Let’s talk about the joy of boredom.
JULY 20, 2020
Let’s talk about the joy of boredom, on this edition of Key Life.
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and suffers. Because life’s hard for everyone, grace is for all of us. Our host is seminary professor and author, Steve Brown.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great weekend. Hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. We’re um, if you’re just joining us for the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about the subject of boredom with Jesus. The formal name for that sort of thing is Acedia. And all of those programs, if you’re just joining us and you’re interested and you want to find out what the scripture says about this subject, you can go back and check out the archives. If you’ve been with us, you know, we’ve talked about what it is, boredom and Acedia. And I gave you definitions from the Bible and definitions from history. And now you should thoroughly understand that particular subject, the etymology of the word and, and all sorts of stuff that you didn’t know before. And I didn’t either until I started researching. And then secondly, we spent a lot of time on where it comes from. And bottom line is simply this, it’s from where all sin comes from. It comes to the world, that would be them. It comes from the flesh, that would be us. And it comes from Satan, that would be him. All of the boredom, and it has a good, we’re going to talk about that today, but the boredom and Acedia come from one of those three sources. And then we talked about how to fix it. And as an old white guy, I gave you a number of, uh, things that you could do that would help. But, but the basic thing I hope you learned was this. You can’t fix it. There’s some things that are just not fixable. And so you have to turn to God, isn’t that awful that you have to turn to God. You know, he may fail you. As a friend of mine one time said, Steve, listen to me, if, if God’s gonna fail somebody, he’ll start with Billy Graham or Mother Teresa. It won’t be a peon on like you. So if you’re going through a period of dryness, of darkness, of Acedia, of boredom with this whole religious thing, and you certainly can’t get out, cause you’ve gone into far, uh, then be still, go to him, understand that this is a part of his plan. And as Thomas a Kempis, has said, and I’ve given you this quote. He said, sometimes thou dost Ruth withdraw thyself from us, our feelings that we might know the sweetness of your presence. Okay. That’s where we been. Let me tell you what we’re going to do this week. And probably next week, depends on how long I take doing it and being quite verbal. It might take even three weeks, but maybe just one. And then when we finish with our discussion and study of the subject of Acedia, we’re going to go to one, maybe my, Romans would play a second or a first there, but we’re going to study the book of Galatians. That’s the book that makes all the difference, when you talk about grace. And I’m going to share with you one of my favorite pieces, and this is going to be in the future, when we get into the new series, I’m going to share with you Martin, Luther’s preface to the book of Galatians, and it will blow you away. But that’s in the future. Today, we’re still dealing with boredom and it’s my fond hope that you’re not bored with this subject yet. Let’s pray, and then we’ll study. Father, as we come into your presence, we, uh, we come confessing. It’s the only place where our confession is honest, and we know that we’ll still be loved. It’s the only place we can go, when you know our secrets before we revealed them. And you’re never going to kick us out. It’s the only place we can go and count on absolute grace and absolute forgiveness. Father, so we come and we confess as we study this subject that you have taught us so much about. As we study this subject, we confess that sometimes we’ve been bored with religion. And even sometimes in hearing about you. Father, please forgive us and fix us, uh, that we might know the sweetness of your presence. Father, you know the people are listening to this broadcast and you know, the hard places and the soft places, you know, the laughter and the tears. And you’re the God of all of that. And totally sufficient. Remind us of that. And may we rejoice. And may we worship. And Oh yes, forgive the one who teaches his sins, because there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. If you’ve been with us during this series, we’ve had our main text for the whole series, Galatians 6:8-9,
For the one who sows to his own flesh, will from the flesh reap corruption. But the one who sows to the spirit, will from the spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good. [Bored, if you will] For in due season, we will reap, if we don’t give up.
Now, let me give you a text where we’re going to live for at least this week. As we land this plane, the plane called Acedia. Uh, we’re going to talk about what good is it? And you say, no good. What do you mean? What good is it? You’d be very surprised. And we’re going to see what the Bible has to say about everything. That would be the sovereignty of God. If you have your Bible, open it to Second Corinthians 1:8-11, unless you’re driving, you scare me to death. And if you’re driving, keep your eyes on the road and trust that I’m reading adequately this text from Second Corinthians 1:8-11. Paul writes this.
For we don’t want you to be unaware brothers of the affliction we have experienced in Asia. For, we were utterly burdened beyond our strength, so much so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, but that was to make us rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such deadly peril and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope and he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer so that many will give thanks on your behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of so many.
Now, let me give you just a little bit more scripture and then we’ll dig in and I’ve got some neat things to say with you. First Thessalonians says, give thanks in all circumstances. That’s crazy, but it’s a key. It’s a major key to dealing with COVID. It’s a major key in dealing with protests, whether you’re involved or you’re protesting the protest, or whether you’re a writer. It’s a major step in dealing with death and loss and pain and saying, give thanks in all things, in all circumstances. Now you say, well, there’s some wiggle room there. It doesn’t say give thanks for all circumstances. Well, no it doesn’t, but let me give you Ephesians 5:20.
Give thanks always for all things to God the father in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Mmm. So we’ve got a principle here, and the principle is this. If you experience it, it’s not an accident. If it’s hard, it’s not an accident. If it’s crazy, it’s not an accident. If it’s a sin, it’s not an accident. If it is death, it is not an accident. And for our purposes, as we study this particular subject, when you’re bored to tears with God. When you don’t think you can take another religious service anymore, when you don’t want to sing any hymns and you don’t want to pray any prayers and you just don’t want to be religious anymore, but you’ve gone too far to get out. That’s not an accident too, because those are the places where God works in the lives of his people. And so over the next few days, I want to talk to you who are going through a difficult time of boredom, with your, you’ve been doing this a long time. You’re a mature Christian and you’re plain tired of it. Well, that’s when God, we’re going to see why, but for now do what the Apostle Paul said, name it, whatever it is. And then thank him for it. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, giving us some hope that indeed good can come from getting through Acedia. And if you didn’t catch it earlier, our main text today was Second Corinthians 1:8-11. Much more from Steve tomorrow. Hope you’ll join us again then. Well, I recently came across an interesting quote. I wonder if it’ll grab you the same way it did me. Here it is. Without a good question, a good answer has no place to go. And it’s true if we can’t ask the questions, how can we get the answers? Here are some really big questions that maybe you’ve pondered. Is the Bible really true? Is God really there? If he is, shouldn’t I feel different than I do? Well, those aren’t just big questions. They’re honest questions. And they deserve Biblical answers. If that’s what you’re looking for, then there’s a mini-book we’d love to send to you for free. It’s called Faith and Doubt: When Belief Is Hard. Get your copy, while supplies last. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also request the mini-book by emailing Steve@keylife.org. If you’re mailing us, send your request to.
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