Speaker: Jerry Cisar

Most people begin life with hopes, desires, longings. Hopes and longings vary, but they are what get us up in the morning, cause us to work hard, make ourselves presentable, and endure difficult times. The idea of planting and harvesting, of reaping where we’ve sowed, and a sense of justice, give us a right sense of expectation – hope. This hope allows us to endure difficulties such as getting cut from the team, getting passed over for a job promotion, getting fired, etc.

However, because of the fall, there are times when you sow, but do not reap, and justice seems to take an extended vacation. A spouse or child dies, the love of your life serves you with divorce papers, or worse, abuses you, you cannot have children, or you are falsely accused and put in prison …the list could go on. These things lead to a very legitimate despair or depression.

The Psalms show us how to pray in times like these with surprisingly honest, even risky language. I say risky, because most of us feel as if words like these may risk angering God and could result in swift retribution. Yet they do not! It is important that we learn how to use these psalms to pray both for ourselves and with others because the alternative in the midst of the worst of suffering is to become cynical and jaded about life itself, and ultimately hopeless. We must go to God, the God of hope, in the midst of despair, to keep us from becoming bitter, hopeless, and cynical about life.

Join us as we examine 2 psalms, 77 & 88. These are two of the more difficult psalms because each of them are heavy on complaint and appear light on hope and resolution. Why are they in our Bibles and how do they offer us hope?

Handout: http://media.gccc.net/2016/04/21060410.pdf