Finding God When You Experiencing God When You Get Need

Finding God When You Experiencing God When You Get Need Him Most (Part 1) a Raw Deal Psalm 73 For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org...

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 1)

Experiencing God When You Get a Raw Deal Psalm 73

Introduction:

As I walked across my college campus, I half-prayed and half muttered feelings of anger and resentment toward God like never before.

I had only months ago made the biggest and most sacrificial Lordship decision of my life . . . only to “get this!”

I irreverently (and unwisely) told God He better speak to me very clearly when I got back to my room or “I was out of this Christian life for good.”

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 1)

Experiencing God When You Get a Raw Deal Psalm 73

A Song of Pain and Perspective When Life Doesn’t Seem Fair: Psalm 73 1

Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. 7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. 10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. 11 They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?" 12This is what the wicked are like-- always carefree, they increase in wealth. 13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning. 15 If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed your children. 16 When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me. . . 17 Till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! 20 As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. 21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 1)

Experiencing God When You Get a Raw Deal Psalm 73

Life Lessons from Psalm 73: 1. Pour out your heart! Even godly people struggle with doubts and confusion when God’s truth and their experience doesn’t mesh. (vs. 1-14)

2. Consider carefully your choices! When tempted to “throw in the towel” we must weigh the impact it will have on others. (vs. 15-16)

3. Get the big picture! When we see life through an eternal perspective we realize what’s really important and what’s not. (vs. 17-26)

4. Reaffirm your relationship with God! Ultimately God’s presence is the only sure source of security and joy, both now and forever. (vs. 27-28)

 A Testimony of Psalm 73

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 1)

Experiencing God When You Get a Raw Deal Psalm 73

Action Steps: For personal, family, growth groups, and ministry team use. 1. When was the last time you experienced a “raw deal” (a real injustice)?

2. How did you respond?

3. Which of the Life Lessons were most helpful to you? Why?

4. What specific step do you believe God would have you take to experience His presence even amidst the “raw deal” you have experienced?

5. Will you take that step today?

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 2)

Experiencing God in Times of Crisis Psalm 23

Introduction: The question in life is not, “Will we go through difficult times?”

The question in life is, “How will we go through them?”



Will we go through them alone?



Will we keep a stiff upper lip?



Will we be crushed under their weight?



Will we give up in despair?



Will we go into denial?



Will we become bitter and resentful?



Will we “pretend” to protect others?

OR

Will we experience the peace and power of God in ways one could never imagine?

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 2)

Experiencing God in Times of Crisis Psalm 23

A Song of Comfort for Those in Crisis: Psalm 23 1

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

3

he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 2)

Experiencing God in Times of Crisis Psalm 23

Discovering the Secret of David’s Unshakable Confidence in the Midst of Crisis:

1. I shall not be in want . . . . . . because the Shepherd provides all my needs.

2. I will fear no evil . . . . . . because the Shepherd protects me from all evil.

3. I will dwell in the house of the Lord . . . . . . because the Shepherd promises me an abundant life now, and forever.

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 2)

Experiencing God in Times of Crisis Psalm 23

How Can You Experience God’s Peace and Power in Your Situation Today? Understand that . . . … We are all sheep. … Every sheep needs a shepherd. … Jesus wants to be your shepherd today. 28

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) 29

A Prayer of Faith: Today, I ask You, Jesus, to be my Shepherd. I ask You to provide for my needs and protect me from evil. Today, I “take You up” on Your promise of an abundant life. I ask You to forgive my sins and let me dwell in Your house forever. Today, I surrender my life to Your wise and good leadership. Make me the person you want me to be. ______________________________

Signed

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 3)

Experiencing God When You Feel Like Nobody, Going Nowhere Psalm 139

Introduction: Michael’s Story



A ferocious bark …



A pounding door …



A terrified child …



A little light …



A timeless principle …

Our Perceptions Determine Our Responses:

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 3)

Experiencing God When You Feel Like Nobody, Going Nowhere Psalm 139

Five Things to Remember: When You Feel Like a Nobody, Going Nowhere 1. God knows you! 1

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5You hem me in-- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.  You are understood by God.

2. God is pursuing you! 7

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.  You are chosen/wanted by God.

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 3)

Experiencing God When You Feel Like Nobody, Going Nowhere Psalm 139

3. God made you! 13

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16ayour eyes saw my unformed body.

 You are awesome/precious in God’s sight.

4. God has a plan just for you! 16b

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.  You are indispensible to God.

5. God’s world is warped with wickedness! 19

If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! 20They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? 22I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  You have a decision to make.

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 3)

Experiencing God When You Feel Like Nobody, Going Nowhere Psalm 139

Action Steps: For personal, family, growth groups, and ministry team use.

1. When was the last time you felt like a “nobody . . . going nowhere?”

2. What factors do you think cause you to think this way about yourself?

3. Which of the first “four things to remember” from Psalm 139 connected most deeply with your soul? Why do you think that particular point was significant to you?

4. How does getting “God’s perspective” of who we are change us? What are some practical ways for you to build on today’s message and get God’s view of you?

5. Did you pray verses 23 and 24? Did God show you anything? Who might help you take steps of faith to act on what God showed you?

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 4)

Experiencing God When You’re Troubled and Depressed Psalm 77

Introduction: “Depression is as old as human history. The Bible has many examples of people struggling with despondency and despair. In his depression and fatigue, Elijah asked for his life to be taken. Jonah felt deeply despondent after God did not destroy Nineveh. Jeremiah regretted the day he was born. Job’s wife advised him to curse God and die in the midst of the suffering and pain. Well-known church leaders like Martin Luther, John Bunyan, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and J.B. Phillips struggled with depression and so did political leaders such as Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln.

Depression is no respecter of persons. It has been called the common cold of emotional disorders, and it appears to be on the rise. In the United States it is one of the most prevalent and serious mental disorders, affecting about 20 percent of the population at some time in their lives. People of both genders get depressed, although women are twice as likely as men to suffer from major depressive and dysthymic disorders.”

From Understanding and Coping with Depression

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 4)

Experiencing God When You’re Troubled and Depressed Psalm 77

A Song of Comfort for the “Dark Night of the Soul”

Psalm 77 1

I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. 2When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. 3I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah 4

You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. 5I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; 6I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired: 7"Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? 8Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? 9Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?" Selah 10

Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High." 11I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. 13Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? 14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. 15With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah 16

The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. 17The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. 18Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. 19 Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. 20You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 4)

Experiencing God When You’re Troubled and Depressed Psalm 77

Life Lessons from Psalm 77: 1. Times of depression are something even the most godly wrestle with on occasion. Psalm77:1-9

2. Taking time to recall God’s specific blessings in our past, provides perspective and peace in the present. Psalm77:10-20

How? 

STOP! Take time to remember .



LOOK! Get a fresh perspective .

Psalm77:13-15



LEARN! He will meet/help you.

Psalm77:16-20

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

Psalm77:10-12

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 4)

Experiencing God When You’re Troubled and Depressed Psalm 77

An Action Plan to Overcome Depression: For personal, family, growth groups, and ministry team use -

1. Examine Your Thinking: •

Do you recognize that it is normal to feel depressed now and then?



Is your focus on the pressure / problems you’re experiencing; or on your response to those pressures / problems?

2. Examine Your Behavior: •

Are you choosing positive or negative responses to your depression?



Have you willfully stopped to recall God’s blessings in your past? - pictures - old videos - slides - journals - albums - napkin exercise

3. Examine Your Future: •

Can the God who did so much in your past handle what you are facing today?



Is there a specific, positive step you could take to thank God or to help someone else in order to demonstrate your confidence in God’s love for you?

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 5)

Experiencing God When You Are Gripped By Fear Psalm 46

Introduction: Fear – lit. “sudden attack,” A feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger, evil or pain. To feel frightened, timid, apprehension, terror, or dread. (Webster’s Dictionary)

• My Fears

• Your Fears

• Our Fears

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 5)

Experiencing God When You Are Gripped By Fear Psalm 46

A Song of Hope and Confidence for Life’s Darkest Hours: Psalm 46

God – Our Source of Hope 1

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah

God’s Presence – Our Reason for Hope 4

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

God’s Calling – To Experience His Presence 8

Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah 9

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 5)

Experiencing God When You Are Gripped By Fear Psalm 46

Life Lessons from Psalm 46: 1. We don’t have to be afraid because God is “for us.”

Psalm46:1-3

2. God’s presence provides an unlimited supply of joy, protection, security, and deliverance even in the midst of our most severe adversity. Psalm46:4-7

3. God implores us to come and experience His presence in our times of greatest need. Psalm46:8-11

4. God’s presence sustains us moment by moment as we learn to trust Him. Psalm46:11

 Your Move – Father, I feel very afraid concerning __________________________; so today I choose to give You my fear and demonstrate my trust in You by __________________________________________________________________.

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 5)

Experiencing God When You Are Gripped By Fear Psalm 46

Action Steps: For personal, family, growth groups, and ministry team use -

1. Where are you tempted in your life to “cave in” to fear? Explain.

2. What does it mean that God is our refuge, our strength, and our fortress?

3. In what ways has God’s power and presence sustained you in the past? How does recalling these help you face today?

4. How did the testimonies given today give you hope for your situation?

5. What would “Be still and know that I am God” look like in your life right now? Are you willing to do that?

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 6)

Experiencing God When You’ve Blown it Big Time Psalm 51

Introduction: Sometimes … . 

. . . smart people do dumb things



. . . wise people do foolish things



. . . godly people do sinful things

What all humans have in common is failure. W .

But with God . . . . . .FAILURE IS NEVER FINAL!



A Story to Ponder



A Question to Answer

Resource: The Seven Keys to Spiritual Renewal by Stephen Arterburn

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 6)

Experiencing God When You’ve Blown it Big Time Psalm 51

A Song of Confession:

Psalm 51 1

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. 5Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. 7Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 13

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. 14Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 18

In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 6)

Experiencing God When You’ve Blown it Big Time Psalm 51

7 Steps to Spiritual Recovery: 1. Come clean with God!

2 Samuel 12:13

2. Ask God for forgiveness.

Psalm 51:1-2

3. Own Responsibility for your sin.

Psalm 51:3-5

4. Accept God’s forgiveness and cleansing.

Psalm 51:6-9

5. Request a “fresh” work of grace!

Psalm 51:10-12

6. Resolve to use past failures for ministry.

Psalm 51:13-17

7. Pray for “limited fall-out” from your folly.

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 7)

Experiencing God in Times of Confusion Psalm 90

Introduction: Confusion Definition: 1) to mix up, jumble together, put in disorder, 2) an inability to distinguish between things, bewilderment, 3) a lack of coherent, orderly thinking in the midst of complex problems, relationships, and decision making opportunities. Syn – disorder, disarray, chaos, muddled



The Problem with Confusion: It immobilizes, paralyzes, de-motivates, and neutralizes individual and corporate progress and effectiveness.



The Cure for Confusion: A lesson from master teachers:  Reduce Complexity = K.I.S.S.

 Increase Clarity = G.B.T.T.B.

Reference: Peter Drucker - Author

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 7)

Experiencing God in Times of Confusion Psalm 90

Getting Back to the Basics: Psalm 90 1

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Life is Short 3 You turn men back to dust, saying, "Return to dust, O sons of men." 4For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. 5You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning-6 though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered. Sin is Serious 7 We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. 8You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. 9All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. 10The length of our days is seventy years--or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Wisdom is Essential 11 Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. 12Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Mercy is Available Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. 14Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. 13

Success is Possible 16 May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. 17May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us--yes, establish the work of our hands.

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 7)

Experiencing God in Times of Confusion Psalm 90

6 Questions to Ask When You’re Confused: 1. Am I rightly related to God?

2. Am I prepared to die?

3. Am I taking sin seriously?

4. Am I spending or investing my life?

5. Am I experiencing the joy of the Lord?

6. Am I impacting my world for good?

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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Finding God When You Need Him Most (Part 7)

Experiencing God in Times of Confusion Psalm 90

Life Application Questions: 1. In what area of your life are you experiencing the most confusion? • • • •

Spiritual? Relational? Vocational? Other?

2. Place an asterisk next to the section of Psalm 90 (on page 2 of this handout) which spoke most powerfully to you. Share with your group (or write privately) why you think this section of the Psalm impacted you.

3. How does asking “the big questions” of life help us move from confusion to clarity? Which of the six questions helped bring clarity or a need for reevaluation in your life?

4. What one action step would demonstrate that you are serious about “numbering your days to gain a heart of wisdom?” Who will hold you accountable and encourage you for the next 45 days?

For more resources, go to LivingontheEdge.org Copyright © 2012 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

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