5 What does it mean for Jesus to bring hope to those ‘walking in darkness’ today?
6 The good news of Jesus…To bring life in a world that would have us believe sin and death have the victory.Physical deathSpiritual deathEmotional death1 Cor 15:54Death has been swallowed up in victory….
7 The good news of Jesus…John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
8 But we know we live in tension. We don’t see all of what we hope for yet.An understanding of the now and not yet of the kingdom of God helps us.
11 Psalm 401 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
12 4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. 5 Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. 6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire - but my ears you have opened - burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
13 7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come - it is written about me in the scroll. 8 I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” 9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know. 10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness & your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly.
14 11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. 12 For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. 13 Be pleased to save me, Lord; come quickly, Lord, to help me. 14 May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.
15 15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame. 16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” 17 But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.
16 The Psalms bear witness to the surprising gift of new life The Psalms bear witness to the surprising gift of new life. This comes when we thought all was lost. We escape the pit of chaos just when we thought we wouldn’t make it. We credit it to God because it’s inexplicable to us.
17 Psalms show the need to express how we feel Psalms show the need to express how we feel. Assurance that God does hear us – even in the darkest times when we don’t feel God. v1 God hears; listens; answers. Like Jesus – we daily press into God’s presence.
18 Psalms don’t describe a natural outcome but a decisive transformation by God who brings new life. We don’t go back to the old place.We find ourselves in a new experience of God’s graceThis is God’s power to transform reality. Supernatural; inexplicable.
19 New foundations v2 Jesus takes us from mud to rock. He gives us a firm place to stand. v2Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. Ps 89:14
20 New trust v 4; v8 The pit can destroy trust and righteousness. We may look elsewhere for answers. v4But as we walk with God we will see; fear; trust v3Rom 2:4 God’s kindness leads us towards repentance.New life established through trust in the Father. I desire to do your will my God. v8
21 New perspective. v3 Seeing things from God’s point of view. What’s the big picture?We begin to see what God sees and hear what God says.This is our new song.The situation may be the same but our perspective has changed.
22 But my ears you have opened v6 New voice to listen to v6We often listen to false narratives.We begin to believe we have to earn new life. v6His Master’s voiceBut my ears you have opened v6
23 New story to tell New story to share v5 We can’t always explain what has happened.But we can tell stories of awe and wonder.Stories of faithfulness and saving help v10
24 The intervening act of God… To bring life in a world that would have us believe death has the victory. 1 Cor 15:54 ff Death has been swallowed up in victory…. thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
25 Praying through the seasons of life Looking at the Psalms together Psalms of satisfaction Psalms of disorientation and lament Psalms of new life Psalms of thanksgiving