“FOR THE BELIEVER, LIFE HOLDS
DEEPER SORROW AND DEEPER JOY.”
WE SEE OUR SIN
AND KNOW IT HAS BROKEN THE HEART OF GOD.
WE SEE THE BROKENNESS IN THE WORLD
AND KNOW IT ISN’T HOW THINGS ARE MEANT TO BE.
YET, HERE IS THE PROMISE
IF WE SOW OUR TEARS,
HE WILL TURN OUR MOURNING INTO DANCING
HE WILL REMIND US THAT OUR TIMES ARE IN HIS HAND,
FORGIVENESS IS GIVEN.
HE, INDEED, IS OUR HIDING PLACE
AND HE WILL SURROUND OUR HEART
WITH SONGS OF DELIVERANCE.
All three psalms deal with the believer’s deeper sorrow and deeper joy. What we must learn is how to pray our sorrows, to sow our tears. Amazingly, our tears, when prayed, can actually reap a harvest of joy. And the sermon we will hear this week is one of my top three favorite Keller sermons — I’ve listened to it at least a dozen times. It’s actually on psalm 126, but has the same theme as these three psalms.
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. Do you agree with Keller’s opening quote that the believer experiences deeper sorrow and deeper joy? If so, explain a specific way you have seen that in your life.
Monday: Psalm 30. Joy comes in the morning.
On an earthly level, David is out of the caves of Abdullum and into his own home. He is also anticipating, finally, the building of the temple. His earthly sorrow has been turned to joy. But it is also important to see that David and the temple are types pointing to Christ.
3. Read Psalm 30:1-5 aloud and then answer:
A. What praise do you find in these verses?
B. In verses 1-5, how can you see Christ and both the crucifixion and resurrection?
C. In these verses you can also see how sorrow can actually produce joy. Find it, if you can.
D. 2 Corinthians 4:17 gives another clue as to how sorrow can actually produce joy. Find it, if you can.
E. Thank God for how He turned Christ’s sorrow into joy and what it also means for you.
4. Read Psalm 30:6-12 aloud and then answer:
A. At first I saw primarily David in these verses, but Patrick Reardon points out that in Gethsemane, Jesus did ask that he could be spared “this cup.” How might phrases from this passage illustrate that?
B. Think of something you asked the Lord to spare you from and He did not. Though you may not yet see the end of the story, what confident hope do you have because of God’s promises?
C. Thank God for His promises in this situation and ask Him to help you cling to them and remember them.
Tuesday-Wednesday: Psalm 31: My life is spent with sorrow
This is a lament, and we see it in the words of Job, Jonah, Jeremiah, and Jesus. We can quote it too, when we lament. The lament is the way to stay close to God when you don’t see the end of the story, when He has not yet turned your mourning into dancing. You are honest with God, telling him how your truly feel. That opens the way for dialogue. In most of the psalms of lament as is true in this one, it ends with a resolution to praise and trust the Lord despite the fact that the psalmist is still waiting.
5. Take either Job or Jeremiah, if you can, and describe their sorrows.
6. Read Psalm 31 in its entirety and find a passage that illustrates:
A. The psalmist’s trust in God
B. The psalmist’s longing for God to hear him
C. The psalmist’s pain and feeling of being forgotten
D. The psalmist’s resolve to trust the Lord
Verse 15 reminds me of a song Kathy Troccoli wrote that has always ministered to me. I remember Kathy singing this to Steve in our home during his illness — Steve in his chair, eyes closed. Him thanking her gently afterwards.
E. How can verse 14 minister to you when God is doing things as you hoped?
F. The psalmist, in verse 22 remembers another time when he felt forgotten, yet God came. Can you remember a time like that in your life so you can use it to speak to your soul?
7. Whatever pain you are going through right now, lament, using this psalm to help you pray your tears.
8. Read Psalm 31 in its entirety and if any part of this lament quickens you, stop and meditate. Share here.
Thursday: Psalm 32: Tears of Repentance
I think a big reason that this blog ministers is your transparency. Being real with one another and with God — not pretending to have it all together when we don’t — but then also, truly repenting. The U-Turn.
9. Read Psalm 32:1-4 and list reasons why it is important to keep short accounts with the Lord.
10. How do you make a habit of confession?
11. Read Psalm 32:5-7 and list the blessings of sincere repentance.
12. Listen to Sara Groves sing “Hiding Place” above and then, in prayer:
A. Confess the ways you are broken
B. Recall the Words He has spoken that show His love for you
C. Allow Him to fill your heart with songs of deliverance
13. Read Psalm 32:8-9 and find the promise and condition.
14. Come to Him now with a problem in your life and let Him teach you. Be still and listen –have a play-dough heart.
15. How does this psalm end?
Friday: Keller free sermon: Praying your Tears (This is actually on Psalm 126, but a similar theme to Psalms 30, 31, and 32): LINK
16. Share your notes and thoughts.
17. What’s your take-a-way and why?