Friday, April 19, 2019

Friday, April 19th: Joshua 19:1-20:9, Luke 19:28-48, Psalm 88:1-18, Proverbs 13:12-14 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Joshua 19:1-20:9, Luke 19:28-48, Psalm 88:1-18, Proverbs 13:12-14 

Psalm 88:1-4 O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out to you by day.
I come to you at night.
2 Now hear my prayer;
listen to my cry.
3 For my life is full of troubles,
and death[b] draws near.
4 I am as good as dead,
like a strong man with no strength left.

I appreciated the thoughts in my devotional book about this passage.....

Most laments in the Psalms let in a ray of sunshine, closing on a confident note of determination to trust God. But not this psalm. There seems to be no resolution. But that does not mean there is no genuine hope...

Faith can be real even when it can't be tied up into a tidy conclusion, even when it cannot articulate strong hope, even when it's barely holding on, even when everything seems very dark.....

And though the light of redemption is faint in this psalm, it helps us recognize that the God of our salvation is the only one with the ability to pierce through the darkness of our difficult circumstances.

That feeling of darkness is appropriate for today....Good Friday. 

Here are some thoughts from Randy Alcorn about Good Friday....

Today is “Good Friday,” commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus. But that torturous death of God’s Son was the single most horrible injustice in human history. So WHY do we call it Good? Why not call it Bad Friday or Horrific Friday?
Because out of the appallingly bad came what was inexpressibly good. And the good trumps the bad because the bad was temporary while the good is eternal. God’s love and grace come to us soaked in divine blood.
The Cross is God’s answer to the question, “Why don’t you do something about evil?” God did do something…something unimaginably great and powerful. One look at Jesus—at His incarnation and the redemption He accomplished for us—should silence the argument that God has withdrawn to some far corner of the universe where He keeps His hands clean and maintains His distance from human suffering. God does not merely empathize with our sufferings. He actually suffers. Jesus is God. What Jesus suffered, God suffered.
A powerful moment in the movie The Passion of the Christ occurs when Jesus, overwhelmed with pain and exhaustion, lies on the ground as guards kick, mock, and spit on Him. A horrified woman, her hand outstretched, pleads, “Someone, stop this!” The great irony is that Someone, God’s Son, was doing something unspeakably great that required it not be stopped. Had someone delivered Jesus from His suffering that day, He could not have delivered us from ours.
The Gospel accounts of the Crucifixion and Resurrection depict Christ’s deep unhappiness in Gethsemane and His anticipation of the Cross. Joy and happiness are overshadowed by sorrow and grief—until the release of death. What follows for Jesus is joy, but for the apostles it is overwhelming grief. Resurrection happiness soon shines its light, pushing sorrow into the shadows. Death is conquered, and our eternal happiness secured.
What would otherwise have been remembered as Terrible Friday is transformed into Good Friday because Christ’s resurrection works in reverse upon death. The hidden purpose in Christ’s suffering is no longer hidden—it becomes a spectacular cause for happiness. This is the gospel’s Good News! In the end, life conquers death, joy triumphs over suffering. Happiness, not sorrow, has the last word—and it will have the last word forever.
This secure future invades our present, so that even while death and sorrow remain, the new normal in Christ isn’t sorrow but happiness. As Easter worked in reverse to make Good Friday good, so our resurrection will work in reverse to bring goodness out of our most difficult days. Faith is a sort of forward memory in which we trust God’s promise of eternal happiness and experience a foretaste of that happiness in severe difficulty.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Joshua 21:1-22:20, Luke 20:1-26, Psalm 89:1-13, Proverbs 13:15-16

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