Make enough noise so others hear.
APRIL 26, 2023
Make enough noise so others hear. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
This is Key Life here to let Christians know that God isn’t mad at them. Keep listening and you’ll hear that because of what Jesus has done, you’re welcomed home into the family of God because of his radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering.
If you’ve been with us the last day or two, we’re talking about how do you get to the silence? It’s not easy. God says.
Be still and know that I am God.
And that sounds good until you try to do it and then it’s hard. So, I’m giving you some advice from an old preacher. And the first thing we’ve seen is make some noise before you get quiet. And then the second thing is make some noise so others can hear before you get quiet because they are a part of your lament. Now, later on we’re going to talk about the importance of laughter and lament within the body of Christ. But for now, it’s important to say that a lament isn’t something that you just do by yourself. We have perfected the art of telling people that we’re fine when we’re not. And so, when our heart is broken, when our pain is deep, when the darkness is so dark, we can’t see. We go to church and pretend that none of that’s happening. If it hurts, tell somebody. It’s kind of like the terrorist. If you see something, say something. Couple of weeks ago, we, the church I attend and love, we had grand opening to our, in our new facilities that had been refurbished, and we bought them and spent months trying to get it ready for us to move in. And for two weeks we didn’t tell people, we just worshiped there. And then we had the grand opening that Sunday and our pastor said to the congregation, the reason we have been worshiping here for a couple of weeks is that we wanted to get things right before we had a grand opening. Then he stopped and said, we never got them right. So, if you see something, don’t say something, we’ll get to it eventually. Well, when you feel something, say something. When it hurts, lament out loud so your brother, don’t tell people you are fine, when you’re not. Let me give you some Scripture. I mentioned it yesterday, but I’m going to give you some more, Isaiah said.
That God not only hears our lament, but that he answers before we speak and hears even while we’re speaking.
Isaiah 65:24. The Psalmist says.
That God heard the voice of my please for mercy.
When we cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers us from the pain of the lament.
And in my distress, I called on the Lord. To my God, I cried for help from his temple. He heard my voice and my cry to him reached his ears.
Psalm 18:6. Believing that God hears our lament, our complaints, our pain, sees our tears, takes a lot of faith. Believing as a matter of fact seems insane, but still we do believe it, don’t we? And in that believing, when logic suggests otherwise, there’s, well, it’s a miracle of sorts. I have a friend who has gone through some very dark times. And he e-mailed me the morning I wrote what I’m teaching you right now. I had written about severe mercies and my friend said that the darkest time, he kept coming back over and again to God. Some of that he wrote was because I didn’t know where else to go. I was like the disciples when Jesus asked them if they would leave and they said there was nowhere else to go. Then he wrote that he really believed, even if God seemed silent, that my laments had been heard. The believing was a gift from God who knew how hard it was to believe in the dark. You won’t find satisfying answers in a system, a theological construct, or a book. Believing is a gift God promises to give to those who ask him. In that context, the words of James 4:2
That we don’t receive because we don’t ask.
are relevant. An appropriate prayer of lament would be, are you really there? I’m not sure. I can’t hear your voice because it’s hard to hear anybody’s voice when it hurts so much. If you’re not going to say anything or do anything, at least give me the faith to believe that you’re paying attention. God almost always answers that kind of prayer with a yes. And sometimes that yes, is spoken by a brother and a sister in Christ, who have heard our lament, who know the pain we’re going through, and maybe have been there themselves. Other times in the silence, God himself comes and we believe and we say, Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Now, let’s change the subject and talk about the stuff of silence. Don’t make this into a system, in fact, only one word is necessary, relinquishment. It’s at the heart of Christian and Biblical lament, and it’s relinquishment. The key to laughter and the key to freedom. In the silence that follows the spent noise of lament, the most salient act a Christian can do is to relinquish all that that lament is about. We’ll talk about it tomorrow more because it’s an important concept, but basically it’s saying, I don’t have any more. I can’t do anything, and so I give it to you. You think about that. Amen.
God hears us and not just hears, but cares. Thank you Steve. And once again, the text we touched on today were Isaiah 65:24, Psalm 28:6, Psalm 34:17, Psalm 18:6, and James 4:2. Well, I don’t know about you, but my life is busy. Is that you two? Well, if you recall in Luke 10, both Mary and Martha were busy, but what they were busy doing made all the difference. Well, Steve spoke about this and a sermon called When the Noise Is Too Loud. Take a listen to part of that sermon, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
He was a missionary, really good at it too. He had a lot of energy, lot of knowledge. He served in some really tough places. And there are a lot of names on the Lamb’s book of life because of his faithfulness, and then he left. Nobody knew where he went. He just left. I got a call some seven years later from him, like no time had passed, like nothing had happened. I said, Bob, I thought you died. He said, I didn’t die, man. I’m driving a semi. I’m in Arizona. He said it’s like a traveling condo. He said, I’ve got a soft bed and a television and a refrigerator and nobody calls me. You’d like it. I thought, yeah, I think so. I read last week that they’re giving dogs Prozac. Have you seen that? That’s pretty cool, man. They house break better, they don’t chew off the postman’s leg and you know, they’re not as anxious. They calmly chased the stick rather than telling you to go get it. I came home and told my German Shepherd, Thor, you are Prozac. And he went, oh, and went back to sleep. And I, and I sat there envying a truck driver and my dog. What’s with that? I have a friend in Atlanta. I do in Atlanta, what I do here, this is my home church, and I love coming here. Tonight, I’d been talking about, I don’t even remember the text or the context about how Christians sometimes get emotional problems. When you became a Christian, I mean, you never get depressed. You can’t face bipolar problems that you’re, that you can’t be paranoid schizophrenic, that you can’t be down. And I said that, and then I said, in fact, I think that God has allowed us to discover some antidepressant drugs that maybe were designed because he loves us and knew that it’s harder now than it was in the first century. And after the service man came down and said, man, I, and he’s subsequently became my friend, his name is Gene Wheeler. And Gene said, I’m going to send you a mug that I send to all of my friends. And I said, cool. And he sent it to me. And it sits to the right in my study, to the right of my desk and in big red letters on this mug, it says Prozac until Jesus returns. Are you as busy as a mosquito in a nudist colony? And you know what to do, you just don’t know where to begin. I like to tell people that, but they’re as busy as I am, so it doesn’t help. But I’m a religious mosquito in a religious nudist colony with a commission from God to do what I do. So, I’m not only busy and tired, I’m guilty and it’s really, really hard. Sometime, and if you ever hear that Brown just left. You check a semi somewhere in Colorado cause I’ll be on it. And I’ll be taking Prozac and not caring. You ever, you ever want to just run away? You think, I can’t do this anymore. It’s too much. Nobody can do this. Nobody can do all this stuff. I, my kids are driving me nuts. I’ve been listening to James Dobson and I just can’t be that good. I can’t be that good. I’m a father, I’ve got all this stuff on me. I’ve got to bring home the bacon. I’ve got to discipline. I’ve got to be a godly example. I can’t have a beer. I can’t do any, I just, I am so under it. I can hardly breathe. You ever feel that way? You ever just want to go away and drive a semi? If you do, I’ve got some really neat stuff to teach you this morning.
And that neat stuff Steve just mentioned is what you’ll hear in this full sermon. We already put it on a CD and we would love to send it to you, for free. If you struggle with busyness, I know it’s gonna help you. So, call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Just ask for your free copy of the CD called When the Noise Is Too Loud. Finally a question, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? Giving is easy. You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.