The Painful Part of Building a New Life

Psalm 39:7 " So now Lord, what should I be waiting for? My hope is set on you."

By: Rebecca Harrison

April 18, 2018

The thing about revival that is challenging for me is the "re" part. Whenever we see "re" in the prefix of a word, we know that there is something that we need to do again. Something once was, but is not any longer, and now we seek to re-do, re-start, re-store, re-awaken, or re-vive it; To bring it back to life and we are hoping that as we revive it the life we bring back will be a new life.

The problem with the "re" part is that it means that we must start again. We must go back to a beginning point. To restore something, we need to strip it down to the bones and look at the thing for what it is. We need to see it naked and exposed before we can build it back up again to what is was supposed to be. And that is not comfortable. To seek revival, is to seek new life. So, we strip down the life we have and look at it for what it is. And that is especially not comfortable.

I love the new life part. The already restored part. The part of the re-vival that is just the "vival"! I love the Psalm 40 part where we hear the words, "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise for our God!" Unfortunately, to get to Psalm 40, we have to go through Psalm 39. We have to strip it down.

In a moment of clarity, after lamenting the pain he has endured while remaining obedient in the face of those who stand against him, the Psalmist declares, 39:5-6 "Yes, a human life is nothing but a puff of air!" Yes, people wander around like shadows; yes, they hustle and bustle but pointlessly; they don't even know who will get the wealth they've amassed."(CEB)

As pastors and church planters, we know this feeling well. It is the "What the $#@!" moment. We know what it is to feel the pain of frustration. The pain of holding our tongue. The pain of disappointment over what we waited and hoped for. The month is too long and the money is too short. We can do everything "right" and the bad diagnosis still comes. The job can still be lost. The hurricane can still wash away all of what we thought was security. In a moment of gritty, raw, honesty the Psalmist says, (v.7)" So now Lord, what should I be waiting for?" In light of the fact that my days are numbered and we all seem to be consumed with busyness that ultimately doesn't matter, now, Lord, WHAT SHOULD I BE WAITING FOR? WHERE IS MY NEW LIFE? WHERE IS MY REVIVAL?

Then the answer comes. "My hope is set on you." There is the key. Stripped down, new life begins with, "My hope is set on you."

But this hope is not for any of the things that we used to look to in the old life. In fact, to build this new life, God has disciplined us in our sin. We have felt the "blows of his fist" on us and he has and poked holes in all of the things that we once treasured exposing their worthlessness,"like a moth, you ruin what (we) treasure. [39:11]" This stripping down is a painful process, and it often makes us want to join in with the Psalmist and tell God to "turn his face away" from us so we could be "happy" with the days we have left.

But then we get to Psalm 40. When everything has been stripped down to the core, if we can have the courage to truly set our hope on the Lord, we will get to Psalm 40. "I put all my hope in the Lord. He leaned down to me; he listened to my cry for help. He lifted me out of the pit of death, out of the mud and filth, and set my feet on solid rock. He steadied my legs. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise for our God!"

Re-Vival!

Prayer

Lord, as we seek re-vival during this time between Easter and Pentecost may it be that we will allow you to give us clarity about what needs to be stripped down in our lives. As we stand before you, admitting that the things we have treasured are full of holes, may we open our hands to you in surrender and say, "So now Lord, what should I be waiting for? Lord, may my new life begin with the declaration that, "My hope is set completely on you," and my new song be one of praise for your amazing love and eternal faithfulness!