Death is a fact we all must face at some point, yet how can we deal with the reality of this? Do we ignore it, or face it head on?
In focussing on Psalm 116, Nick Sutton explores what it means to live a life knowing that in following Jesus, resurrection awaits after death. He asks: how can we ‘walk in the land of the living’ instead of in the shadow and pain of death?
Why does it often seem that bad things happen to good people, while bad people appear to prosper? We are constantly faced with the reality of injustice – from a global scale right down to the lives of ourselves and the people around us.
Susy Ndaruhutse looks at Psalm 73 in order to see what God’s response to injustice is, and how as Christians we can grapple with the ‘wrongs’ of the world. She explores what we can do to address the seeds of bitterness that can grow in our hearts, and how knowing God’s presence can enable us to trust in the bigger picture of His plan.
Have you ever been in a convoy of cars following the lead, and that lead driver is the only person who knows the way? Have you ever felt like saying to the lead driver ‘don’t get us lost’! Deep down you are not really concerned that they will get themselves lost, otherwise you would not follow them.
In this situation we are just expressing our fear that we don’t know where we are going, and we are reliant on someone else. So if we get lost we won’t know how to get out.
Sometimes it feels like this with God. It feels that we are stepping out into the unknown, in situations where we know we can’t get ourselves out if we get lost. Psalm 23 tells us our God will lead us like a shepherd, and we can have confidence in the direction he leads.
Do you struggle to keep sight of God, the good shepherd and lead driver? How might daily practises such as prayer enable us to better trust in His direction?
How often do we feel insecure in our lives? Do we rely on things such as jobs, money or status to try and compensate for this feeling?
In Psalm 23 we see that God has offered us an honoured place at the banquet He prepares for us. So how does knowing Him as the ‘good shepherd’ change the way we pray? And can this redefine the foundation for our ideas of safety and security?
1 I waited patiently ( I waited and waited) 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.
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.Psalm 40
Are there things in your life that you ‘praise’? Maybe a great meal, a book, or even a place you have visited?
What does this psalm show us about what David valued?
For many of us, the journey of following Jesus is not the ‘skipping into the soft-focus, sun-shiny distance through fields of daisies and butterflies’ but an often brutal, desolate, hard stumble into darkness.
In this talk, Nick looks at the most awful psalm, Psalm 88. How do we pray when life causes us to despair? When we feel abandoned? When we are engulfed in darkness…?