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Encourage0gram June 5, 2020

Posted by Pastor Rick John on

Encourage0gram
June 5, 2020
 
Dear Friends,
 
I find my heart is often lamenting these days.  Our country and our world are under attack by prejudice, racism, violence, illness, injustice.  Our church body has been impacted by many sorrows during this season!  Some have died.  Some have received a devasting diagnosis. Many have lost jobs. Many marriages and families are under attack.  How can we see our way out of this? How should we grieve?  We desire to lament for a purpose and see God’s grace applied to our fears, our pain and our sorrows.
 
I call us to Psalm 13.  A song written by David, the King of Israel. It is a personal lament.
 
NIV Psalm 13:1-2
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
 
One important step to overcoming sorrow is to face up to it! Take off your smiling mask! It is good to honest.  Nothing of any value will be accomplished until we are honest with ourselves, with others and with God.  This is the “how long” song! 
 
David is having a serious theological struggle.  He thinks God has forgotten him!  He now believes in his sorrow that God has left and will not return!  David is convinced that He is all alone! His view is impossible since God is always Present. We can all testify to seasons of theological doubts!

Next, He cries out that the blessings of God have been removed from his life!  He no longer sees God’s smiling face. He sees no evidence of God at work on his behalf.  The Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6:23-26 no longer applies to him.  This distorted perspective is exactly the Enemy’s strategy. He wants us to embrace any unbiblical view of God.  Job cries out in Job 13:24 that in his sorrow that God had become his enemy!  We know this is not true, but in the moment,  Job believes it. 
 
In verse two it gets more personal.  He confesses his wrestling with God. In his loneliness his sorrow only increases.  The pain persists day after day! This is heart pain!  It appears that he is sleepless.  Imagine the solution he envisions at 2:00 AM is futile at 7:00 AM.  The struggle only produces more heaviness in his broken heart.
 
Finally, we get to the bottom of the struggle.  An enemy is on the brink of defeating David.  This unknown enemy is triumphing over him.  He feels the pain of defeat every day. 
 
In his honest struggle with God, others and himself, he finds no relief.  It is the first step to finding peace to face up to our struggles!  Thankfully, the song does not end at verse two. Tomorrow we will see how David finds a lasting solution.  Today, face up to your heartaches.  Don’t sugar coat your anguish.  My Dad who suffered from an emotional breakdown, used to say: “When you reach the bottom, you are already on your way up.”  There is hope in the mercy of God yet to be revealed!
 
This Sunday I will be at the church from 8:30 AM until 12:00 noon.  Please feel free to stop by.  Our worship services will be available online beginning at 9:00 AM.  In this week’s video we will give you more information on our plans to open the church very soon. You can reserve a time at church for your small groups by calling Marie Welch. 
 
Until Tomorrow,
Pastor Rick

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