Rallying Round the Flag

Psalm 60-1

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When people ask me, “What’s the biggest difference between the United Kingdom and the United States of America?” I answer, “The American flag is everywhere in the USA but the British flag is virtually nowhere in the UK.” I can’t go through a day without seeing the American flag multiple times in multiple places. I can go weeks and months and not see the Union Jack, the British flag, anywhere.

Why such a big difference? The American people are more patriotic than the Brits. They’re proud of their flag because they’re proud of their country and they’re not ashamed to show it. But it works the other way too. It’s not just that the flag reflects patriotism, it also stirs it up. The omnipresence of the Stars and Stripes stirs up patriotism too.

Which raises a spiritual question: How do we express and revive the patriotism of God’s people? Let’s hear David’s answer in Psalm 60.


The Gym That Weakens Us

Psalm 59 (1)

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“I want to be weak,” said no one ever. Why? Because weakness is a horrible experience. When we’re weak, we can’t do the things we want to do. Weakness means saying “I can’t,” and “Can you help me?” Words of only one syllable, yet the hardest words to say in the English language.

But, in the spiritual realm, weakness is strength. “I can’t” and “Can you help me?” are the most powerful words in our spiritual vocabulary. That’s why, in Psalm 59, David invites us to The Weakness Gym, whose tagline is, Our Strength is Weakness. Why would I want to get weaker? Let’s hear David’s answer.


The Greatest Pain in the World?

Psalm 58

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What’s the worst pain in the world? Physical pain (toothache, childbirth, kidney stones)? Emotional pains (bereavement, depression, fear)? Relational pains (betrayal, unfaithfulness, abandonment). All of these are great pains, but they are not the greatest pain.

I believe the greatest pain in the world is the pain of injustice: seeing the wicked get off, seeing the righteous condemned, especially when we’re one of the victims. I’ve been one of these victims and no doubt many of you have too. We’ve seen wicked people defended, protected, and promoted; and we’ve seen good people accused, condemned, and punished. That pain goes really deep and really long.

How do we deal with these wounds? How do we heal them? Psalm 58 offers some truth stitches to sew them together.


Unflinching Love

Psalm 57

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Human love is shaky. It’s weak and wavering, soft and unreliable. As David discovered yesterday, the best of friends can quickly become the worst of enemies. Our best buddy can become the worst betrayer, as most High School students can testify. So much of the teen depression and anxiety epidemic is spread through the unfaithfulness and unreliability of friends. Shaky friendships produce shaky hearts. Is there a steady love that can give us steady hearts? David answers that question in Psalm 57.


God’s Tear-Stained Journal

Psalm 56

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Many Christians have tried journaling as a spiritual discipline to strengthen their faith. A spiritual journal is a daily record of the ups and downs of our spiritual journey. Those who keep it up, testify to the huge benefit, especially looking back on it in later years. Most of us, though, can’t keep it up. Like many good habits, it’s just so hard to stick with it. We stop and start, stop and start, resulting in big blanks between the bursts of journaling. We’ve got pages of nothing, especially during hard times, the very times when journaling would be the most encouraging. Fear gives us writer’s block. Tears erase our text. What can encourage us when times are black and our pages blank? David points us to another journal in Psalm 56, a journal with no blanks.