Let me ask you if this statement is true or not. Ready? Here’s the statement: “God will bless the lives of all who love and trust Him.”
Where does the Bible teach that? Let me give you a few passages.
Psalm 5:12 says “For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”
Psalm 115:12-13 says “The LORD has remembered us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron; he will bless those who fear the LORD, both the small and the great.”
How does the Sermon on the Mount begin? “Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,” and on and on.
So God promises to bless those who are His, right?
But what are we supposed to think when we see ungodly people prosper?
In Psalm 73 the psalmist admits that he found himself wrestling with envy when he saw the prosperity of the wicked. He looked around and said to himself “I thought if I served God and obeyed God, He would bless me. But the wicked people are doing better than I’m doing. What gives?”
Why bother, the psalmist asks, trying to obey or honor God when it seems like the wicked are doing as well or better than the faithful?
Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever thought to yourself “I followed the rules, did what I was supposed to do, and meanwhile, the guys who ignore God and party and cut corners and cheat in business and compromise – they get ahead and have fun in the meantime. What’s the deal?”
That struggle has led some people to doubt the goodness – or even the existence – of God.
Here’s the picture Psalm 73 paints of the ungodly. They have good health, all the money and stuff they could ever want, not a problem in the world, they have power, they can get their way whenever they want to, and they even get away with blasphemy and mocking God.
Meanwhile, the psalmist says, “I play by the rules and what does it get me? Nothing. Do things go my way? No. Do I always hit the red lights when I’m in a hurry? Yep. Of all the cars in the parking lot, is mine the one that gets dinged or gets vandalized? Of course.”
Shouldn’t God take better care of His children?
What did the Psalmist do with his envy and his doubts? Vs. 17 says he took them to God.
That may sound a little crazy and counter intuitive, but it’s exactly the place to go with our doubts. When we find ourselves wondering why we’re facing hardships while people who don’t love or serve God are prospering, the place to go is to God Himself. He can handle our frustration and doubts.
Ultimately, the psalmist says, he realized what his root problem was. He was envious. He was not content with the circumstances of his life. He was tempted to walk away from God because health and money and power and ease of life looked better to him than being known and loved by God.
The Psalmist’s doubts about God’s goodness were not because of some deep philosophical pondering. They were because he was envious!
The best place for us to be when we are wrestling with envy, or facing doubts about God and his goodness, is in church. With God’s people. Singing hymns. Praying to the God we have doubts about. The best place to be is in the sanctuary.
You will not resolve your doubts by distancing yourself from the Person you’re doubting. As one preacher said “you can only backside so far in six days.”
Gathering with God’s people for corporate worship helps us push the reset button on our thinking. It reintroduces back into the equation what the Bible says is true about God. God’s word is powerful to address our doubts.
There is a real enemy of our souls who wants us to doubt and envy and slip and fall away from God. The psalmist says he almost slipped and fell, until he brought everything to God.
Do you find yourself questioning God’s love or care for you? Does your load seem particularly heavy right now? Do you envy those whose lives seem easier than yours?
Take your frustrations to God. And whether you do it on line or in person, don’t neglect the practice of regular, corporate worship. Like the psalmist, you’ll find that God will meet you where you. And in His presence, our lives get recalibrated.
As we shared last week, we are making plans to re-open our church nursery the first Sunday in October. If you didn’t get an email from Mrs. Jen about our reopening plans for kids ages 0-3 years, you can download them here.
Also, beginning this Sunday, we’ll have “quiet bags” available in the foyer for any child who will be sitting in the Worship Center with mom and dad for big church. These bags will include activities that children can do during the service when it is hard to sit still. And Mrs. Jen will have a small prize after the service in the foyer for any child who completes the activity sheets included in the bags.
And again, we want to ask everyone to continue to practice appropriate social distancing while you’re at church. Please continue to wear a mask as you enter and exit the building, while we sing and anytime you are within six feet of another person.
If you are able to keep your mask on the whole service and prefer that level of caution, please plan to sit on the left side (the south side) of our worship center each week. Those who might want or need to lower their masks during the sermon, assuming you are six feet from people other than family, plan to sit on the right side (the north side) of the sanctuary.
RAHAB – SIX WEEK WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY –
- Mondays, 7:00-8:30p |In-Person at Redeemer Community Church (Sept 14-Oct 19)
- Tuesdays, 1:30p | Via Zoom (Sep 15-Oct 20)
- Tuesdays, 7:00p | Viz Zoom (Sep 15-Oct 20)
Remember – the six-week women’s Bible study on RAHAB begins next week. Some women will be meeting at the church on Monday nights at 7:00 for an in person, socially distanced gathering. Others will be Zooming in for a virtual gathering on Tuesdays – some at 1:30 in the afternoon and others at 7:00 in the evening.
There’s still time to sign up for any of the sessions. Contact Terry Morledge and let her know you’re interested. Email: Tmorledge@reviveourhearts or text her at 501-517-1566.
RCC MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Saturday, September 19 from 9:00 am until noon, we’re hosting our next church membership class, either in the RCC Family Room or in our Worship Center, depending on how many of you attend.
If you’re interested in learning more about membership at Redeemer, there is some reading we ask everyone to do in advance of the September 19 get together. Email Pastor Matt and he’ll get you what you need so you can be prepared. Mattgurney77@gmail.com
Call me crazy, but I think all of us need to be thinking carefully and prayerfully about how we live out our faith during the 2020 election season. We are a nation on edge, and I expect the rest of the year is going to be pretty ugly.
So we’re going to hold off on our ongoing study of John’s gospel to think together for a few weeks about Jesus, Politics & The Gospel. Like I said, call me crazy. And pray for me, and for us as we look together at the scriptures.
See you (in person or on line) Sunday!
Soli Deo Gloria!