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Surviving the Pit

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Finding Help in the Psalms of Lament
There are times when we are in the pit: it might be clinical depression, but it also might be exhaustion, bereavement, stress, betrayal, abandonment, hatred, humiliation, failure, frustration, sickness, facing old age and having those things that we put our trust in stripped away from us, deep disappointment etc. How does the pit language of the Psalms help us when we are in the pit?
They are also known as the Psalms of lament or the songs of disarray.
The key Psalms are 88, 56, 69, 102
Psalms 40 and 103 are about how God rescued us from the pit
1. The pit as death: Pit = Sheol. Place of death, of non-being. It is defined by being the place of the non-praise of God. Psalm 6.5, ‘For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?’ Psalm 30.9, ‘What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?’ [Is 38.18, For Sheol cannot thank you, death cannot praise you;…

Having a hunger for God

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Acts 8:26-40
The Ethiopian eunuch is travelling from Jerusalem to the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia.
He was a wealthy man. He held a senior post. He was the chancellor of the exchequer of the Queen of Ethiopia. We are told that he is a eunuch, but by this time the word Eunuch could simply mean ‘senior official’. He has his own chariot and he is able to read.
He was also a religious man. He had travelled to Jerusalem to worship. Possibly he was a Gentile convert to Judaism, although he might have been a Jew. I doubt that he would have made the journey many times and this may have been a once in a lifetime opportunity.
And he was now on his journey home.
But he is on another journey. He is on a journey to God.
1. He begins with a hunger for God
We know that this Ethiopian had a hunger for God because was reading Isaiah.
It might have been a passage that they had read in Jerusalem and he wanted to have a look at it again. (It is a great encouragement when people come up after a service and sa…

Letting go of the treasure.

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Luke 18.18-30
I have here a hoop. Could you go through it? But can you go through the hoop if you hold onto the suitcase? You can't let it go. Possible? No impossible.   You can only get through the hoop if you let go of the suitcase.
What is in this suitcase? These are our treasures: Money, glamour, house, learning, food, morality, cars, shoes, iPhone.
They are all the sorts of things that we live our life for. They are what we set our heart on.
Jesus says that if we hold onto our treasures it is impossible to enter into the kingdom of God.
He says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to go into the Kingdom of God
These are our riches. If we are going to begin to experience the reality of the Kingdom of God, then we need to let go of these things.
Jesus says to the rich man, "Your money is your treasure. It is what you have put your trust in. It is what defines you. It is what you build your life around. But it is also what keeps you aw…