Hearing God’s Voice from His Word
James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.
Psalm of the Day
Psalm 60:1-5 God, you have rejected us; you have broken us down; you have been angry. Restore us! 2 You have shaken the land and split it open. Heal its fissures, for it shudders. 3 You have made your people suffer hardship; you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.
4 You have given a signal flag to those who fear you, so that they can flee before the archers.Selah
5 Save with your right hand, and answer me, so that those you love may be rescued.
Read the entire Psalm
Save and Answer Me – This Psalm was written when David was in a battle. We rarely face physical dangers. Notice how David expresses his anger and frustration with God but he also looks to God for help. God can hear your unedited prayers and He can act. Pray open and honestly before God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-11 – English Standard Version
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
Having God’s Ear through Prayer
- Give thanks to God for His gifts and His goodness.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
- Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
(1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
- Bring your personal requests to God.
(Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
- Pray for someone in your small group.
- Join with others from River and pray for Muslims and refuges living in Wichita. Ask God to use our church to be a blessing to them and to give us opportunities to share the reality of the gospel.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Paul was no stranger to suffering. You can read about his detailed sufferings in 2 Cor 11:24–28. Before writing 2 Corinthians, Paul had recently experienced a severe form of affliction. We are not told what it was, but it was likely a form of violent persecution that could’ve left him with symptoms of traumatic stress. Paul says that he was “so utterly burdened beyond [his] strength that [he] despaired of life itself” (v. 8). Paul was at the limit physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Yet, later in this letter Paul will say he was “perplexed, but not driven to despair” (2 Cor 4:8). The only other place Paul’s word for “despair” occurs in the Bible is found in Psalm 88 (I encourage you to read it). Psalm 88 is one of the darkest Psalms in the Bible. The Psalm ends with the phrase “my companions have become darkness” (Ps 88:18). Now, we don’t know this for certain, but perhaps Paul was meditating on this Psalm in the aftermath of his affliction. It’s certainly possible to imagine Paul using Scripture to shape his thinking. If that’s the case, what can we learn from this? How can you use God’s word to experience God’s comfort? Perhaps you could choose a Psalm and pray through it line by line. God’s word is one of the primary means God comforts us.