cant even

15 03 2018

So, I love Jesus, but how do I respond to this mess, this violence, this suffering?

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalms 34:18 This helps us understand what God is thinking about today, how God is feeling today.

It’s safe to say that the news, in the past couple of weeks, has been gut wrenching. We’re experiencing a range of emotions and thoughts. We may be asking questions like, “God where are you?” We are seeing the results of old sins unresolved and new ones committed as hurt people hurt people. There are natural causes and there are spiritual causes.

People are grieving here in Baltimore. They may be grieving the loss of Freddie Gray, Lor Scoota, Mackenzie Elliott, or Molly Macauley, or many more recently. Families are grieving loss from school shootings.

It is healthy to grieve. It is healthy to say, “This should not be!” God grieves and is angered by murder and injustice. Yet we must remember that today God is not at a loss for words or answers. God has not lost control of our world. God sent Jesus as the answer for the world today.

I believe that it is important for us to not sweep our feelings “under the rug”, nor trivialize how people around us are feeling.

J. I. Packer writes, “when bad things happen to good people…they lament with great freedom and at considerable length to their God. And Scripture does not seem to regard these prayers as anything other than wisdom.” He goes on to note that the plaintive question to God, “How long?” is asked almost twenty times in prayers of the Psalms, and is almost a technical sign of this kind of prayer. Psalms 39 and 88 can reasonably be called pitch-darkness prayers. Some believe that Jesus recited Psalm 88 the night before he was put to death. Jesus understands our pain and discouragement.

On the cross, Jesus prayed a prayer that many believe God did not answer. Even in the face of that evil, when it looked like our enemy had won, there was hope. Even when the friends and family of Jesus stood near the cross and it seemed that Father God had not answered that cry, there was hope. Father God knew that this suffering was necessary so that you and I could be forgiven, so that we can have access to God every day. Father God knew best.

When we submit to God’s will, trust Him, pray for miracles, and work hard where He’s placed us…there’s an amazing amount of hope that we can experience.

And so, let us ask some specific questions: Where does God have me? What does God want me to do? What is it that I can do today that I cannot do in Heaven?

God has placed around you people who need to see hope in the face of evil. You can ask them questions, listen, speak love, and pray for a miracle of grace & peace. You can do it. Please remember that you are an eternal spiritual being having a temporary natural experience.

God has given you the right to ask Him to set the wrongs, right.

So find someone today, ask them, “Is there anything that I can pray with you about?”

Then simply ask God for miracles. Please be specific. Ask God to do something big.

As you consider this, here’s a suggestion of a prayer that you can pray:

“Lord please help me to be more aware of the people you have put in my life. Please help me faithfully love them, help them, and be a faithful display of your love for them. Thank you for this opportunity today. Thank you God! Thank you for putting this person in my life. God, please help this person with ___ . Please help me see what I should do.”

I believe that our Father God is alive, aware, able, and active. Let’s relate to Him like this is true.

If you were unable to worship with us last Sunday, please see the Scriptures listed below and listen to our prayer and message time at iTunes or:

Rebecca and I love you all so very much. We’re praying for you daily. We are available to you. Please feel free to let us know if you would like to talk through what you’re feeling or ask questions. May God continue to bless you this weekend! May God bring His grace and peace to our city!

Ben Malmin, Pastor

City Harbor Church                  …a safe place to find & follow Jesus

  • “Nothing will separate me from the love of Jesus. In all these things I am more than a conqueror through Him who loved me.” Romans 8:35, 37
  • “I will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Ephesians 6:10
  • “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
  • “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
  • “Don’t worry about anything: instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He’s done.” Philippians 4:6
  • “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” 1 Timothy 2:1
  • “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” Colossians 4:2