“O God, why have You rejected us forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture? Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance; and this Mount Zion, where You have dwelt” (Psalm 74:1-2).
A fter I graduated from SMU football, I moved to College Station, Texas and coached the defensive line on the Texas Aggie football team. On the field, it was one of the most rewarding times of my life. Off the field, it was the greatest horror show I had ever experienced in my 22 years on Earth.
Before spring practices began, my college wife of 14 months informed me that she was in love with my best friend. The next morning, she moved back to Dallas. There was no adultery, no porn, no alcohol, none of the surface reasons you might expect. She just felt like she had found a better man. I cried almost daily. Some days for hours on end. I felt like my insides were shutting down. I almost lost my will to live. I’ve never blamed either one of them. I took it all upon myself and saw ways I could have improved as a husband. How I could have treated her with greater honor.
He was carving pride off my life. He was teaching me how to think more of others and less of myself. He was also breaking my heart so I could have a lifetime of ministry to the brokenhearted. My life has been so much deeper and more caring because of the way He allowed me to be broken. I wouldn’t trade for those months of sorrow. They were some of the most necessary days of my life.
- Psalm 10:1 – “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?”Describe the time in your life that you felt like God was silent towards you.How did He reveal to you that He was with you all along the way?
- Romans 5:3-5 – “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”What did He do to fortify you during those dark days? What lessons did you learn?
- Psalm 17:15 – “As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.”Psalm 139:11-12 – “If I say, surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night, even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.”How did you seek God’s face in your darkest days?
- Psalm 74:10-12 – “How long, O God, will the adversary revile, and the enemy spurn Your name forever? Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? From within Your bosom, destroy them! Yet God is my king from of old, who works deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth.”In Ohio, recently there was the second gathering of various pastors and “Christian” leaders at the Planned Parenting abortion clinic to give a “faith blessing” for the workers and participants. The title of the press notice by Planned Parenting read, “Holy Ground: Blessing the Sacred Space of Decision.” When the adversary seems to run fully throughout our nation and the enemies of God speak out boldly, how and why do we proclaim God’s greatness?
- Psalm 76:7-9 – “You, even You, are to be feared; and who may stand in Your presence when once You are angry? You caused judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared and was still when God arose to judgment, to save all the humble of the earth.”Philippians 2:9-11– “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”Describe the supremacy of God and His final decree above all mankind. What comfort does His sovereignty and ultimate dominion bring you in your times of distress?
- Psalm 103:3-5 – “Who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”
How does His graceful, purposeful, healing hand bring hope for your heart when life’s challenges come crashing down?
“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
From today’s scripture, how does THE Shepherd inspire you to shepherd your flock? John 13:15
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication