Below is a brief review of our meeting on Sunday, followed by projection from the message, and discussion questions for Community Group or personal study this week.
Josh opened our time together with announcements and a Call to Worship.
We sang As Long As You Are Glorified and Morgan Swank, Jody Dingwell, and Karin Kruger all shared words from the Lord at the prophecy mic.
Matthew prayed for Houston and introduced a new sermon series, Songs of Lament. He preached the first message in the series, “Taking Refuge in God’s Justice” from Psalm 5. To listen to the message again, visit our Audio Resources page.
After the message, we sang Psalm 62 and Chris led us in communion before closing our time together with a benediction.
Projection from the message:
“I just don’t believe the God of Christianity exists,” said Hillary, an undergrad English major. “God allows terrible suffering in the world. So he might be either all-powerful but not good enough to end evil and suffering, or else he might be all-good but not powerful enough to end evil and suffering. Either way the all-good, all-powerful God of the Bible couldn’t exist.”
“This isn’t a philosophical issue to me,” added Rob, Hillary’s boyfriend. “This is personal. I won’t believe in a God who allows suffering, even if he, she, or it exists. Maybe God exists. Maybe not. But if he does, he can’t be trusted.” – Tim Keller, The Reason for God
The Way of Lament:
1. Come before God
2. Pour out your complaint
3. Declare your trust in the Lord
4. Ask him to intervene for our good and his glory
“Our own ‘loud cries and tears’ are not those of ones blazing new trails into grief; they are a Spirit-enabled sharing in the suffering of the One who has plunged even deeper into the darkness than us – yet not without hope.” – Todd Billings, Rejoicing in Lament
The Big Idea: The justice of God is a refuge for the righteous
1) God’s justice sustains the cry of faith
2) God’s justice guarantees a day of deliverance
“These two biblical truths go together: the world, even the most difficult circumstances that we face in it, is in the hands of God the King, and things are not yet the way they should be. Hence, rather than responding to tragedy like stoics, the Spirit frees us to cry out in grief and protest and hope: ‘They kingdom come,’ and ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’” – Todd Billings, Rejoicing in Lament
1. How is lamenting different than venting?
2. What is the difference between being sorrowful and being sorrow – centered?
3. Mathew said that if we are saved, then we are not alone in our lamenting? Who has suffered before us and is our faithful example for how to relate to God in times of trial?
4. Why was it not arrogant for David to take confidence in God’s justice, even after he had greatly sinned? What does this teach us as sinners?
5. What is a circumstance of suffering in your life right now? What is your standard response to such suffering? What indications does such a response yield about your relationship with God?