After dropping off our oldest son for his freshman year of college almost four long hours away from our home, anxiety and fear became my middle-of-the-night companions. For the first several months, any time I would wake in the middle of the night my mind would fill with unwelcome thoughts that quickly tumbled out of control.
All of the not knowing where he was and what he was doing at any given hour was beyond unsettling. I was struggling to adjust to this new normal.
I would pray, but they were panicked prayers that fueled my fears rather than trusting in the Truth of who God is.
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When the opportunity to review the 6-week Bible study, “This I Know: Trusting Your Unknown Future to a Known God”, came up I knew without a doubt, this was a book I needed to check out.
I’m certain the description on the back cover is one which you and the women in your church will relate to.
Author Laura Dingman states, “The future doesn’t have to be frightening. There’s so much you don’t know and can’t control. But what if you could be calm anyway? Fear about the future, anxiety, and worry win because we don’t really know who God is. Sure, we know in our heads, but deep down in the secret places (where worry makes its own home) a small part of us still wonders if God really cares about us, if He really knows what He’s doing, and if He can actually be trusted. This I Know is a 6-week guide to taking back those secret places.”
Each week of the study begins with an introduction outlining a major truth about knowing God. Five daily lessons unpack statements about who God is. Each week Laura begins with a memory verse. She invites readers to really dig into God’s Word, often sharing cultural and historical facts that help us to better understand what a passage really means. There is a written prayer for each day as well as a journaling prompt. Each week ends with an opportunity to reflect and act.
Laura utilizes 2 basic Bible study tools throughout the study.
- Listen, linger, learn, and live. This method encourages readers to imagine they were real-life witnesses to the Biblical account. Among the questions posed are: What did you see? What did you hear? What do you smell?
- SOAP Method – Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. One reads through the text, records observations, applies the Truth revealed, and offers up a prayer about what God is calling you to do.
If you and your women have struggled to develop strong Bible study skills, you’re going to have plenty of opportunities to strengthen those muscles! Lessons are packed with information, scriptures, and questions which encourage the reader to go deeper.
Laura opens the book by examining two definitions for the Greek word for knowledge.
- Gnosis – which is factual knowledge (things you know about).
- Epignosis – experiential knowledge (things you really know).
As Laura explains, there is a difference between knowing about a celebrity or acquaintance and knowing your spouse or children. “You can’t get to epignosis unless you go through gnosis.”
You’ve probably heard of them referred to as “head knowledge” and “heart knowledge”. While many of you women (not all) will have “head knowledge” about who God is, many of us are lacking in our “heart knowledge”. Laura confides, “As we grow in our gnosis – our factual knowledge of God – it should lead us to epignosis – true experimental knowledge of God.”
And that is exactly what Laura leads readers to in this study!
Who is this study for?
This study would be great for:
- An individual study. No group or leader necessary. Laura will lead you through and help you to grow in your knowledge (head and heart) of God.
- A group study. While you won’t have time to discuss every question posed every week, you’ll certainly have a rich discussion. Note: There is no study leader guide.
- New Christ-followers. Laura does an excellent job of including explanations. Readers with little prior knowledge of the Bible won’t be left behind or left out.
- Seasoned Christ-followers. Not only will seasoned Bible study students refine their Bible study skills, but they will find many of the questions challenging and the content deep.
Laura pushes readers to both reflect AND take action, as “reflections without action won’t lead to transformation. “
No matter how secure our faith in Christ, there are times in life when situations and circumstances shake us to our core and fear, anxiety, and/or worry rear their ugly head.
“This I Know”, can help us to remember God is the “anchor to our present even though we don’t know what the future holds”.
Disclosure: I received a copy of This I Know: Trusting Your Unknown Future to a Known God to review. No financial compensation was received. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
I invite and encourage you to check this study out!
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