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 59:1-5, 16-17
Rescue me from my enemies, my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me.
2 Rescue me from evildoers,
and save me from men of bloodshed.
3 Because look, Lord, they set an ambush for me.
Powerful men attack me,
but not because of any sin or rebellion of mine.
4 For no fault of mine,
they run and take up a position.
Awake to help me, and take notice.
5 Lord God of Armies, you are the God of Israel.
Rise up to punish all the nations;
do not show favor to any wicked traitors.
16 But I will sing of your strength
and will joyfully proclaim
your faithful love in the morning.
For you have been a stronghold for me,
a refuge in my day of trouble.
17 To you, my strength, I sing praises,
because God is my stronghold—
my faithful God.
Read the Entire Psalm
I will joyfully proclaim your faithful love. This Psalm begins with a cry for God to rescue. The Psalmist is being attacked. As with most Psalm of Lament or a cry for judgement it turns and focuses on God’s faithful love. Circumstances may not change, but God’s faithful love persists. He is present. He is a refuge in a day of trouble. Praise Him and Thank Him.
Hebrews 12:1-3 – New Living Translation
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
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 those who do not know God. Ask God to help you see the lost people around you and have compassion for them. Ask God for opportunities to build trust. Ask God to give you opportunity to have gospel conversations.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
The first part of our strategy is to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. How does getting rid of sin help us deal with suffering? One answer to that question is found in Peter’s letter, where he said we should not suffer because of our own sin, but if we suffer for God’s will, we should trust ourselves to his care (1 Peter 4). When we suffer because of our own sin or stupidity (that statement is redundant because sin is stupid), we know some of our suffering is unnecessary; it didn’t have to be. This doesn’t mean God can’t still use it for good. It does mean that we have increased our own suffering by making things worse than they need be. Another way sin undermines our biblical strategy to suffer well is by taking us in the opposite direction from God. Sin is to go our own way. There is no way we will have God’s resources to deal with suffering in the best way possible if we are not actively engaging all of God’s resources. Sin is like trying to run a race loaded down with weights. We will tire more easily and eventually quit before the race is run. So, today, as you think about suffering with gratitude, start by looking to see if there is some sin that is hampering your ability to be faithful. If there is, throw it off. Confess it. Resolve, once again, to put it away from your life.