Joey grew up loved and cared for. He was part of a happy family living in a pleasant community. Joey went to church and loved Jesus. Joey was living a life that many would envy; not because of an abundance of stuff, but because of an abundance of love.
But something happened; something Joey could never quite explain. It was almost a pivotal change, not a slow regression. It was as if he’d turned a page on a calendar and life was suddenly very different. He felt as if everything was in turmoil and his life was empty and meaningless.
He would describe it to others as going to the grocery store only to discover the shelves were bare. There was no produce in the fresh foods department. The meat cases were filled with ice but no meat. The freezers were warm and barren of any packages. Nothing he’d expect to find would be there.
Or he’d dream of going for a drive through the countryside, except there was no scenery. It wasn’t that there were no leaves on trees or grass on lawns; there were no lawns, no trees, no landscape. It was like looking into a fog; there…but not really there. Almost like watching an episode of Twilight Zone.
Joey had friends…family…community. He had a good job where he liked his co-workers, even his boss. But then, suddenly, he couldn’t trust anyone. It was like a giant conspiracy against him. He dared not talk to anyone, confide anything in anyone, or spend time with anyone. He felt deeply abandoned and alone.
In fact, in his attempts to explain these deep, ugly, painful feelings, he felt as if he were digging a deeper and deeper pit into which he must one day fall and remain. It was frightening him badly.
Just as suddenly as Joey turned the page into this sense of abandonment, Joey turned around. He found himself in worship and realized that even if all these deep feelings were true, even if there was no one he could trust, even if the store shelves remained forever bare, he was really never alone. He’d heard a voice that finally found its way to the surface. It said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Text: Micah 7:1–7 (ESV)
Listening to the Text
These questions are specifically designed to help you look at the text more carefully.
- Micah describes the depth of social disintegration as being so thorough we can’t even trust our most trusted connections. Underline those images in verses 5-6.
- What is the basis for the hope expressed in verse 7?
Applying What We’ve Heard
These questions are to help you see how the text applies to you and others.
- How do you imagine it would feel to live in a situation where no one can be trusted?
- Micah found confidence in knowing that God hears. What is it about God that gives you confidence?
Jesus, many of us live in a context where we don’t feel we can trust even our closest friends and family. You experienced that even among your disciples. Thank you for not giving up. Please help us not to get discouraged, but to find confidence in you. You are dependable, loving and kind. Father, we trust you when we can’t trust anyone else. In your righteousness, you uphold the standards of correct conduct. In your mercy, you overlook our failures. We’re grateful. Holy Spirit, move us to be as faithful as Jesus and the Father. Encourage us with your presence so we never feel alone. Amen.
Listening to Jesus
Read: John 10:22-29
No matter what the evil one might like to do to Jesus’ disciples, not even he can tear us away from Jesus. We are promised safety and sanctity in His hands. So long as we choose to be with Jesus, He will never leave us nor forsake us. No one can take us from Him.
Responding in Life
- Who in your group seems to need a word of encouragement? Call them. Text them. Go see them.