Sermon 2020-04-05

My Refuge

Psalm 11
Rev. Tim Meendering
April 5, 2020

Order of Service

Sermon Notes

Questions for family/small group discussions:
  • What is an example of how have you experienced God’s Word serving as a pharmacy with endless medications for your soul? In recent days, what are some of your most common emotions?
  • As the psalms teach us how to process the full range of our emotions in a constructive way with God, how do you see the psalms assisting you with fear, anxiety, stress, and grief?
  • I noted, from Psalm 11:3, that there is a fear for when “the foundations are destroyed” or the social order is in disarray. What elements of our current “upside down” life causes the most fear, stress, or grief for you and why?
  • How has God been your refuge in severely stressful past seasons of your life?
 
God can be our refuge when we see that God is acting in three ways:
 
1. Driving
  • What are some ways that you try to drive or take the wheel of your life or the circumstances around you?
  • What can we learn from the experience of Peter and John with the build-up of their expectation that Jesus can do anything, and he will make all things right, and then he suddenly seems to powerlessly surrender to horrible suffering and death? After Easter, how did Peter/John view the previous “defeat” (Acts 4:28)? What are some other ways—both in the Bible and in your own life—where you have seen God bring stunning good out of chaotic bad?
  • What are some ways that the suffering and death of Jesus impacts you today?
  • How do you question or worry about the route that God is choosing for the destination of your good (Rom 8:28)? How does it change your relationship to God and to an upside down life when you recognize that God is better qualified for choosing the route for your good and his glory than you are?
 
2. Testing
  • David recognizes (vs. 4-5) that God tests the heart of his people. What are some ways that you have already been tested through this season? What sins, flaws, idols, or too-important priorities have come to the surface so far?
  • Job learned how to love God for himself and not for what God gives him. Do you see God perhaps working in this way for you and how?
  • If you consider the “trees” in the lumberjack illustration to be your sources of joy, pleasure, security, hope, peace, purpose, and love, what might be the trees that God is shaking for you?
  • How do you see God’s love in the “severe mercy” of loosening your grip on the things that will devastate you when you lose them and moving you toward finding your refuge and rest in him? Take time to praise God for his shaking, loosening, and moving you toward him.
 
3. Drawing you into his presence
  • David holds up the ultimate blessing and joy of seeing God’s face. How does intimacy with God and seeing his face work toward our transformation and dependence on him as our refuge for whatever comes our way? (Take time to study these texts for some answers: Romans 8:18-39, 1 John 3:1-2, John 17:20-26, 1 Cor. 13:12, Rev. 22:1-4)
  • What step will you take with meditation and prayer to increasingly make the medicine cabinet of God’s Word a power daily dose of God’s love and grace for you?
  • What are some ways that Jesus made it possible for us to have true, intimate fellowship with God?
  • If you think of Jesus as the only true bridge over troubled water by laying himself down, what are some ways that “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and so many other songs hold up “trees” that will ultimately come down?
  • How would you explain to someone who is struggling through this season what it means to you that Jesus was shaken under our sin so that you can remain unshaken for whatever comes your way—or that Jesus gave up his refuge so that you can forever have refuge? Take time to respond as prescribed in Heb. 12:28-29 for receiving a kingdom that connect be shaken.
 
Here are some quality resources for becoming better equipped for your personal reading/study of the Bible and especially the Psalms so that they effectively build faith, treat the soul, and provide a powerful dose of God’s love and grace for you. Pray for this season to change and revive us and our community!