Sun, Feb 07, 2016

Mourning in Hope

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37 mins 13 secs
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Big Idea: We can grieve with hope, fully acknowledging our painful circumstance as we tenaciously keep our eyes focused on God. This gritty faith strengthens our resolve to faithfully stand in the places that God has put us, come what may.  

  1. Telling the Story

    1. Celebrating genocide with a drink (3:15)

    2. Mordecai and the Jewish people mourn (4:1,3)

    3. The king is in his bubble. (4:2; cf. 3:15)

    4. Esther invites Mordecai to stop grieving. (4:4)

    5. Mordecai refuses and tells Esther why. (4:4b-8a)

    6. Mordecai asks Esther to risk her life. 4:(8b)

    7. Esther articulates what is at stake. (4:9-11)

    8. Mordecai renews his call of faith “for such a time as this.” (4:12-15)

    9. “If I die, then I die.” (4:16-17)

  2. Timeless Truth and Living Differently

    1. It’s easy to lose perspective when we isolate ourselves from other people’s suffering.

    2. Mordecai models a middle way of faith filled grieving: grieving with hope.

    3. God raises up His people and puts them in places for them to participate in doing great things.

    4. Follow Esther’s example. Stand in your gap.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever seen someone celebrating at a really inappropriate time? How did you handle that? How should we handle that?

  2. Can you recall a time when you were so sad your emotions came out and you could not contain them? Would you mind sharing about that season of grief?
    How did people react to your pain?

  3. Is grief a predictable process that moves through stages and phases in an orderly manner? Or is grief a dynamic and slippery process that is very difficult to describe? Is everyone’s grief different? If so, how different? Is it possible to make general statements about the grieving process, or is everyone’s grieving unique so as to make these statements useless?

  4. Does grieving in hope make sense to you? How would you describe it to someone who didn’t understand it? Is grieving hopefully just another form of denial? If not, why not? Is it possible to be really sad and hopeful at the same time?

  5. Is this kind of gritty faith a feeling or a choice? Does the choice to acknowledge the pain of your circumstances as you worship God tend to be more an emotional experience or a conscious decision?

  6. Is it possible to get too preoccupied with safety? What are some of the consequences of too great a focus on safety? What are the consequences of too little concern for safety?

  7. What do you think of the Francis Chan video on the balance beam? What was Chan’s point? Is he right? Does he go too far?
    How would you like to live differently in light of this?[1]
  8. Was it fair for Mordecai to press Esther the way he did? Did Mordecai motivate Esther, appropriately pressing upon her the urgency of the situation, or did he manipulate her? When does motivation turn into manipulation?

  9. Was there ever a time when you had to risk your life in some way? Please tell the story.
    What would it look like for you to stand in the gap?
    Do you know where your gap is?
    Are you willing to stand thee?

[1] Link to Francis Chan video:

[1] Link to Francis Chan video:

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