Have you ever cried out to God in the midst of difficulty? What did you ask God to do? In Psalm chapter 3 King David was so distraught he did not even know what to ask for, he left that up for God to decide. So how did God respond to David during one of the most difficult moments of his life? God gave him rest. God gave him the peace needed to have a good night sleep. Our God is big and powerful. Yet He is wise and caring as well. God knows what we need even when we don’t. The hope of peace enough to sleep amidst the most difficult moments of our lives should come as welcome news. When the cancer has returned…when there is no explanation for the cause of the car accident…when he’s not coming home and this time he means it…God is big enough to give those of us who have broken hearts rest. The next time you face a difficult far bigger than you ever expected allow your eyes to turn to Psalm 3 and be reminded that God is big enough to handle whatever you are facing.
Why is it hard to rest during a difficult or tragic season of our life?
Have you ever experienced rest from the hand of God? What happened? How did it help?
I once read the story of a couple that had recently become new parents. In their joy to celebrate the birth of their baby they threw a grand party for all of their friends. As the guests started arriving the couple collected their coats and placed them on their bed as a convenience to the guests. After awhile people started asking about the baby, after all the party was for the child. In a moment of horror the new parents realized that they had left the baby on their bed. They rushed in only to find a tragedy. Their newborn lay smothered underneath all the coats on their bed. Forgetfulness can be deadly. In Deuteronomy 8 Moses warns of the dire consequences the people of Israel would face if they forgot the reality that it was God who had brought them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Those of us who follow Jesus Christ need to exercise equal caution. If we forget that it is Jesus Christ who saved us and not we ourselves we just might end up despising his gift of the cross…and that’s dangerous.
What are some ways that you keep the Word of God in front of you as an individual or a family?
In Numbers 28 Moses recounts for the nation their daily, weekly, and monthly obligations by way of sacrifice to the Lord. Daily. Weekly. Monthly. What are my obligations to the Lord daily, weekly, and monthly? Sure we live in the NT where grace abounds but really shouldn’t I be offering something to the Lord on a regular basis?
If we have difficulty specifically pointing to actions in our daily, weekly, and monthly routines that are done specifically to honor God than we need to rearrange our schedule. In ancient Israel is was to be completely obvious to citizen and alien alike that God was to be worshiped regularly. Let’s make sure we’re working to make it completely obvious that the Lord Jesus Christ is the focus of everything we do.
What are some daily habits that you practice that give glory to God?
What are some weekly habits that you practice that give glory to God?
What are some monthly habits that you practice that give glory to God?
God values life. He always has and He always will. Why? Because we share His image. That’s really important. So when you read about a harsh punishment that God meted out because of murder and maiming, you must first recognize that an attack on the image of God in humanity is an affront to God himself. God takes seriously all of His creation, but He cherishes us above all. That’s something to think about.
How does it make you feel to know the Bible is strict in its punishment of those who kill other human beings?
Why is it important to remember that we bear the image of God?
Growing up, I was sure a monster lived in the dark recesses of my closet…yet in the day time he seemed to be nowhere in sight.
Walking out to the car in a dimly lit parking lot late at night sends a flash of fear deep into the heart of even the most stalwart of office managers…but walking to the car for lunch break is no problem.
The faithful dental assistant who shows up before the sun to “open up” feels the icy clutches of the dark office reaching out at her…yet the moment a co-worker shows up the fear dissipates.
No one likes being alone in the dark.
Yet imagine living in an inescapable darkness. Perpetual ink black darkness always surrounds you. What terror! The Bible tells us this is what it was like before Jesus Christ came. All of humanity was forced to live in darkness on the border of the “valley of death” (Matthew 4:16).
Sounds pretty bad…BUT…when Jesus came they saw a great light!
The beauty of the story of Jesus is that he came to free us from the fear of darkness. He brought hope into hopelessness. Peace into turmoil. Light into darkness.
I have been rescued from the fear of darkness..have you?
People around us are still afraid of the dark. They fear the darkness in their heart. They question their existence. They desperately fear that what’s in the closet is about to jump out and overwhelm them. They need to hear that Jesus came to bring them out of the dark. That Jesus is a great light, able to bring peace, hope, and life.
Jesus brought light into the darkness…..how are we helping people see the light?