June 27, 2021
Pastors Frank Bowden and Michael King
I. What is Lament?
It’s weeping with words
II. Why Lament?
A. Pain is inevitable
B. Pain creates strong emotions
C. Sometimes pain does not go away quickly
D. Lamenting well is a path to praise
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
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?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
III. Four Parts of a Lament
1. Address God directly
2. Express your complaint
3. Boldly ask for help
4. Choose to trust
IV. Steps of Repentance
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
The humble life of lament and repentance is the path to true freedom.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
- I have been living a life of hypocrisy, I need Jesus to save me today.
- I commit to begin a life of Lament and Repentance today.
- I desire to belong to a group that pushes each other in repentance, I want to find a LifeGroup.
- What are some lament-worthy things Christians and the Church should be grieving over, individually and corporately? Why do you think we’re hesitant to engage in intentional lamenting?
- Thinking of a recent complaint/accusation/question you had for God, fill in the blank: “God I know you’re not _, but it sure feels like it right now.” How does this kind of statement balance honesty with hope?
- Using the “Four Parts of a Lament” as a guide, write your own lament this week as an act of praise and trusting in the Lord.
- Take a moment and sit still in quiet prayer. Thinking about David’s model of repentance in Psalm 51, begin to get real with God. What unconfessed sin can you begin your journey of repentance with today.
- Why do we struggle with being honest about our sin with God, how about other people? Who can you ask for forgiveness for from today that will lead you into more freedom?
- Share a story of when someone interacted with a government official. Do they have authority whether we acknowledge it or not?
- Read Psalm 24:7-10. Is God in charge, whether we acknowledge it or not?
- Share when you first submitted to God’s authority and began your faith journey with Him.