and the problem of suffering?
  2. When was a time in your life you had to come to grips with having to trust God even when you did not understand the circumstances?
  3. “God is worthy of our trust because he is wise.” How does this statement help form your theology?

Final Challenge Questions

  1. How are you going to think or live differently in light of what you have read, heard, and discussed this week?
  2. How does this week’s message shape or nurture your relationship with God?
  3. BONUS: For those of you with kids or around kids: What is one truth from this message that you can share with your kids in a way that they would relate to or understand?

Memorize Job 42:3 (NLT) You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.

About Our Current Sermon Series

Did you know that what you believe about God is the most important thing about you? In other words, nothing is more important than knowing God. Learning about God–who he is and what he is like–is called “theology.” Theology isn’t just for the spiritually elite, it is for everyone! It is as basic as a child’s question about God or as vast as a scholar’s life time investigation–and everything in between! Theology matters because it affects how we pray, how steward our finances, how we treat others–literally everything! This is an invitation to the curious, to those who want to know God more and even enjoy him!