Thrive: A Study of Psalm 119
- How would you describe your life right now? Are you just surviving? Or would you say that you are thriving?
- Do you believe that it is possible to live a life here on earth that thrives? Why or why not?
- What is your opinion on the idea in verse 1-3 that complete happiness is found in holiness?
- Where are there patterns of sin in your life that could be holding you back from thriving? What’s the next step you can take to combat those sin struggles?
- “Keeping your way pure looks like a high view of God’s Word.” How would you describe the way you view the Bible? How does that affect the way you live?
- Re-read Matthew 5:19. Now skim the next couple chapters of Matthew where Jesus is preaching. How have you (or maybe our surrounding culture) “relaxed” some of these commands of Jesus?
- Blamelessness is essential to blessedness. We become blameless by grace through faith in Jesus. How should this affect the way we live? Honestly, how does this affect how we live?
Week 2 Discussion Guide:
- Describe your best life. If you could fabricate the perfect life what would it look like?
- Where have you been blinded to some of the obvious things in scripture in the past? How did you notice it and what did you do about it?
- In verse 19, the writer feels like a foreigner on earth because of his personal holiness. Has this ever happened to you? How did you deal with it?
- Do you believe that you can enjoy God and His Word just as much as any other pleasure in life? Why or why not?
- Have you had an experience with sin that left you realizing you were “clinging to dust”? Sharing this could be really helpful to others in similar struggles.
- What are some practical ways you can try to grow your delight in God and His Word? Hold each other accountable!
Week 3 Discussion Guide:
- Have you ever gone through a season of life where you could look back and see God orchestrating events that you could not see at the time? If so, share.
- What is your opinion on the idea that God is the one who causes us to “will and work”?
- What are some things you are asking God to give you a desire for?
- What are some things in your life that you need to get rid of by asking God to take away your desire for it?
- Where have you seen a need for security from God in this shaky culture?
- What are some practical steps you can take to find more joy in God, His Word, and His ways?
- Does Jesus’ promise in Matthew 7:7-12 make you more likely to approach God in prayer? Why? What are some things at the top of your list to ask for from God?
Week 4 Discussion Guide:
- Are there areas of your life (or the lives of your loved ones) where you need more hope? How can you prioritize God’s Word in the coming weeks as your hope?
- Has God ever comforted you through His Word? If so, share.
- Which of the reminders about suffering was most needed in your life?
It is inevitable, it accomplishes much, it is increasing, God is in control
- When you need some stability in your life, where do you normally turn? Why?
- What do you think it means in your life that God is your portion? Why?
- Who is someone you know who has truly built their life on the Word of God? How is their life going? If you don’t know someone like that, who are some people you’d like to get to know more, so you can see their life as an example to you?
Week 5 Discussion Guide:
- What are some ways that you have recognized God’s goodness in your life? How can you continue to grow in gratitude?
- What things are most valuable to you in your life currently? Why? How can you start to view God and His Word as more valuable than all other things?
- How do you think making these two perspective shifts can help your life thrive?
- What would you say your purpose in life is? Why?
- What do you think it means to be made by God and for God? How does that change your perspective on your purpose?
- Looking at verses 67, 71, and 75, what are some purposes that God might have for your season of problems/pain?
- What are some practical next steps to try to see God’s purposes in the bad parts of life? How might this help you thrive?
Week 6 Discussion Guide:
- What are some things that “sit heavy on your soul?” How do you usually combat those thoughts?
- Why do you think we often seek distraction rather than defense against discouraging thoughts?
- Read Hebrews 12:2, John 17:17-24, Rev. 20:11-15. Which one of these encourages you most? Why?
- Are there any other verses you use to combat discouragement?
- How could looking toward the future promised in God’s Word encourage you through feelings of hopelessness?
- Think about God’s immutability (big word for He does not change). What present circumstances can be put into perspective by thinking about past stories of God’s faithfulness to you?
- Thriving in the present is started by looking to the future, remembering the past and sustained by God’s Word. Which one of those do you need to focus on most? What is a practical next step you can take to initiate change in that area?
Week 7 Discussion Guide:
- What do you think your worldview is? Why do you think it’s important to identify it?
- Is a Biblical worldview a new idea for you? Regardless of if it is or not, what do you think about filtering everything through the lens of Scripture?
- Think of the big issues you want wisdom for. How can you apply the Bible to those issues? If you’re not sure, do some research this week and tell the group next time!
- Thinking about verse 105, how can God’s Word give light and clarity to the surroundings of our culture? What are some ways you can use it as a guide in your life?
- Do you rely on God’s Word as THE source or just another resource in your quest to make sense of life? Why?
- Think through some of the struggles and stressors of your day to day life. To apply Scripture to those situations, ask each other for verse/story suggestions, Google search, “Bible verses about___”, or consult reputable websites like desiringgod.org, gotquestions.org, or thegospelcoalition.org. Talk through these situations as a group.
- Continue exercises like this with other scenarios you encounter during the week. If you have one that is extra difficult to determine a Biblical worldview, ask your pastor. Feel free to email matthew@discoverREVO.com as well.
Week 8 Discussion Guide:
- Are you currently experiencing doubts and difficult questions about the Christian faith? What are you doing about it? If not, have you gone through a season like this in the past? What helped you through it?
- Why is it important to go to God during a time of doubt? Why do you think it’s easy to be tempted to hide those things from God?
- Do you have a “Christian corner” that you can retreat to when you need it? If so, what makes those people helpful? If not, who are some people you could ask to be this for you?
- Question #1 gave you an opportunity to share doubts and questions with the group. Here’s one more chance to get it out into the light before moving on. Do you have anything else you have not voiced?
- Are you currently in a desert season spiritually? If so, why do you think that is? If not, recall a time you have been dry spiritually. What caused it and what solved it?
- How can remembering your standing before God as His servant for His purposes help your desert season?
- What is encouraging about realizing that God was the one who authored your faith?
- What is a practical step you can take now to get out of a desert season or prevent one?
Week 9 Discussion Guide:
- Is your stage of life right now more like the route overview, route planning, the actual driving directions, or a little bit of all three?
- What do you think heart level obedience means for a Christian? Why do you think it’s so important?
- What do you think heart level obedience looks like practically in your life? What do you need to evaluate down to the heart level? If you need some help, think about the story Matthew shared from his life.
- How can understanding theology in your head, help your life thrive?
- In your life as a Christ-follower, how are you moving from right motives (heart), toward a right understanding of God (head), and to right actions (hands)?
- Talk about the tension between not acting until your heart is right, so you never act at all, and caring only about actions and not about the heart behind it. Which one is your tendency? How can you improve?
Week 10 Discussion Guide:
- Have you ever made promises to God based on your own actions or abilities?
- What are you putting your hope in as you think about the end of this series and living a life that thrives?
- What do you think it means to have hope based on God’s Word?
- In what ways can you relate to David’s pattern of life of bad circumstances followed by a cry for help from God?
- What does it look like in your life to believe that your thriving is not based on your efforts, but live differently?
- What do you think it looks like to live out of a place of blessing instead of trying to earn the blessing? Why is that important?
Week 11 Discussion Guide:
- If you had to choose one of the extremes on this spectrum would you say that you treat God’s Word more like treasure or trash?
- How do you think our attitude toward scripture affects the time we spend reading it and what we get out of it?
- Look at verses 163-165. Do you find this description of God’s Word accurate for your own life? Why or why not?
- Be honest: do you truly believe God’s Word is worth your time? How does your daily life prove your answer?
Leader Note: the logical train of thought for this question is if the answer is no then how can you base your entire life and eternity on something that is not worth your time? It can be a heavy reality to think about, so tread carefully. At the same time, the realization that ‘I am basing my eternity on a book I don’t even read’ can be a powerful life changer, so don’t avoid the hard things!
- What has been your favorite part of this study? Why? Which of the 11 theme sentences is most helpful and applicable to you?
- How are you going to put into practice truths that you have learned?
- If you have any questions or follow-up comments, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.