|Dear Cornerstone Family:|
This Sunday we will be looking at Psalm 27, where David submits his fears to the LORD, who is his Light and Salvation. David confronts his fears, which are very real and personal, by seeking God’s face in worship. Amidst the various trials that he has faced, is facing, and will face, David looks to the LORD and cries out to Him. The Psalm ends with this wonderful encouragement of hope: “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14
Right now, it’s pretty easy to be discouraged and less than hopeful about what we see happening in our world. The ongoing reality and effects of racism. The continued pursuit of violence. Anger towards law enforcement. A constant media barrage from all sides, demanding an immediate response. A virus that continues to spread worldwide and take lives. Loss of employment for many. And so much more.In times like these, what does hope look like? Hope is not some sort of wishy-washy “I hope things get better” or “I hope that it’s sunny outside today”. But what we see in the Scriptures is that we are invited and instructed to hope in the LORD in times of great distress and discouragement. This hope is not presented apart from grief or sadness or trouble, yet accompanies it. There are several Biblical examples of this. Here are a few:
Psalm 43:5: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Psalm 71:4-5: Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Lamentations 3:19-24: Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Reflecting upon these passages and David’s statement of hope in Psalm 27, which come in the context of much trouble and distress, consider the following applications of hope: The need to lament and grieve what is happening in the world, particularly in regards to racism and its effects and to accompany this grief with hope, as the Biblical writers did. I also encourage you to read the following article, written by a Christian hip-hop artist, that expresses hope in the midst of lament:
The need to put our hope in the LORD alone, and not in man. The need to hope in the LORD’s goodness to us now and forever. There are certain hopes that will not be fulfilled until heaven that we should certainly hope for, yet David in Psalm 27 emphasizes that, in spite of very difficult circumstances and people, he will see God’s goodness now, in the land of the living. Do we believe that God is living and active, working right now, in us, through us, even in spite of us? Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage, wait for the LORD! (Psalm 27:14).
Hope includes patience and waiting for the LORD’s action, yet it is not a passive sitting in the recliner sort of waiting. How might you love your neighbor right now? How might you pray for and serve the African-American community here in Huntsville? How might you encourage our civic leaders and law enforcement officers? How might you “seek peace and pursue it?” What might God be calling you to do right now to demonstrate hope? David’s hopeful statement came not only in the midst of trial, but it came after he had worshipped the LORD.
I look forward to that time worshipping together with you on Sunday!
|Preparation for Worship – June 14, 2020|
|This Sunday’s sermon: “Hide and Seek with God” – Psalm 27|
Click here for this week’s bulletin.
In preparation for the sermon: “Perhaps the major ‘take-away’ from David’s assurance section is that time spent in the house of Yahweh and in the presence of Yahweh is never wasted–it only tends to impress us more with His preserving and defending work. The Lord of the sanctuary (Psalm 27:4) is also the God of the battlefield (Psalm 27:5-6) and has a way of showing up there.” Dale Ralph Davis
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