Finding Peace in Trouble by a Journey to Joy
April 4, 2013
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
<![CDATA[As I write, the city of Boston – where I have many friends – is recovering from a horrific bombing. Questions are asked now that were not asked the week before: Where is God? What is the purpose of this event? Why did this happen to me? Why now? Who could do such a thing? As Christians we believe that God is sovereign over every single event, good or bad, small or massive, that has ever happened, ever will occur, from eternity to eternity. We know bad stuff happens. We know Romans 8:28 is still true. After all, if God can use a crucifixion to save, he can certainly use evil for good. That said, at a real personal level recovering from such events is not easy. Here is where the Psalms come in, and in particular the Psalms of Ascent. The Psalms have the aim of pointing us to Christ in the language of the human soul. By the way, Martin Luther – he of justification by faith, sola scriptura fame – started his lectures not on Romans or Galatians, but with the Psalms. They were his window to Christ. When you read the Psalms of Ascent, you start with reading a psalm where the author has experienced some scary vicious nastiness. In fact, though he is for peace, they are for war. But that psalm is intended to speak the language of the soul and help us on the road to Christ. It does so by modeling a kind of honesty that is rare in churches, rarer in pulpits, and absent from some theologies. He does not have all the answers. Life can be hard. This thing called suffering is, though God is in charge, still, well, suffering. It hurts. It makes the psalmist angry. He wants to take revenge. He wants those who hurt him to be hurt in return – twice as bad as he ever was to teach them a lesson. In saying such things, the Bible is not approving of our bare-knuckled tendency towards anger at those who offend us, or hurt us. It is allowing us, by recording a model for us, to deal with the raw energy of a wounded individual in light of the glory of Christ. It is a journey – a journey, step by step, to joy. Pastor Moody’s new book Journey to Joy will be released later this month from Crossway.]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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