Hope and Settled Faith

Study Guide

At the end of his life, Jacob is confident of his future and of God’s power and sovereignty over all things. He is able to look back on God’s faithfulness to him and, with the fullness of faith, pass on this blessing to his grandchildren.
  1. In Genesis 48:2, we see Jacob not focused on himself but gathering his strength to do the work God still has for him to do and pass on to others what God has given to him. How can you emulate Jacob in this? What can you do to age well?

  2. We struggle to believe God’s sovereignty because it destroys our illusion of control, puts us in a position to trust a God we can’t understand, and places us in a supporting role in our own life story.

    • How and where does the illusion of control show up in your life? We all create systems that give us the appearance of safety and control—what are yours? (e.g. having the “right” friends, your children being on the “right” team or going to the “right” school, etc.)
    • What are some areas where you find yourself trying to be the center of your own story? How might you be living like this life is all about you, and what can you change or re-prioritize so that you are in a supporting role for what God is doing beyond you instead of the lead role?
    • How does your soul wrestle with trusting a God you can’t control or understand? In what areas do you find yourself expecting God to justify himself to you? How might you need to repent of unbelief?
  3. As Jacob’s life is ending and he looks back over his life, he displays full confidence that God is almighty and worthy of being trusted. How have you or how have you not become settled and confident that God is almighty and can be trusted with your future? Where in your life can you practically embrace God’s sovereignty, or where do you need to fully trust God?

Key Points
  • The end of Jacob’s life doesn’t affect his confidence in his future; his body is failing him, but he sees himself as a dispensary of God’s grace.

  • God asks us for obedience without always providing answers; love your children enough to train them now in the discipline of humbling themselves under authority and being obedient.

  • This life is not about you—the eternal purposes that you give your life away to will endure beyond you. At the end of the day, it is God’s story, not ours.

  • The kingdom of God is being revealed in such a way that no one can boast—in the small, dark, unimpressive, and difficult places.

Scripture References

Scripture: Genesis 48:1-22

Topics: Affirmation, Aging, Almighty, Control, Death, Death And Dying, El-Shaddai, Illusion Of Control, Life Story, Sovereignty, Validation