Date: February 4, 2024
The Point: Faith maintains trust in God to do what no one else can do.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
Electric vehicle purchases have risen in recent years, and the current market share for EVs is now estimated at 8.5% of new car sales. But a cold front sweeping across North America this past week has caused many Electric Vehicle (EV) owners to wake up to some difficult truths. While most EV owners charge up their vehicles at home, for longer distances, some will stop at charging stations. Even during normal temperatures, stopping to charge an EV is not a quick stop, but many new owners are learning that stopping during wintry temperatures is sometimes not even successful.
Fox Business reports: “Desperate Tesla owners in and around Chicago were seen trying to charge their vehicles with no luck amid frigid temperatures that have gripped the Midwest.” One driver says he spent three hours, daily, without success, trying to get his vehicle to charge up enough to start the vehicle. CBS Austin noted that, “extreme temperatures hamper EVs and the batteries that power them, which can result in lower range or difficulties charging.”
Pew research indicates that 70% of people who would consider purchasing an EV are motivated by “saving money on gas,” but these vehicles’ performance in cold temperatures may scare off potential buyers. Since subzero temperatures have meant that driving range plummets, and charging becomes much more difficult, many EV drivers in Chicago have abandoned their vehicles at Tesla charging stations. “We’ve got a bunch of dead robots out here,” noted one driver, calling them “car graveyards.”
Say: EV drivers have been surprised and had to reckon with vehicles that, at least in wintry weather, are falling below their expectations. We’ve all known the disappointment of something that failed to live up to our expectations, whether it be a movie, a new recipe, or the latest gadget. But let’s look at this from a positive side. When has something exceeded your expectations?
Information for this post was gleaned from:
- 2023 stats for electric vehicles: https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2023/07/13/how-americans-view-electric-vehicles/
Study the Bible
Share the following as you discuss Question #3.
Opal Lee, “the Grandmother of Juneteenth,” was 89 when she began her campaign that lasted from 2016 to 2021, when Juneteenth was recognized by Congress as a national holiday. Now 97 years old, Opal has walked through both victories and losses.
“In 1939, when she was just 12, her family moved into an all-white neighborhood” in Fort Worth, Texas. After only five days, her family was driven out by an angry mob. Newspapers at the time reported that “a crowd of 500 showed up on their doorstep.” In a recent CNN interview, Lee noted, “people started gathering. [T]here were policemen, and they didn’t do anything.” Opal and her siblings were sent away but when they returned, it had been “torn asunder.” WFAA notes that, “reports from that day show the mob trashed the house and burned the family’s belongings.” Opal’s family left, and never talked about it.
In recent years, the memories returned. Opal “decided she wanted to try to buy the land where her home once stood.” She investigated and learned the empty lot was owned by Habitat for Humanity. After the organization received her call, and heard the history, the answer came back: “You know Opal, we’re not going to sell you that lot. But we’ll give you that lot.” They’ve also offered to design and build a home for her. Her reaction? “I want you to know that I’ve got a God who has been so GOOD to me.”
Say: When Opal was twelve and her family’s home was mobbed and burned, it seemed hopeless that anything good could ever come. More than eighty years later, with her family’s land restored to her, she sees God at work.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Jessica Connell wrote these Leader Extras. Jess is a homeschooling mom of 9 who has served around the world in ministry with her husband. She loves hiking, exploring, and being active in her local church in North Texas.
- What expectations have shaped the form and content of your life?
- When was the last time something failed to meet your expectations?
- Who are some specialists you would be lost without? (Chiropractor, plumber, auto mechanic, etc.)
- What’s an event you’ve looked forward to for a long time but have yet to attend?
- How does our view of Jesus affect our willingness to bring our needs to Him? Our view of ourselves?
- What obstacles diminish our willingness to approach Jesus with all our needs?
- Why do we often find it difficult to wait?
- Delays often occur when we least want them. Do such delays put your faith to the test? How so?
- What might hold us back from bringing our needs to Jesus?
- How can we encourage each other when our prayers seem unanswered?
- When have you seen or heard God work in a situation that seemed hopeless?
- How does faith in Jesus enable you to overcome fear?
- How do you feel when you must wait on God’s deliverance?
- What are some obstacles that prevent us from believing God when times get tough?
- When in your life, or in someone else’s, have you seen Jesus abundantly provide?
- Jesus told Jairus not to be afraid, even though his worst fears had been confirmed. When do you find it most difficult to trust God?
- Where do you see evidence of God’s involvement in the world today?
- How has Jesus provided in ways that no one else could?
- When has God provided for your needs in a way that felt miraculous?
- How would you describe the connection between our faith and God’s provision?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.