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TSR Christian Soc Bible Study

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    Questions will be out tomorrow
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    (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
    Questions will be out tomorrow
    :yay: :woo: :dance:
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    (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
    Questions will be out tomorrow
    Excellent news!
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    (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
    Questions will be out tomorrow
    Yay! :woo:
    Thankyou GEG! :hugs:
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    (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
    A Song for When Sin Seems Good - Psalm 16


    No matter how dedicated a Christian we are, we all still struggle with temptation. What is it about sin that makes it seem so attractive and 'good'? What encourages us to sin?

    I think sin is routed within our temptations, which are natural desires. However by acting upon them in the wrong circumstance we sin (i.e sex before marriage etc). They seem attractive and good as they fulfil a want, they stop us craving something (albeit for a short time) and particularly in the society we live in today a lot of people are doing it including friends and peers.

    Read 1 Samuel 26
    Bit of background:
    Saul was the King of Israel before David. David has been chosen by God as the next king and so Saul wanted him dead. They fully believed that the king was chosen by God and this was shown with oil being poured on his head.


    What temptations did David face in this passage?
    To kill Saul and take his throne, the easy way rather than waiting for God's plan.

    If you were in his situation how would you have reacted?
    Me as me now I'd have probably run away tbh, i wouldn't have gone into the camp, Me as David it would have been very tempting to kill him as it would have been so easy as it can be frustrating when you have to wait for something or wait for God to fullfil his plan, patience isn't easy.


    Look at verse 1. What does David need preservation and refuge from?
    He need refuge from Saul and for ohers working for Saul who wish to kill him and stop him from taking the throne.

    How does verse 2 show David's reaction to temptation? Is it an active or passive stance?
    It's active, he is turning to God to stop himself from giving into temptation.

    What does David say about God's people in verse 3?
    They are saints in the land, the people that both David and God delight in.

    Contrast this with his description of ungodly people in verse 4. Does David want anything to do with these people's idolatry?
    The previous verse is full of joy and praise, this one is full of sorrow and regret however David will not let their names pass his lips.

    How can having Christians around us help us when we are tempted to sin?
    It can make us accountable, it gives us someone who says "hang on a minute what you're doing isn't right" as well as someone whose quite possibly been through the same and can help us not to sin.


    Should we be avoiding non-Christians?
    Definitely not! How can we show God's love, his grace and who he is if we avoid non-christians? How can we preach his word and bring more people to God if we stick in a clique.

    Part of the help of other Christians is in holding you accountable. They can only do this however if you are open and honest with them about your struggles. Do you have Christian friends with whom you have this kind of open relationship with? Do you feel like you are willing to be challenged by other Christians or do you hide your problems in order to seem better?
    I don't have any christian friends who I am accountable to because I find the whole idea of accountability very challenging mainly as i'm scared that if i tell people where i've been tempted/sin that they will turn away from me and no longer be my friend. I am however, trying to get an accountable relationship its just finding the right person.

    David is looking forward to the inheritance of the Promised Land, but in these verses he is also talking about something else. What other type of inheritance is David talking about?
    Inheritence of the Kingdom of God, and of eternal life. To be given the inheritence of God which is so much more than land on earth.

    In 1 Samuel we were told that David was told to serve other gods, how do verse 5 and 6 show David's faith in God alone and his lack of need for false gods?
    He knows that God has a plan for me, a path an inheritence and trusts wholeheartedly in that, he trusts in God.

    In verses 7 and 8 David celebrates truths about God, what are these?
    God is always with us, he never leaves us, he counsels us and instructs us in the way to go. With him on our side how can we be shaken?

    We are shown that David keeps God at forefront of his mind, is this a natural occurence or does David work to keep Him there?
    From personal experience i think he did have to work at it, it can be hard to keep God at the forefront of a mind always especially when other things seem to get in the way.. school/friends etc. For David, his temptationn to kill Saul would have been there and so he would have needed to remind himself of God's amazingness!


    How is Psalm 16:8-11 shown to be fulfilled in Acts?
    Through the death and resurrection of Jesus and given us the gift of eternal life.


    How does Jesus' victory help us when sin seems good?
    It reminds us that Jesus died for us, that he suffered for our sins and that although sin may seem good it isn't and although it may feel like we can't beat it, we can just as Jesus beat death for us!

    What can David teach us about how we should react to sin?
    We should be active and turn to God, either by looking through his word or by asking him for his guidance to help us through the situation.

    This Psalm can be broken down into four sections:
    • The community of other Christians
    • The goodness of God the Father
    • The presence of God the Spirit
    • The victory of God the Son

    How can each one of these things practically help us in turning away from sin and turning to a godly life?
    The community of other christians gives us human support and people to be hold accountable to, it reminds us and shows us that we aren't the only ones dealing with sin (which it can feel like). God the father gives us guidance in the path we should take, support and counsel and strength to get through it and stop us from sining. God the spirit is our support on this earth it is the thing that helps us turn to God. The victory of the son shows us that we can do it, even if it feels like we can afteral Jesus conquered death!

    As a community of Christians, how can we help each other to turn away from sin?
    By being supportive and guiding one another when we feel we may sin or when people are acting in a way which is causing them to sin but by doing it in a non-judgmental way so people feel they can share this. Also, by supporting one another in general, by glorifying God in what we do and by being an amazing support network for each other.

    Prayer

    Using the four points above it would be great to pray thanks to God for these things, but also to ask for help in our struggles with temptation. If you know of any Christians currently struggling it would be awesome to pray for them and maybe let them know you're praying for them as it's such a good encouragement to hear people are praying for you.
    I really enjoyed doing it, and it was definitely a passage i struggled to understand at points Sorry my reply is so late!
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    Firstly sorry for the typo in last weeks...I wrote the verse number down incorrectly at one point which a few of you noticed...fail on my behalf! Hope it didn't affect study too much!

    A Song for When We Want to Escape - Psalm 18

    Sometimes we get moments in our life when we just want to escape from life, be someone different/be anywhere but here. What moments recently have caused you to feel this way?

    What do you do when you feel like this?

    How hard do you find it to face up to the problem instead of running away with it?

    Read Psalm 18 v1-6
    Horn (v2) is a symbol of strength
    Temple (v6) in this circumstance is referring to heaven


    Look at the inscription (the section before v1). What pressures was David facing? How does this relate to this section of the psalm?

    What does David do when he feels overwhelmed?

    Compare verses 1-3 with 4-6. What are the differences that David is feeling in these two sections?

    David keeps on using "my" in verses 1-3, we can use this with God too. Which of the nouns he uses to describe God do you feel could be particularly useful to you at the moment? Praise God that He is that for you and remember it when facing your troubles.

    Read Psalm 18:6-15

    When David cries to God for help, what is his response? What emotions would you associate with His response?

    What does God coming Himself instead of sending angels to deal with it show about God's relationship with David and us?

    Read Psalm 18:16-19

    When God arrives, what does He do?

    Contrast His actions with those just described in verses 6-15. How does He treat David in comparison to David's enemies.

    Compare the things that want to make you escape to the power of God in rescuing David and the description of God. How do these things look when compared to God?

    Read Psalm 51:1-5

    With this in mind, read Psalm 18:20-27

    There's clearly a difference between David seeing his sin and calling himself blameless. Yet this doesn't mean that in psalm 18 he just hasn't started sinning yet. It seems as if, knowingly or unknowingly, David knew there would be a time where no matter how much we sin we would be seen as blameless. How is it that we are seen as blameless? How does this make you feel?

    Read Psalm 18:28-36

    As we saw in last week's study, David makes God his refuge. How does this make him feel? Contrast this with how you feel when you are overwhelmed or under pressure.

    Read Psalm 18:37-50

    Here the victory of God's anointed king is described. Who is known as the anointed one? How are these verses fulfilled through him?

    How can the fact we share in Christ's victory over sin, fear, death and Satan help us when we feel like escaping?

    What are you going to do when you next feel that you need to run away?

    Prayer

    This week, we're going to turn the psalm into a prayer, pray through it methodically using these sections for guidance:
    Verses 1-5 Give thanks that God is our rock, fortress, deliverer etc.
    Verses 6-19 Ask God to help you with your situation, ask Him to reach down and lift you up.
    Verses 20-27 Confess your sin and fear and thank God that we are seen as blameless through Christ's death.
    Verses 28-36 Ask God for strength and courage to face your problems through trust in Him.
    Verses 37-50 Giver thanks for the victory of Jesus and ask God to deliver you from your enemies.
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    Wow, possibly written for me. Will have to try hard to get this done before I leave and have no internet for 2 weeks!
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    Whenever I have a psychotic attack or start remembering/reliving Oxford trauma, I want to just melt into the ground and become a different, happier person. When this happens, I usually tend to run back to my bed, put my PJs on and lie in the dark, waiting for it all to stop. I'm not very good at facing up to the past, though I'm improving on that gradually :yes:

    I wouldn't have noticed how much David uses "my" in the initial verses, had it not been pointed out to me. That said, I think that it's very important that he does this. It shows a relationship with God and a sense of belonging: "I cried to my God for help". God is not some abstract concept or deity sitting on a cloud, twiddling His thumbs: He is very real, very accessible and very much present in our everyday lives My personal favourite noun that David uses is "saviour". It reminds me of the Magnificat, which holds lots of good, beautiful memories for me and a real sense of wonder and awe :yes:

    God seems quite angry in verses 6-15. I'm really sorry, but verse 8 made me laugh:

    Smoke came forth from his nostrils
    and scorching fire from his mouth:
    coals were set ablaze by its heat.


    It makes God sound like a dragon! :lol:

    I suppose what these verses are meant to demonstrate (to the more serious-minded ) is God's power and dominion over the earth :yes: God coming Himself rather than sending angels shows His great and tender love for us, unworthy though we might be :love: He is a personal God :yes:

    God is much more benevolent with David and here we see His love for David: "He brought me forth into freedom, he saved me because he loved me". What strikes me about these verses is that I do not need to flee my psychosis, or indeed my past: God is always there to rescue me and deliver me, if only I reach out to Him.

    We are seen as blameless because we are perfect and much loved in God's sight. His sacrifice on the Cross redeemed us and brought us back to Him It is a true blessing to know that God sees us as blameless. Perhaps this is how I need to learn how to see myself, with regard to my past :yes:

    Having God as his refuge gives David a sense of peace, learning and safety. We read how God teaches David and protects him. When I am overwhelmed and/or psychotic, then I don't always feel God's protection, unless He sends a sign or a message. Maybe I need to learn not to rely on these more active signs and just know that God is always there.

    Next time I need to run away to a darkened room, I still will... but I will try and remember that I am not alone and that God has power over everything, even my psychosis
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    Sometimes we get moments in our life when we just want to escape from life, be someone different/be anywhere but here. What moments recently have caused you to feel this way?

    There are three main things that have happened in the last couple of weeks, I guess.
    • My great-gran passed away, alone. My gran got home from an operation the following day to the news.
    • A girl I care about a very great deal decided she can't handle a relationship at the moment.
    • My placement got insanely hard all of a sudden - to the stage where I was unable to start on my new project due to not being able to make heads or tails of any of it.


    What do you do when you feel like this?

    Usually? Pray. Put my concerns to God, let his peace and wisdom fill me and carry on. More recently? Almost burst into tears at work because I've been too proud to ask anyone for help. Lash out at one of my closest friends, and generally act like a petulant child.

    How hard do you find it to face up to the problem instead of running away with it?

    Depends on the problem! As above, there are some things that I really dislike. I'm usually fine with asking for help with things, but I hate not meeting people's expectations; not even being able to start on a project is such an instance for me.

    Read Psalm 18:28-36
    As we saw in last week's study, David makes God his refuge. How does this make him feel? Contrast this with how you feel when you are overwhelmed or under pressure.


    David, with God as his refuge, is confident. He feels nothing can stand against him, and that he can overcome any difficulty.

    When I lose my momentum in something, be it work or emotional, I find it very easy to stagnate. It's a lot easier for me to stop and convince myself that I'm useless, and that there's no point in me carrying on, than to start up again and make a proper attempt at things.

    This morning I put my troubles to God. Today I made a massive amount of progress on my project, and have returned to my usual cheerful self. God is good. He loves us. There's no point us moping around in darkness, when we can so easily be a shining light to pierce the darkness in the lives of others.

    Read Psalm 18:37-50
    What are you going to do when you next feel that you need to run away?


    Times of stress, pain or upset are opportunities for us to rely on Him. Instead of trying to struggle on my own, I need to lean on Him for support sooner. It's not enough to 'just' be praying about the issues; we need to actively invite Him to share our burdens.
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    Anyone want to talk about Revelations?
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    (Original post by Romanorum-Hellas)
    Anyone want to talk about Revelations?
    This is a set bible study that we are following, if you wish to talk about another book either post in the ask a christian thread or the christian society. I'm sure someone would love to talk about Revelations as its a very interesting book.
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    (Original post by greeneyedgirl)

    A Song for When We Want to Escape - Psalm 18

    Sometimes we get moments in our life when we just want to escape from life, be someone different/be anywhere but here. What moments recently have caused you to feel this way?
    I felt really down a few weeks ago as a lot of my friends were having problems and i wanted to help them but i couldn't and it go a bit too much.
    Uni had also started up again and the workload had increased.


    What do you do when you feel like this?
    I tend to snap at the people i shouldn't and cry lots, i also tend to want to spend lots of time alone and withdraw.

    How hard do you find it to face up to the problem instead of running away with it?
    Relatively hard, especially if its something i know i can't change and it will only get worse.

    Read Psalm 18 v1-6
    Horn (v2) is a symbol of strength
    Temple (v6) in this circumstance is referring to heaven


    Look at the inscription (the section before v1). What pressures was David facing? How does this relate to this section of the psalm?
    He was facing problems with his enemies and with King saul who wanted him dead.

    What does David do when he feels overwhelmed?
    He turns to God and asks him for help, he cried to the lord in distress and God answered him.

    Compare verses 1-3 with 4-6. What are the differences that David is feeling in these two sections?
    1-3 is praise, 4-6 is distress, anger and fear.

    David keeps on using "my" in verses 1-3, we can use this with God too. Which of the nouns he uses to describe God do you feel could be particularly useful to you at the moment? Praise God that He is that for you and remember it when facing your troubles.

    I always like the image of God as my rock, as my fortress who protects me, its definitely a comforting fort when things feel too much.


    When David cries to God for help, what is his response? What emotions would you associate with His response?

    What does God coming Himself instead of sending angels to deal with it show about God's relationship with David and us?

    Read Psalm 18:16-19

    When God arrives, what does He do?
    Reading this it reminded me very much of revelation with the imagery of God used here. It was a description of God being angry, on passing judgement on David's enemies. He gets rid of them, scatters them and uterly destroys them.

    Contrast His actions with those just described in verses 6-15. How does He treat David in comparison to David's enemies.
    With Love, comfort and compassion. He is the salvation for David.

    Compare the things that want to make you escape to the power of God in rescuing David and the description of God. How do these things look when compared to God?
    Like tiny specks of dust like they are nothing to worry about and definitely nothing to run away from because God will get us through them

    Read Psalm 51:1-5

    With this in mind, read Psalm 18:20-27

    There's clearly a difference between David seeing his sin and calling himself blameless. Yet this doesn't mean that in psalm 18 he just hasn't started sinning yet. It seems as if, knowingly or unknowingly, David knew there would be a time where no matter how much we sin we would be seen as blameless. How is it that we are seen as blameless? How does this make you feel?

    Through Jesus' death we are seen as blameless for he has paid the price for our sin. It makes me feel incredibly lucky but also made me feel unworthy to have this knowing all i have done wrong. How amazing is our God that through his grace we are all saved when we don't deserve it, that we are all loved by God.

    Read Psalm 18:28-36

    As we saw in last week's study, David makes God his refuge. How does this make him feel? Contrast this with how you feel when you are overwhelmed or under pressure.
    I tend to hide from God when i'm struggling, or get angry at him because he's not helping me instead of turning to him seeking his refuge and realising that he was there all along. I tend to think God can't help me, how wrong could i be? The the one who can move mountains, who can make a shepherd boy win a fight with a giant and yet i forget this and think he can;t help me. Its bizarre.

    Read Psalm 18:37-50

    How can the fact we share in Christ's victory over sin, fear, death and Satan help us when we feel like escaping?
    It reminds us that if Christ can beat all of that, we can beat the little things in life that our worrying us and make us want to escape and furthermore we have something more amazing to look forward to!

    What are you going to do when you next feel that you need to run away?
    Turn to God, stop trying to do everything by myself and ask for help from God and remind myself of this psalm!


    Prayer

    This week, we're going to turn the psalm into a prayer, pray through it methodically using these sections for guidance:
    Verses 1-5 Give thanks that God is our rock, fortress, deliverer etc.
    Verses 6-19 Ask God to help you with your situation, ask Him to reach down and lift you up.
    Verses 20-27 Confess your sin and fear and thank God that we are seen as blameless through Christ's death.
    Verses 28-36 Ask God for strength and courage to face your problems through trust in Him.
    Verses 37-50 Giver thanks for the victory of Jesus and ask God to deliver you from your enemies.
    Thanks GEG for running these.
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    Sometimes we get moments in our life when we just want to escape from life, be someone different/be anywhere but here. What moments recently have caused you to feel this way?

    Arguments within the family, people shouting, people arguing. My friend being quite ill over the past while and nobody knowing what's wrong with her. Teachers constantly telling us that we are "all on track to fail" and how we should be studying for x amount of hours...

    What do you do when you feel like this?

    Become quite withdrawn, wanting to be alone, get quite snappy with people and pray.

    How hard do you find it to face up to the problem instead of running away with it?

    I usually face up to things quite quickly but at other times it takes me a while to come round and see sense. I find it hard though- I have to make myself.


    Look at the inscription (the section before v1). What pressures was David facing? How does this relate to this section of the psalm?


    Had a lot of armed and dangerous people out to kill him and his own son was behind it.


    What does David do when he feels overwhelmed?


    He turns to God for help. He prays and has faith that God will save him

    Compare verses 1-3 with 4-6. What are the differences that David is feeling in these two sections?

    It goes from saying he loved God and praising God to telling us how afraid and in danger he was.

    David keeps on using "my" in verses 1-3, we can use this with God too. Which of the nouns he uses to describe God do you feel could be particularly useful to you at the moment? Praise God that He is that for you and remember it when facing your troubles.

    Rock, fortress and shield.

    When David cries to God for help, what is his response? What emotions would you associate with His response?


    God comes down from heaven and helps him. I think I would associate anger with it maybe? It sounded pretty scary!

    What does God coming Himself instead of sending angels to deal with it show about God's relationship with David and us?

    That God loves us all and knows us personally. He cares about us and thinks that we are important enough for his attention.

    When God arrives, what does He do?

    He squashes Davids enemies and destroys them.

    Contrast His actions with those just described in verses 6-15. How does He treat David in comparison to David's enemies.

    David is helped and treated with love and care.

    Compare the things that want to make you escape to the power of God in rescuing David and the description of God. How do these things look when compared to God?

    Meaningless and tiny. There is no real comparison!

    There's clearly a difference between David seeing his sin and calling himself blameless. Yet this doesn't mean that in psalm 18 he just hasn't started sinning yet. It seems as if, knowingly or unknowingly, David knew there would be a time where no matter how much we sin we would be seen as blameless. How is it that we are seen as blameless? How does this make you feel?

    Really, really unworthy but also so greatful and blessed. And loved.

    As we saw in last week's study, David makes God his refuge. How does this make him feel? Contrast this with how you feel when you are overwhelmed or under pressure.

    He has faith that he will be saved. I don't turn to God nearly as quickly or as often as I should.


    How can the fact we share in Christ's victory over sin, fear, death and Satan help us when we feel like escaping?


    We can feel safe in the knowlage that the battle has already been fought and won. We don't have to worry if we put our faith in our Father and we should always remember this in times of stress and danger.


    What are you going to do when you next feel that you need to run away?


    Stop what I'm doing and pray. And then listen.
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    Literally about to leave for the airport, but before I do!!!

    A Song for When We Want to Escape - Psalm 18

    Sometimes we get moments in our life when we just want to escape from life, be someone different/be anywhere but here. What moments recently have caused you to feel this way? [/quote]

    I've recently been lapsing back into depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I feel too stupid to do my PhD, too bad at trampolining to actually be a committee member (even though my position on the committee has nothing to do with my actual prowess) and too unattractive... for anything. And I have no self restraint for food. It's amazing how much self loathing I can generate.

    What do you do when you feel like this?
    Most recently... cut myself. Not good :no:

    How hard do you find it to face up to the problem instead of running away with it?
    Very. Some are easier than others. I train about as hard as I can for bouncing. But with the work... I procrastinate a lot. And panic a lot. And let bad previous experiences influence me instead of just getting on with the work.

    Read Psalm 18 v1-6
    Horn (v2) is a symbol of strength
    Temple (v6) in this circumstance is referring to heaven


    Look at the inscription (the section before v1). What pressures was David facing? How does this relate to this section of the psalm?

    This follows on from the previous study. This is after David has been delivered. The LORD has taken away the danger.

    What does David do when he feels overwhelmed?
    Cry out to God and trust him

    Compare verses 1-3 with 4-6. What are the differences that David is feeling in these two sections?
    In the first section David seems sure of his LORD's strength and salvation. In 4-6 he's basically panicking and frightened. He's calling to the LORD but almost not expecting a response?

    David keeps on using "my" in verses 1-3, we can use this with God too. Which of the nouns he uses to describe God do you feel could be particularly useful to you at the moment? Praise God that He is that for you and remember it when facing your troubles.

    My rock. No matter how at sea I feel, the LORD will stand STRONG

    Read Psalm 18:6-15

    When David cries to God for help, what is his response? What emotions would you associate with His response?
    He actually sounds kinda angry. He's showing how powerful He is.

    What does God coming Himself instead of sending angels to deal with it show about God's relationship with David and us?
    It shows us how important He thinks it is. He's not just fobbing us off with the little people.


    Read Psalm 18:16-19

    When God arrives, what does He do?
    He rescued David

    Contrast His actions with those just described in verses 6-15. How does He treat David in comparison to David's enemies.
    There's something more caring and maternal about how he's treating David. He takes him up in his arms and rescues him.

    Compare the things that want to make you escape to the power of God in rescuing David and the description of God. How do these things look when compared to God?
    Far less significant. We're not talking about life or death. It's kinda like my counsellor says. If I fail my PhD or if I cut myself or if my other half runs away because he can't cope with mental health problems.... Well. What? I won't be dead. The world won't end. They are not the big fish that I think they are.


    Urgh out of time. See you guys in 2 weeks. I'll catch up then
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    (Original post by Cirsium)
    Literally about to leave for the airport, but before I do!!!

    Urgh out of time. See you guys in 2 weeks. I'll catch up then
    Have a good trip!
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    I suppose I should put down my thoughts too.

    Until I started looking at this I never really thought that I didn't face up to my problems. I'm one of those people who is actually pretty self confident and if she has an issue tries to air it with people. But then as I went on I realise that actually one of my forms of running away from things is in refusing to acknowledge problems and pretending things are okay. When this happens I normally shut myself in my room and go on the internet...okay so I do that anyway, but I do it more when I'm pretending all is good when deep down I know there's an issue.

    What struck me is God being MY deliverer...He doesn't just watch me struggle through things, He delivers me through them always. Seeing His personal love for us is amazing. He loves us as though we are the only person alive, He knows everything about us and knows what we are going through. We are dearly beloved children. I also love how we are blameless in Christ. I dread to think how many times I've sinned in my past and I am truly ashamed looking back on some of the things I've done...I fail time and time again to do what God wants me to...I knowingly turn away from Him and do what I want. And quite often I try and run away from that fact, pretend it doesn't exist and focus on all the good things I do...the positive things...but that's not really helpful. What I need to do instead is accept I've done wrong, apologise and move on. Because God doesn't see me as this person blackened with sin, He sees me as pure and clean and perfect because of Jesus's death. And that is such an amazing thing but even though it's the core of Christianity, I for one am guilty of often forgetting the magnitude of it.

    I came up with 5 words which describe how David feels and we should feel when relying on God which I'm going to try and remember and tell myself when things seem tough, they're 4 'S's and a P:

    I am Strong in the power of God
    I am Secure in the promises He has given
    I am Supported His love and care
    I am Stable with God by my side
    I am Prepared for everything as God goes through it with me.
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    (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
    I normally shut myself in my room and go on the internet...okay so I do that anyway, but I do it more when I'm pretending all is good when deep down I know there's an issue.

    What struck me is God being MY deliverer...He doesn't just watch me struggle through things, He delivers me through them always. Seeing His personal love for us is amazing. He loves us as though we are the only person alive, He knows everything about us and knows what we are going through. We are dearly beloved children. I also love how we are blameless in Christ. I dread to think how many times I've sinned in my past and I am truly ashamed looking back on some of the things I've done...I fail time and time again to do what God wants me to...I knowingly turn away from Him and do what I want. And quite often I try and run away from that fact, pretend it doesn't exist and focus on all the good things I do...the positive things...but that's not really helpful. What I need to do instead is accept I've done wrong, apologise and move on. Because God doesn't see me as this person blackened with sin, He sees me as pure and clean and perfect because of Jesus's death. And that is such an amazing thing but even though it's the core of Christianity, I for one am guilty of often forgetting the magnitude of it.
    I totally do this as well! :jumphug:

    I love this though. It's true - it is easy for us to lose sight of the enormity of Jesus' actions on the cross. We really shouldn't, but it's something we need reminding of...particularly in our darker moments!

    I do like those 5 words though /me writes down.
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    Just a few quick thoughts about this.

    I'm very bad at dealing with problems. I'm indecisive, and I hate it when things go wrong. At the beginning of this year, in the same week I discovered that my flat was uninhabitable and that my sort-of-ex had got back together with his ex-girlfriend. So that was a fairly stressful time, particularly the flat stuff. Being semi-homeless puts things in perspective! The way I dealt with it was by not eating. I think it was probably because it was the only thing in my life I could control, although it was completely subconscious - it's not that I was deliberately not eating. It got to the point where I lost almost a stone and had to go to the doctor's. For me, that's a huge deal. As far as coping strategies go, it's a bad one. But my life was spiralling out of control.

    (Before anyone worries unnecessarily, I'm now eating again)

    Asking for help is something I'm terrible at. I've always seen admitting that you need other people to be a sign of weakness - I didn't realise that til recently. So it's very rare that I cry out for help - that makes the fact that this time round I did a very big deal. I need to make sure I do that. And relying on God too, I'm quite bad at that.

    In terms of the Psalm, the verse that struck me was ' he rescued me because he delighted in me'. That concept is difficult for me to grasp - why would God delight in me? I do bad things, I hurt people and I always seem to mess up. But despite all of that, God does see the good in us. We're all worth rescuing. Even if that rescuing takes a while and doesn't seem to be happening.
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    A Song for When We Want to Escape - Psalm 18

    Sometimes we get moments in our life when we just want to escape from life, be someone different/be anywhere but here. What moments recently have caused you to feel this way?
    A recurrence of my depression & heavy workload at school

    What do you do when you feel like this?
    It varies. Sometimes I do nothing, at other times I have self-harmed. I cry a lot. I think that death would be better than life BUT I also pray, read the Word and listen to worship music. It is amazing how much peace can be felt when we praise God in the midst of our despair.

    How hard do you find it to face up to the problem instead of running away with it?
    Incredibly difficult. Most of the time I just want to run away and make it all stop.


    Read Psalm 18 v1-6
    Horn (v2) is a symbol of strength
    Temple (v6) in this circumstance is referring to heaven


    Look at the inscription (the section before v1). What pressures was David facing? How does this relate to this section of the psalm?
    He had been facing death at the hand of Saul. It shows us that the psalm will be one that showed his emotions when he had been delivered from his enemies.

    What does David do when he feels overwhelmed?
    He "called to the LORD" and "cried to [his] God for help." (v.6 NIV)

    Compare verses 1-3 with 4-6. What are the differences that David is feeling in these two sections?
    Verses 1-3 show his heartfelt love and admiration for the Lord. There is a strong element of praise and being certain and steadfast in the Lord. Verses 4-6 are his memories of how distressing his experiences were at the hand of Saul. Although he seems more vulnerable here, he maintains that the Lord heard his cries for help. Therefore his confidence in the Lord's ability to rescue him remains strong, even in times of despair.

    David keeps on using "my" in verses 1-3, we can use this with God too. Which of the nouns he uses to describe God do you feel could be particularly useful to you at the moment? Praise God that He is that for you and remember it when facing your troubles.
    "Shield" because it shows that He protects me from all of Satan's attacks.

    Read Psalm 18:6-15

    When David cries to God for help, what is his response? What emotions would you associate with His response?
    A powerful response, showing His dominion over the Earth and His anger at the enemies of the Lord. The Lord displays righteous anger. My emotions at this are awe, a sense of how powerless we really are and humility.

    What does God coming Himself instead of sending angels to deal with it show about God's relationship with David and us?
    Firstly, I agree with TLG, that our God is a personal God. Secondly, David needed deliverance from death. Only the Lord can deliver us from death, as shown in Jesus' death in our place on the cross. It is something the angels cannot do.

    Read Psalm 18:16-19

    When God arrives, what does He do?
    He saves David in a very active way: "He reached down from on high and took hold of me;" There is nothing passive about the way God acts to rescue us.

    Contrast His actions with those just described in verses 6-15. How does He treat David in comparison to David's enemies.
    His actions are a lot more tender towards David, and rightly so. As his enemies were bent on destroying him, the Lord destroyed them. This is an illustration of divine justice, compare with Haman and Mordecai in Esther 7:8-10.

    Compare the things that want to make you escape to the power of God in rescuing David and the description of God. How do these things look when compared to God?
    They pale into insignificance when I marvel at the power of the Lord and of His love for me.


    Read Psalm 51:1-5

    With this in mind, read Psalm 18:20-27

    There's clearly a difference between David seeing his sin and calling himself blameless. Yet this doesn't mean that in psalm 18 he just hasn't started sinning yet. It seems as if, knowingly or unknowingly, David knew there would be a time where no matter how much we sin we would be seen as blameless. How is it that we are seen as blameless? How does this make you feel?
    GEG, it has to be emphasised that we must ask for forgiveness wholeheartedly when we sin, in order to be counted blameless. Otherwise, the guilt of our sins will remain upon us. We are seen blameless only when we are cleansed in the blood of Christ. Although being covered in blood seems the least likely method of becoming clean, consider the symbolic significance found in the Old Testament. A covenant could only be sealed between God and his people with the shedding of blood to atone for their sins. After Moses had delivered the 10 commandments to the Israelites, they were sprinkled physically with blood (See Exodus 24:8). Through being spiritually covered with Jesus' blood, our sins are atoned for and the covenant between Him and us which offers eternal life if we believe is sealed. This makes me feel sure of my salvation and wonderfully free.

    Read Psalm 18:28-36

    As we saw in last week's study, David makes God his refuge. How does this make him feel? Contrast this with how you feel when you are overwhelmed or under pressure.
    Confident in the Lord's power to help him overcome his difficulties. I am not always confident of this when I am overwhelmed, but I am confident that one day the Lord will deliver me from ALL of my problems.

    Read Psalm 18:37-50

    Here the victory of God's anointed king is described. Who is known as the anointed one? How are these verses fulfilled through him?
    Jesus. He was raised from the dead in triumph, and exalted to the heavenly realms. All powers and dominions are under His authority. He has the victory!

    How can the fact we share in Christ's victory over sin, fear, death and Satan help us when we feel like escaping?
    It can help us to stand firm and trust that although it may feel occasionally like we are losing the battle, if we belong to the Lord, then we are on the winning side.

    What are you going to do when you next feel that you need to run away?
    Read this psalm and be encouraged by David's example. I won't trust in my own abilities to escape my problems, rather I will cry out to the Lord for help and trust in Him.
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    Sorry I failed at getting one up this week guys. I'll get one up tomorrow hopefully.
Updated: November 23, 2012
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