Category: Hope

Am I losing my faith? (Depression)

Am I losing my faith if I suffer depression? At the start of this series on turmoil, we looked at some of the difficulties people might experience in relating to God when they are suffering from trauma. Is it ok to be angry with God? To question him, to disagree with...

The dilemma of ongoing, significant disagreement with God

Yesterday we started looking at the dilemma of having ongoing, significant disagreement with God. Especially in the context of also relating to an abusive person who claims to be always right. There are a number of psalms and stories in the Bible that share this...

Has God forgotten me?

Have you ever wondered, "Has God forgotten me?" If so, you are not the first. This is not a new experience. We find the same question expressed over and over again in the Bible. For example, David cried out: How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will...

Where is God?

As we slow down and be present with Hannah in her trauma, it is difficult to avoid deep respect for her. It’s really fascinating to see Eli’s response to her. His brief encounter, based on what he observed, led him to think she was...

Some trust in chariots and some in horses

One of the many difficult and important challenges for victims of abuse is to predict future behaviour. Is the abuser going to change? Abuse often happens in a cycle, with increasing tension until there is an episode, followed by a show of “remorse” from the abuser,...

Boundaries and safe behaviour

Creating a healthy community requires the practice of boundaries and safe behaviour. If you have been following along in this series and can recall Psalm 120, this pilgrimage was a journey away from a place of danger. The psalmist wrote:

“I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war,”

Although the Songs of Ascents had other meanings and purposes, the evil behaviour they describe is abuse. In the same way, the slavery the Hebrews experienced in Egypt was abuse.

Like a weaned child is my soul within me

Abuse is complicated in so many ways. It is completely unsurprising that people find it difficult to deal with. It’s not as “simple” as just dealing with one horrific type of behaviour. A typical abuser might have dozens of types of behaviour that stretch across multiple forms of abuse. Some of the most confusing and difficult to respond to are the apparent “positive” behaviours – behaviours that help the abuser hide and deny the abuse.

I wait for Yahweh, my whole being waits

Out of the depths I cry to you, Yahweh.

It is so easy to rush through a psalm without imagining the tone of voice. Even the phrase, “tearful prayers”, might significantly miss the depth of this person’s distress.

Again, out of the many names for God, the writer of Psalm 130 has chosen the name God suggested to Moses – when Moses was struggling to accept the task of bringing hope to a group of people who had been trapped in slavery. Trapped, for generations. These were people who suffered ongoing systemic, physical, financial, reproductive, and emotional abuse. Probably more.

Those who go out weeping

Special days of the year are complicated for many people, and Easter Sunday is no different. It might be worth noting that on the first Easter Sunday, God had always known how things would turn out, but Jesus’ friends and followers didn’t. Even that morning, once Jesus had risen, there was a delay between the fact of hope and his disciples’ experience of it.

It’s not that they weren’t interested in hope. Mary Magdalene went down to the tomb while it was still dark that morning, and even when Jesus stood right in front of her it took her time to recognise him. For poor Thomas, who, (we see in the Lazarus story), had been willing to die with him, it was a week before he shifted from despair to reality.

Longing for God to turn up

We are taking a break from the Songs of Ascents today in the light of George Pell’s appeal. To those who are suffering, please know we care deeply. We long to do more to help. When the Israelites were suffering injustice, they expressed their longing for God to turn...

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