In this study, God seems to draw us repeatedly to the theme that He does not save us FROM trials but rather saves us IN trials both in the sense of saving us in the trial itself and saving us by means of the trial as we explore Psalm 91. We discuss much of the imagery — fowlers, pinions, eagles, bucklers — as well as possible ties to the Exodus. We take a brief look at the role of angels and our need to not only be protected from evil but to be given the strength to battle against evil. We look at what it means to cleave to God in love but we keep returning to the theme that, to love Him as He loves us, we must learn love through experience, not just knowledge and that experience is often given to us as the way to salvation by means of trials.
This study spends a lot of time on the Psalmists' statement that he trusted even when afflicted including an example of this from the diary of Saint Faustina. We spoke of the need to recognize bounty even in the midst of trials and looked at some statements from Saint Paul in this regard. We examined some of the sacrificial practices mentioned and considered how seriously God takes affliction and even the death of His people. The connection between love and trust was a persistent theme as well as how far and how deep that love and trust can go.
This study explores Psalm 63 including its possible context of Absalom's rebellion against David. We considered how we can still see God's power and glory in His sanctuary today. We dwelt upon what it means to value God's love even more than life itself. We spoke of spiritual delights and intimacy with God and challenged ourselves to see how close we are to Him gauged against this psalm.
Tonight's study begins with Psalm 4 as a possible response of David to Absalom's rebellion. We branched into how we can and must find joy in our afflictions, digressed into one reason for intercessory prayer including prayer to Saints, and concluded with a discussion of complete trust in and surrender to the will of God.
We then continued on to Psalm 134 by first introducing the Songs of Ascents. We referenced the round the clock praise of God in the temple and its extension into our need and desire as a community to provide for those who today offer their lives in constant prayer and praise. With finished by dwelling on the deep intimacy we can have with God.
We then turned off the cameras and prayed Night Prayer of the vigil of All Saints which uses Pss 4 and 134 as the psalmody.
We transition from spiritual adultery by humans to God's fidelity toward us and our trust in that fidelity. We continue to humility in light of that trust, our submission to God and our taking a stand against Satan based upon James 4:5-8 and I Peter 5:6-9
In tonight's study we connect James' depiction of praying wrongfully with his condemnation of spiritual adultery and then explore the theme of spiritual idolatry in the prophets. We also take time to establish the historical context of the prophets by reading the contemporaneous accounts in First and Second Kings.
In the first half of our study, we compare asking rightly and wrongly in prayer, praying according to God's will, and how that ties to trust. We discuss "good person syndrome" and examine the example of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the second half, we examine modes of prayer drawing upon the writings of Teresa of Avila.
In tonight's study we finish James 3 with his discussion of the Wisdom from Above and the resulting peace. We then start chapter 4 and begin a discussion of prayer, why our prayers are not always answered, and how we often do not pray or exercise faith in a spiritually mature way. This leads to a further discussion of faith, and trust drawing upon some of the writings of Saint Faustina.
We suggest you begin here:
Foundations of Bible Study