abandoned us for our entire lives?
Lord, restore us to Yourself, so we may return;
renew our days as in former times,
unless You have completely rejected us
and are intensely angry with us.
renewing one’s life;
the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,
making the inexperienced wise.
-Lamentations 5:20-22, Psalm 19:7
The new day of today, of this season, is not all happy. Many believers want a good new day, but feel like it is a bad new day. Many believers believe or live like God has forgotten us.
Since I was a kid, and it was going on before I was born; many Christians have been very negative about what is going on in the world, and made their focus that the end was near. That message is still here and probably still popular, although (I hope) less so.
Most all of us could be less negative towards everything and adopt the Biblical way of negativity called lament. Lament sees the reality of things: no rose-colored glasses and no denial. But lament also sees God, even if lament's eyes are very clouded with tears.
Lamentations is a whole book dedicated to lament. In Lamentations 5:21, Jeremiah asks God to give his people a new day. And the context of the whole chapter and the whole book, is that things are bad, very bad.
Things are bad today too. We need to have a new day of restoration to God. We need renewal, as a people.
The other thought or thing I want to share, is in the second quoted scripture above. No matter what you are going through or facing, God's Word is perfect for you. What God says, in the Bible:
- Renews you
- Is trustworthy
- Gives you wisdom for living
What the Bible says defines our lives and refines our lives.
I have a stack of books to read, but I would much prefer reading the Bible. When I have struggles or emotional pain, I want to think about what the Bible tells me.
I think about the Bible, about what the Bible says, as I live out my life. A challenging situation comes up and it goes up against the Word that I have in me. This happens every day and all of the time.
Most of us are struggling with something or a number of things or situations. I would say to us that most definitely, the answer to our troubles is in the Word. Yes, God is our answer and God is our savior, redeemer, healer, deliverer and protector.
But there is a word for us in the word. Many good words. In fact, there are so many that I can not count them.
But, sometimes, the word you need in the word is hard to find. And we might pray and not hear anything or feel abandoned.
Circle back to lament. Do not judge God. Be very angry, but do not sin.
Lay on your bed or couch and be silent. Learn the weapon of rest. Most all of us, at least every Christian I know, over 90%; could use more rest.
Rest is not laziness, being a couch potato or selfish. Rest is about renewal in God.
Dare to go on a retreat, for 1 hour, 1 day or 1 week. Try a sabbatical, if you have never had one. "What's that?", I can hear people say.
To sum up, and these are some things I want to say, that I maybe did not make clear:
- We are not in denial about how bad things are, in this new day
- We lament, which is an honest cry to God and to others about the rotten state of affairs
- But we know God is good and merciful, so we cry out for renewal of our days
- Find your word in God's word
- Get wisdom and life through the Bible
- Become a person of the book
- When you face challenges in life, let the Word in you go up against it
- Let God's Word define you
- Don't think you have to read the word to be accepted
- Cultivate love for the person who inspired the Word
- Have your verses that you think about and then add more
- Find your own style and rhythm of reading, listening and thinking about the Word
- Be honest with God
- Let God teach you
- See the good and the bad and God in the midst of it