This week our studies we continue the theme of Lamenting from Sunday - As We take the final step of Trusting In God
This week we have been thinking about Psalm 13.
Earlier this week Gary O’Rourke wrote the following Tides devotional.
Learning God’s ways:
We have found ourselves living through a lot during the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on every area of our lives and church life. But what are we learning of how God works through it all? This week’s Tides focus on how God often seems to work slowly.
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?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
How long until we get there? How long until my online order arrives? How long to download this game? How long until I can get a vaccine? In our instant culture we want everything now, we regularly ask ‘how long?’
In reading ‘how long’ four times in this psalm, we feel the intensity of David’s suffering. He feels abandoned by God. He feels isolated. He feels lonely. He cannot think his way out (v2); he has a fear that the enemy and his foes will have the last laugh (v2, v4). And yet with the word ‘but’ in verse 5, David moves from fear to faith. His circumstances have not changed, but in faith he trusts in God’s ‘unfailing’, covenant love, rejoices in his ‘salvation’, and even sings.
Many have experienced isolation and loneliness in the past 12 months. Maybe it has felt like God has abandoned you. Maybe you have cried out ‘how long?’ Maybe you would really like God to explain why all of this has happened. But he is not a God of instant explanations, he is a God of covenant promises and covenant love that can be trusted.
RESPOND Whatever you feel about your circumstances today, make this a day punctuated by the psalmist’s ‘but’, remembering God’s loving promises. Join your heart with others in singing this song.
CONTRIBUTOR THIS WEEK
Gary O’Rourke is an elder in Abbots Cross. Married to Alison, they have three children - Megan, Charys and Joel. Gary is in his second year on the Cornhill programme and works part-time for Biblica, the International Bible Society.
An Individual vocalising pain, grief, fear or some other emotion.
A group or nation vocalising pain, grief, fear or some other strong emotion.
An individual or group expressing regret or sorrow for sin.
An individual or group expressing outrage and a strong desire for justice.
Sections of Lament within other Psalms.
9:13-20; 27:7-14; 40:11-17
Psalms that some consider to be Lament in total or in part.
Let’s Pray For Social Witness
Pray for all the Staff Teams in our 15 locations, as they continue to work during these ever-challenging days. Their dedication over the past 10 months has enabled CSW to sustain a high level of care – often working long hours and having little time for relaxation or family life.
Pray for doctors, nurses and other Health Care professionals as they continue to provide a service in these stressful days.
Irish Council of Churches
Give thanks for the opportunity to engage with other denominations through the Irish Council of Churches on a number of issues in the public square. Pray for continued wisdom and understanding in these conversations, and in meetings with government officials, statutory bodies and other groups.
Today Matt says “Freedom City Church is an Assembly of God church in Springfield, Missouri and it's very different from any church I've visited so far. Their pastor is a former prisoner and heroin addict and the church is built around the Gospel and connecting with people in similar situations.”
“Reading Between The Lines” a series working through the bible looking at the well known phrases.
Am I My Brother’s Keeper
Many of you have enjoyed J.John, here is a video from the weekend of his son Benjamin John preaching at St Andrews Church on Suffering:
Seek First the Kingdom (25 minute video)
Where do you look for satisfaction? Watch this message from Leon Fontaine and explore the story of King Solomon, whose pursuit of pleasure never led to satisfaction, and discover how seeking more of God gives us true fullness of life.
Something relaxing for the weekend. Almost three hours of hymns played on the piano. The description of the video is in Korean so I do not know what hymns are included but you can put it on in the background and enjoy.
If you enjoyed the Piano hymns, watch this charming 1 minute video that Julie sent me yesterday to illustrate how we accomplish so much more with God.
For the 3rd week in a row Portstewart has the lowest number of cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
The times for yesterday’s Jigsaw
Today the puzzle is another photo of Derwentwater from our holiday last year, don’t allow the reflections to confuse you.
Play the "Keswick Friday" puzzle!