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Lament: Letting God Use Your Pain

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Why don't we live happily ever after? Is there a purpose for our pain? Sharing the lessons from Michael Card's Lament Workshop, held in Bedford NH, April 13-15, 2018. Presented as a sermon at Providence Assembly of God April 22, 2018.

To book Michael for the workshop, go to michaelcard.com.

Published in: Spiritual
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Lament: Letting God Use Your Pain

  1. 1. LIFE HAPPENS. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
  2. 2. Chorus: Come lift up your sorrows And offer your pain; Come make a sacrifice Of all your shame; There in your wilderness He's waiting for you To worship Him With your wounds, For He's wounded too. Come Lift Up Your Sorrows By Michael Card
  3. 3. BEGINNING END Genesis Revelation God always was. God is. “I AM.”
  4. 4. BEGINNING END God is with us Genesis Revelation Adam and Eve Presence Intimacy with God With God Forever God always was. God is. “I AM.”
  5. 5. BEGINNING END Genesis Revelation Adam and Eve Intimacy with God SIN LAW Obedience = Blessing Disobedience = Punishment Jesus Emmanuel God With Us Presence With God Forever God is with us W I L D E R N E S S GRACE
  6. 6. BEGINNING END Genesis Revelation Adam and Eve SIN LAW Obedience = Blessing Disobedience = Punishment Jesus Emmanuel God With Us Presence With God Forever Holy Spirit God is with us W I L D E R N E S S GRACE
  7. 7. BEGINNING END Revelation LAW Obedience = Blessing Disobedience = Punishment Jesus Emmanuel God With Us Presence With God Forever Holy Spirit God is with us W I L D E R N E S S GRACE
  8. 8. The Journey Torah Obedience Presence BEGINNING END Job 1 Job 42 Psalm 1 Psalm 150 W I L D E R N E S S WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES • Job • Joseph • Moses • People of Israel • David • Elijah • John the Baptist • Jesus
  9. 9. Torah Obedience Presence BEGINNING END W I L D E R N E S S It’s Our Journey Too comes out of the wilderness and addresses the dark side of the journey Michael Card LAMENT
  10. 10. We were created to live with God in a garden, yet we wake every morning in the desert of a fallen world. Michael Card Cancer AIDS
  11. 11. Laments come from the wilderness times LAMENT Noun: • Passionate expression of grief or sorrow • A song, piece of music, or poem expressing sorrow • An expression of regret or disappointment
  12. 12. Laments come from the wilderness times LAMENT Verb: • Mourn a person’s loss or death • Mourn aloud; wail • Express regret or disappointment over something considered unsatisfactory, unreasonable, or unfair • Express one’s deep grief about something
  13. 13. Biblical Laments • Job lamented over his situation • David lamented over death: Saul, Jonathan, his infant son, Absalom • Habakkuk lamented over the coming judgement • Amos, Ezekiel, Isaiah and other prophets over Israel’s sin • Jeremiah wept over the destruction of Israel • Lamentations – a whole book of lament about the destruction of Israel • Women lamented their children slaughtered by Herod • Believers at Jesus death • Jesus lamented over the death of Lazarus, at Gethsemane and on the cross
  14. 14. 33-50% of the Psalms are Laments Lament Psalms Community 12, 44, 58, 60, 74, 79, 80, 83, 85, 89*, 90, 94, 123, 126, 129 Individual 3, 4, 5, 7, 9-10, 13, 14, 17, 22, 25, 26, 27*, 28, 31, 36*, 39, 40:12-17, 41, 42- 43, 52*, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61, 64, 70, 71, 77, 86, 89*, 120, 139, 141, 142 Specialized Lament Psalms Penitential 6, 32*, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143 Imprecatory 35, 69, 83, 88, 109, 137, 140
  15. 15. Why do we lament? • Broken hearted • Feeling helpless or hopeless • Grief • Repentance over our sinfulness • Expression of pain • God where are you? • God, if you love me, then why? Asking two questions:
  16. 16. LamentingorComplaining? Lamenting • Talking to God • Asks God • Cry of belief in a good God • Trust Complaining • Talking about God • Blames God • Unbelief and distrust of God • Doubt They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? (Exodus 14:11) The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” (Numbers 11:4-6) I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:16-18)
  17. 17. Patterns of Laments • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance of who God is • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship God invites our laments.
  18. 18. • God where are you? • God, if you love me, then why? Remember the two questions: We long for God’s presence in the hard times. We don’t understand how God loves us. Hesed/Chesed The way God loves us. Translated 169 different ways in English. Lovingkindness, grace, faithfulness Hebrew Lesson Lies at the heart of all laments
  19. 19. Remember the pattern of laments: There is always a change. Vav Sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Vav Adversative. Translated but, yet Hebrew Lesson Signals a change • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship And it happens here.
  20. 20. Patterns of Laments • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship Themes in Laments • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed) • Remembrance • Vav Adversative (But)
  21. 21. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  22. 22. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  23. 23. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  24. 24. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  25. 25. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  26. 26. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  27. 27. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  28. 28. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  29. 29. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  30. 30. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  31. 31. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  32. 32. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  33. 33. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  34. 34. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  35. 35. Psalm 3 1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  36. 36. Psalm 13 1How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, 4and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 5But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me. • Describing the situation as it is • Remembrance • Asking God for help • Responding in trust, praise and worship • Vav Adversative (But) • Presence • How God loves us (Hesed)
  37. 37. What’s happening in your world? How might you use lament to pour out your pain?
  38. 38. Just being there helps. Come alongside someone in pain.
  39. 39. Chorus: Come lift up your sorrows And offer your pain; Come make a sacrifice Of all your shame; There in your wilderness He's waiting for you To worship Him With your wounds, For He's wounded too. Come Lift Up Your Sorrows By Michael Card

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