Monday, December 31, 2018

Neck Deep in Trouble

Today's Reading:
Judges 4:1-5:31
Acts 23:11-35
Psalm 69:1-12
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses: Psalm 69:1-3
1 Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. 3 I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. 

David begins this psalm with a crisis cry for rescue. He's up to his neck in flood water, sinking in the mud, tired to the bone, his throat dry from shouting for help, his eyes strained and weary from constantly scanning  the horizon for some sign of deliverance. Fears and enemies threaten to drive him to despair and defeat.

Response and Action:
This psalm is more than just a page from David’s private journal; it’s a page from Israel’s official book of worship. Songs of faith and worship can and should include expressions of doubt and fear. Honestly wrestling with doubt is essential if my faith is to be genuine. Voicing fear is a necessary part of growing in confidence.

Because I want my faith to have integrity, I will be honest about my doubts, questions, and fears. True faith doesn't ignore doubts; it reaches beyond them. Genuine worship doesn't internalize fears; it voices them along with a hope that God is able to calm them. Real trust doesn't avoid asking the hard questions; it asks them in the firm belief that God is faithful and able to answer.

O God, I believe you want me to have a real faith in you. And if my faith is going to be real, then I too must be real in my prayers and worship. I cannot be real if I pretend to have no doubts. I cannot be real if I never voice frustration and fear. I cannot be real if I do not voice the questions that wear down my spirit and threaten my faith. Thank you, Father, for your readiness to hear my cries. By your grace and mercy, help me to ask every question with reverence, to voice every complaint with faith in your goodness, and to confess every fear with a confidence in your faithfulness to save me. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Romans 15:4 
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

When God Lets You Down: Trusting Again after Pain and Loss
by Alex Gee

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