- What are some things that have helped shape your identity?
Read and Discuss
Genesis 15:5-6 CSB
5 He [God] took him [Abram] outside and said, “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “Your offspring will be that numerous.”
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
- What was God’s promise to Abram?
- Why did Abram believe what God told him?
- Is there anything in your life right now that you are having trouble believing that God will do what He said He’ll do?
Abram’s wife, Sarai, had not borne any children for him, but she owned an Egyptian slave named Hagar. 2 Sarai said to Abram, “Since the Lord has prevented me from bearing children, go to my slave; perhaps through her I can build a family.” And Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So Abram’s wife, Sarai, took Hagar, her Egyptian slave, and gave her to her husband, Abram, as a wife for him. This happened after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan ten years. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she saw that she was pregnant, her mistress became contemptible to her. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for my suffering! I put my slave in your arms, and when she saw that she was pregnant, I became contemptible to her. May the Lord judge between me and you.”
6 Abram replied to Sarai, “Here, your slave is in your power; do whatever you want with her.” Then Sarai mistreated her so much that she ran away from her.
- Why did Sarai have trouble trusting in God’s plan?
- What happened as a result of Sarai making up her own plan?
- What were some things Sarai was finding her identity in apart from God?
- Why did Abram go along with Sarai’s plan?
- When are times in your life that it’s been hard to trust God’s plan?
- Is there anything you’ve been praying for for a long time?
- Why might it be hard to trust God when you have to wait a long time for an answer?
Genesis 16:7-10,13 NET
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring of water in the wilderness—the spring that is along the road to Shur. 8 He said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She replied, “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai.”
9 Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her authority. 10 I will greatly multiply your descendants,” the angel of the Lord added, “so that they will be too numerous to count.”
13 So Hagar named the Lord who spoke to her, “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “Here I have seen one who sees me!”
- Why does the Lord question Hagar?
- When you find yourself in a place of hurt, what are some questions the Lord might ask you?
- Why did God want her to go back and submit to Sarai who had been mistreating her?
- How did Hagar’s identity change with this encounter?
- How did she see God differently after this?
- What are some ways the Lord has used hardship to shape your identity in Him?
- What is a difficult circumstance you or someone you know is walking through right now?
- How can knowing God sees you help you through that?
- What is one thing you can do this week to follow His plan through this time?
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Thank the Lord for being the God who sees you, in the good and bad times.
Adoration- worship the Lord for being near to us
Confess to the times you’ve tried your own plans instead of God’s
Others- Pray for someone you know is going through a hard time. Ask the Lord for ways to talk to them this week and point them to the God who sees them.
Self- Ask the Lord to help you follow Him even when it takes awhile and even when you don’t understand His plan
It’s easy to try to find our identity in the things we do or think we should be. But when those things go away, we start to feel like we don’t even know who we really are. In those moments we can turn to the Lord, or turn to something else that brings temporary identity and fulfillment.
For me, I struggle with finding my identity in the approval of others. When someone puts me down or is disappointed in me, if I let it, it can devastate me. It’s difficult for me at times to remember that God sees me, with all my faults and flaws, and still loves me. When I focus on that, then I can be around people, not for their approval, but to hopefully point them to Jesus.
What are the things for you that can take you on a path away from the God who sees you? What do you need to do to head back towards Him?