Experiencing Overflowing Joy In God’s Story, In Our Story: Advent Story Week 3 2013

The Story: Trials of a King

“I love you, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.”  –  Psalm 18:1-3  

Slide4In reading about the life of David, I am always struck by his attitude of faith and ardent love for God even in his times of trial.  God had given David the attributes of physical strength, courage, love, justice, and charity.  And yet, David was plagued by transgressions throughout his life.  Despite his continual sin, he always sought to repent and ask for forgiveness.  Also, when God did forgive him, he was truly grateful and full of praise for all God had done in his life.  David and God had a very personal relationship where David would speak to God and God would respond with delight.  David’s faith would be tested his entire life and, yet, God surrounded him with love and protection.  

David should be the role model for all sinners.  I know he is for me.  I have made many mistakes in my life.  I have judged people so that I could feel better about myself.  But, doing so gave me a false sense of security.  I really wasn’t any better.  In fact, I was worse for judging them.  Even though, I still catch myself in situations where I might judge.  God has worked in me throughout the years to give me the ability to think before I speak or act!  He does this by surrounding me with his love and speaks to me personally with advice.  No, I don’t hear a voice but I do feel a deep sense that tells me what my response should be.  I once worked with a very difficult person.  She thought her teaching methods were right and that strategies others used were insignificant.  She was quite vocal about this and hurt feelings.  I myself felt her sting and retaliated along with others by talking about her behind her back.  I felt better when I could conspire against her.  But, God corralled me and made me look at her life, her strategies, and her rigid ways.  I realized that there were many reasons for the way she acted and then tried to be more sensitive to her.  We never really became friends but were more understanding colleagues afterwards.  Throughout the whole ordeal, God gave me confidence, sensitivity, and caring for my neighbor just as He did for David.  I am surrounded by His love always and feel His spirit work within me each day.  Praise the Lord!

Prayer:  Dear God, You are my rock, my salvation, the one I need at all times.  Help me to hold my tongue and refrain from acts that would hurt others.  Help me learn from my mistakes.  Protect me from my enemies.  Help me to repent of my sins, ask You for forgiveness, and love you throughout my life.  Be with me always.  Amen.

Judy McLaughlin

In what ways have the trials you have faced in your life resulted in blessing and joy and a closer relationship with God?

Suggest Scripture Readings for the Third Week of Advent:

Sunday:  Psalm 18:1-3
Monday:  Psalm 80:1-18
Tuesday:  Mark 13:24-37
Wednesday:  Psalm 62:5
Thursday:  Mark 1:1-14
Friday: Psalm 80:19
Saturday:  Psalm 85:1-2
 

Click this link for additional resources and ways to experience Advent at Faith UMC:  http://faithum.weebly.com/advent.html

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About faithumchurch

Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio
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2 Responses to Experiencing Overflowing Joy In God’s Story, In Our Story: Advent Story Week 3 2013

  1. Pingback: Beyond 9/11 memorial services 2011 | We dream of things that never were and say: "Why not?"

  2. Pingback: Another day to be thankful and another day to live | One Lifetime

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