NEW Today’s AMI QT Devotional is written by Andrew Kim who serves as the executive pastor at Tapestry Church in Los Angeles. Andrew, a graduate of Eternity Bible College, is currently attending Fuller Theological Seminary.
Devotional Thought for Today
“Honest to God”
Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. 23 Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.”
John 11:35 “Jesus wept.”
Throughout the biblical narrative you see people lamenting. The psalms are filled with honest poetry about their suffering, pain, and anger. Even now, it still surprises me how honest and raw they are in their writings. (Can you imagine telling God, “Wake up, sir!”). The authors do not filter out their deep emotions and replace it with forced Christian clichés that simply suggest that everything is well because God is good. They take the time to share and vent their deep-seated emotions to God. This is important for us to recognize. Walter Brueggemann writes that the lament writings are indispensable to the relationship between God and humanity. There would be a genuine loss of authentic interaction. It would make us robotic in nature if humans were not allowed to share their pains and anger with their Maker, and only be left with the option to praise God. That praise would be superficial and forced. A truly genuine praise is the product of honest dialogue with God, not robotic response.
In our passage today, we see the shortest verse in the Bible. “Jesus wept.” In context, Jesus is weeping because His dear friend Lazarus has died. It’s interesting because Jesus most likely knows that He will soon raise Lazarus from the dead and be with His friend once again. But He does not bypass the process of lamenting and grieving the loss. He goes through it to get to the resurrection of his dead friend.
Many of us are filled with anger, confusion, fear, and pain now. In moments like this, we need permission to feel these emotions and share them with God. Sometimes we feel that, as good Christians, our prayers must be filled with only statements of faith and praise. But God is not afraid of our raw honest thoughts. He wants them. He wants to process with us so that He might transform them into genuine words of praise. Let us come before God and be honest with Him. Whatever fears and emotions you might have, bring them into the presence of God today!
Prayer: Father, help me as I am filled with many emotions during this pandemic. It’s a difficult thing to process. I ask that your Holy Spirit help me to honestly voice my thoughts, and for You to provide me faith in You during this difficult time. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 19
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 13:1-6: How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Questions to Consider
- What is the emotional journey that the Psalmist goes on in this psalm of lament?
- How are you really feeling amid this pandemic?
- In what ways can you be more honest in your prayer life?
- The psalmist begins with an honest venting session. He expresses to God that God has been slow in providing comfort. However, that emotion is transformed into praise and trust in the Lord. It’s been my own experience that honest processing with God always leads me to a place of trust in God, through the work of God’s word and His Spirit.
- Personal response.
- The following is what Job said while he was enduring his trial: “God has turned me over to the ungodly and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked. 12 All was well with me, but he shattered me; he seized me by the neck and crushed me. He has made me his target (Job 16:11-12).
Take some time to come before the Lord with honesty. We are feeling many emotions and oftentimes the temptation is to numb those emotions through binge watching and social media. Take time to process and surrender them to Lord tonight.