Brian began his message on Sunday with a review of the previous two weeks in this three-part series looking at Psalms 129, 130 and 131. In these passages there can be three strands that bind around each other showing that we are: sufferer, sinner, and son or daughter.
In Psalm 129 we were encouraged to turn to God for help in our suffering;
In Psalm 130 we were encouraged to turn to God for forgiveness of our sin;
In Psalm 131 today we will learn how to be content with being a son or daughter of God.
Charles Spurgeon once, referring to this psalm, said it is one of the shortest psalms to read, but one of the longest to learn.
Brian detailed some of the reasons why we may be discontented in our lives:
1. At a world level, there is so much suffering and evil.
2. At a personal level, perhaps life has not worked out the way you had hoped i.e. unhappy job or marriage.
3. At a spiritual level, lots of doubts, prayer requests are not answered.
How do we cope with life’s big questions? What if God’s answer is that we will not know the answer?
Do we demand answers from God, being proud and arrogant, rather than being humble and accepting His will? Should we turn our gaze, our enquiry, away from the answer we want and towards the God we must seek?
When Job questioned God about his suffering he said:
This is the same phrase from verse one of Psalm 131 (quoted above). Before this point in Job’s journey there were 38 painful chapters with a seemingly silent God.
Contentment begins with surrender – surrender to the sovereignty and wisdom of God, although our human tendency is to want to be in control.
Contentment is also to be like a weaned child: to trust your mother to take care of everything; to be able to be still, to rest in God who loves us like a mother. The prophet Isaiah uses this image of God as a loving mother:
Finally, contentment is being able to put our hope and trust in God now and forevermore. When our lives are full of desire for possessions, temptations, busyness, ambition and attention, will we choose to put our trust in the LORD?
We are all on a journey as Christians, a journey as a son or daughter who suffers and sins. The only way we can progress is if we turn to our Saviour, trust him in our suffering, seek him to forgive our sins and rest in his unconditional love.