Hello church! We post these Sunday recaps to highlight the awesome things God did each Sunday at TCC. Here’s a recap of our Sunday services and programs last weekend.
I get the best view in the house. As we worship together on Sundays, I get to look out onto the sea of faces and see families embrace, grinning ear to ear as they sing “Great is His love for us!” As we gave our offering I was reminded of the verse from Psalm 127:1 – that it is the Lord alone that can build our house. Our “house” can refer to anything we ascribe value to in our lives: our careers, our families, our bank accounts, and even our identity. It is God that builds us up. Anything of our own effort is, as the writer of Ecclesiastes states, “a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14)
On this Independence Day weekend, we sang for our final hymn a text that thanks God for our great country, and also prays for peace around the world and that God’s kingdom would come and his will be done – a great segue into next Sunday’s sermon on the Lord’s prayer. You read about the text of that hymn here.
It was a joy to have our children worshiping with us the entire hour as our Children’s Ministry team took a Sunday of rest. Games, activity clipboards, and extra seating in the lobby helped make the church feel welcoming for kids of all ages.
Our conversations with God tend to go very well when He says “yes” to our requests. Matthew 7:7 is the model when God says yes. All we can do when this happens is say, “praise the Lord.” When God says yes, it is the heart of the Father that comes through to give us good gifts (James 1:17). Psalm 104 is a great hymn to God as the great provider in our lives. As the saying goes, He is good all the time.
But what about the times when God says no. The times when the door not only is shut, but is slammed into our face and we are left wondering where God is. Psalm 43 is one of those psalms (Psalm 43:1-2) where we pray and we feel abandoned. “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” is a powerful image. The casting down comes from the idea of being grinded into dust, like pesto in a mortar and pestle.
To this state of despair, the answer of Psalm 43 comes in verse 5: “hope in God.”
What does it mean in our daily life? Here the language of hoping actually is the language of waiting. To wait is to hope and to hope is to wait. Psalm 43:5 “Hope in God” actually can mean “wait for God.” In fact there is a strong case that can be made that we should really read it as “wait for God” Micah 7:7 is a good example where the same language is expressing waiting for God. So when the answers are not what we are looking for from God, He tells us, ‘wait for me; wait for my timing, wait for the ways in which I will make myself known through your circumstances because it’s in the waiting that the hoping comes.’ Rather than having a “wait and see” attitude (a sort of passive-aggressive way to grin and bear it through the times when things don’t go our way), God is saying: ‘wait and hope.’
The benefit of this posture of waiting/hoping when God says no is that it gives God time to change our own attitude. The waiting allows Him to prepare us for His answer. We do the waiting/hoping in His Presence where there is “exceeding joy” (Psalm 43:4- a unique phrase in the language; see Jonah 4:6 for a similar idea). The presence of the Lord Jesus is what ultimately bring us fulfillment and joy: “hope/wait in God for I shall again praise you” (Psalm 43:5). It is in this ‘waiting room of life'(a phrase borrowed from someone I know well)that we learn to praise Him, whether we get what we ask for or not. He is to be praised in all our circumstances.
So in the end, the answer is still yes. Only now we are saying “yes” to Him and His ways, whether we receive what we ask or not. We also realize that our hope is not found in getting answers we like from God, but it is found in Him and Him alone.