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11 Dec 2018

Are We Asking the Right Question?

by Alan Jefferies

Start by reading…Amos 4:1 - 6:14Revelation 2:18 - 3:6Psalm 130:1-8Proverbs 29:21-22

Psalm 130 is one of only seven psalms known as the ‘Penitential Psalms’: psalms that convey a sense of regret or sorrow for sin. We see this reflected in verse 3:

“If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?”

Conscious of his own sin and failing, the psalmist cries out to God. But he cries out with a question rather than a statement. Why? Because he had realised that, whatever the circumstances, he was not without hope. The question is not: “How hopeless is the situation?” but “How hopeless would the situation be without God’s intervention?” He immediately follows this question with the statement:

“But there is forgiveness with You…” (Psalm 130:4).

This psalm may be designated a ‘Penitential Psalm’, but it is really a ‘Psalm of Hope’. The hope of day is strongest when the night is darkest. The hope of deliverance is strongest when we need it most. That is the nature of hope!

Psalm 130:5 says:

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.”

Some of us will face bigger challenges today that we have never faced before. Some will face decisions with greater consequences than they have ever faced before. As we handle whatever today brings, are we asking a question or making a statement? Are we making a statement about how difficult or hopeless the situation seems? Or are we asking the question: “What difference will God’s presence in my life make to what I have to face today?”

Pause and reflect: “Jesus, as a new day brings new challenges, help us to remember that You have a plan and a purpose for our lives. Help us to face whatever we need to face knowing that You are the difference between the question and the statement. Amen.”

Alan Jefferies
Alan Jefferies

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