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When You Feel Powerless

Dr. Tim Mackie
What should we do when life is unfair and everything feels out of control?

What should we do when life is unfair and everything feels out of control? In this Bible study, we are reflecting on God’s powerful response to the cries of the powerless. Join in! Listen to the message, watch the video, open your Bible to 1 Samuel, and interact with the questions below.


Listen to a short message from Tim on the book of 1 Samuel. You can listen to this on your own or with a group. If you are leading a small group or family, feel free to listen to the message and contextualize it for your needs.
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Tim's Message on 1 Samuel
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Listen to the whole audio on the Reflections Podcast

Read and Discuss

Reflection 1:

Video Question
What image stood out to you in the video and why?

Message Question
How did Tim’s message challenge or encourage you today?

When you feel powerless and alone in your hardship, remember that you are not alone. You stand alongside amazing people like Hannah, who brought her pain to God even when she couldn’t see how his plan would work out. The biblical story honors the experience that many of us have in times of suffering. God sees and cares for his people. He gives strength to the weak and power to the faint. All those who wait patiently for God learn that he has a habit of bringing new hope through the greatest of challenges.

Reflection 1:

Review 1 Samuel 1:1-6. Describe Hannah’s painful situation in your own words. In what ways can you relate to Hannah?

Reflection 2:

Continue to review 1 Samuel 1:1-6. Why do you think Peninnah bullied Hannah? In what areas has God given you power? How can you use your position to elevate others this week?

Reflection 3:

How do people respond to God and others in painful times? Review 1 Samuel 1:10-20. How did Hannah respond to God and others in her suffering?

Reflection 4:

Review 1 Samuel 1:17-18. What did Hannah need to trust and understand about God, herself, and her situation in order to feel resolved? How does her prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 demonstrate her trust and understanding?

Reflection 5:

Notice how the word “anointed” is used in 1 Samuel 2:10. In Hebrew the word is mashiakh, or messiah, and it’s the first time this word is used to describe a future king. With Jesus the Messiah in mind, review Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 2:1-10). What do you observe?

Reflection 6:

Mary, the mother of Jesus, alluded to Hannah’s poetic prayer many times in her own prayers. Read Mary’s words in Luke 1:46-55 and compare them to Hannah’s words in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. What do you observe?

Reflection 7:

Take a moment to consider how Jesus’ humble suffering led to the power of resurrection life. Express your appreciation to him in a prayer. Be honest about the ways you have misused your power or underestimated the kindness of his power toward you. Ask for his help and trust that he hears you.

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