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
1 Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Ascribe to the Lord glory. God does not need us to give Him glory for His glory to increase. He is the most glorious being. It is humbling and right to proclaim His glory and to worship Him. Praise Him for His magnificence.
1 Peter 4:12-13 The Message
Glory Just Around the Corner
12-13 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
Having God’s Ear through Prayer
- Express thanksgiving to God.
- 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 the River Youth. This is their last full day at Super Summer. Pray for any youth who do not know Christ to turn to Him in faith and trust Him.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Although not all individual suffering has a straight line to some specific sin, all suffering is related back to original sin. Now in our fallen state we continue to sin against God, and since sin is a break with how God has designed the world, it can and does bring suffering in our lives. Unfortunately, even the sins of others can bring suffering to us. A child’s parent can make sinful choices that cost the child and the parent. Your spouse can make sinful choices that cost you. If we make sinful choices with our minds, bodies, or in relationships, then different forms of suffering will often be the result. Again, we must be careful not to assign sin to all suffering. The righteous, Peter writes, can suffer for righteousness. Jesus did not sin and yet he suffered greatly. Suffering in Scripture is sometimes tied to demonic activity. In Mark 9 there is the terrible account of the boy who was demon possessed, and the demon caused immense suffering for the boy and his family. When Jesus dealt with the demon, the boy’s suffering ended. We must be careful not to assign all suffering to demonic forces. This approach can lead to imbalance. Sometimes God is using hard times to shape us, and if we are too quick to assign it to sin or Satan, we can miss the larger purposes of God in it. Sometimes the cause and purpose of suffering is meant to remain a mystery, and we are to learn to trust God in the mystery. If we pin the cause on Satan, then we will think we have solved the mystery and miss the opportunity to trust God. This is a complex topic, one that has stretched human minds and hearts since there have been humans. Our goal this week is to use our minds to try and get the big picture that Scripture paints on the topic, and to lean into God and trust him with our hearts. Think God’s thoughts. Love God. Grow in faith and faithfulness.