In James 1, we considered how faith responds to personal trials. James 2 teaches us how faith responds to the trials of others. In this test of faith, James forces us to come face to face with how we deal with partiality and poverty.
The book of James is a vivid expression of how real faith looks when practiced as a true servant of Jesus. In the first chapter, the common theme is how Christians should think when they are tested. Since our actions are preceded by thoughts, James tells us how to think about common trials so we can live out our faith as God would have us
Psalm 19 contains two distinct sermons; the sermon of the world and the sermon of the Word. Just as the world displays God's law and order his Word has very similar concepts. In this lesson, we highlight some of the great characteristics of God's Word. In these concepts, we are led to a relationship with God.
Psalm 19 is often divided into two parts. Verses 1-6 are often called "natural revelation" as they describe how the world teaches us about God. Verses 7-14 are called "special revelation" as they teach how the Word teaches us about God. It's common to just briefly consider the first part of the Psalm to quickly move to the second, but in this lesson, we want to hear "The Sermon of the World."
Psalm 51 is David's written confession after his sin with Bathsheba. More importantly, it also lays out a course for personal change. What if everything happening in our world today has called you to think about how the most important change needs to start with you? If so, Psalm 51 has some words of instruction and inspiration for you.
If anybody could write a psalm about the reality of death it was Moses. For 40 years he watched the nation of Israel die in the wilderness. Psalm 90 is believed to be written by Moses during the latter part of the 40 years of wilderness wandering. This psalm contains the stark reminder that most people will live no more than 70-80 years. Yet, the Bible always has an answer to bad news and this psalm does as well. This psalm is all about learning to live in the face of death.
One of the most frustrating parts of life for believers is seeing unbelievers prosper and win. If you've ever struggled with this, you're in good company with King David. Psalm 37 is thought to be the wisdom of David, who had learned from experience how to handle life when it seems like the world is winning. As an older man at the writing of this psalm (Ps. 37:25), David is well positioned through experience and the Holy Spirit to guide us in how to handle this experience.
If ever the words "troublesome times are here" ring true the time is now. Yet, Psalm 46 teaches us that God is a God for troubled times. Here is what this psalm teaches in a summary statement: God doesn’t take us out of TROUBLE; God takes us THROUGH it. Therefore, you can TRUST him.
They say "absence makes the heart grow fonder." So it isn't ironic that being separated from God's people has made many of us appreciate the gathering of God's people more than ever before. David was a man of God who could relate. When separated from the city Jerusalem he longed to return to worship God again. Psalm 122 tells us his story and it has become our story too because it affirms why we gather with God's people.
In times of trouble, we need to hold fast to a faithful view of God. Not only does the book of Psalms show us God, but Psalm 103:2 cautions us to not forget God's benefits. As a result, Psalm 103 is really the gushing praise of David as he remembers what God has done for him. Literally everything that is good comes from God, but David mentions many specific blessings that all who fear God should never forget!