PSALM 69:20 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Jan 23-30)

Posted by Nathan Warner on

The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:

“Reproach has broken my heart and I am so sick. And I looked for sympathy, but there was none, And for comforters, but I found none” (Psalm 69:20).

The Church is supposed to be a place of encouragement, strength, and support for the Body of Christ in the face of the sadness, heartache, trauma, and the pain of our persecuted walk in this world. Yet, in Churches across the world, many of us hide our true feelings and situations under a "joyful" exterior. We put on a brave face, raising a facade of serenity over the brokenness beneath. It is the expected and only appropriate attitude of a Believer. Yet, afterwards, many return to their private lives of struggles, tears, and difficulties, which no one knows about. Why does this happen?

More than likely, it is because many Christians erroneously equate a lack of struggles with spiritual maturity and godliness. This is the umbrella of the prosperity gospel, which all Biblical-believing Christians understand is a false doctrine. Yet, many Biblical Christians subconsciously employ the prosperity gospel as they go about their business in the world. After all, most of us instinctively believe that the righteous are blessed by God - the more righteous, the more blessed! And therefore, more blessed people are more mature in their faith. We may recognize how preposterous this statement is written out, but many of us have viewed others through its lens. For example, when someone speaks of all God's blessings they've received in the week and the miracles God has done for them, we compare it to selves and think, "How spiritual this person is! God listens to them!" Conversely, we don't know what to do with a Believer who is sad, discouraged, bitter, or traumatized - other than saying, "What's wrong with you? Pull yourself together!"

At one time or another, we've all thought, "How can a true Believer be sad in Church? Obviously, there is something spiritually wrong with people who aren't smiling in Church or who don't feel joy! Clearly, they aren't doing something right! So, let's figure out what they're doing wrong and straighten them out!" After all, don't we all feel that mature Christians arrive at a serenity in their walk where nothing can phase them, and they say all the right things and take what comes their way with such grace! And so, if someone shares their honest estate, they are often judged, rebuked, or corrected. If you open up about your hurting, you are considered a problem to be fixed or something to be solved. It is as if we believe only immature people deal with doubts, frustration, bitterness, or sorrow in their lives. It seems at times that the Church has lost the ability to express love to the hurting - we are unable to bear the burden of those suffering in the fallout of this broken nature.

Perhaps this is why so few Believers are honest with each other in the Church. If we testify to our true state, will we not be met with judgment, advice, patronizing explanations of what we should do to overcome? If we let the facade of "blessed joy" fall, are we not admitting our own shame? But this is not the way Christ intended the Church! The Church is for the hurting and pained and suffering and traumatized Believer to find support, love, and healing! We must expel the fumes of the poisonous prosperity gospel to realize that even the greatest saints expressed their suffering, sadness, and trauma - they needed encouragement, support, love, and care from their brothers and sisters - not judgment, advice, correction, and ill-placed admonition. We are to be brothers and sisters, lovingly bearing own anothers' burdens - not spiritual car-mechanics taking each other apart in search of some perceived underlying problem that we think we can fix.

May we all bear with one another in true and honest love, even as Christ bears with us in all our human ugliness and frailties. Amen.

Other verses to consider:

“Reproach has broken my heart and I am so sick. And I looked for sympathy, but there was none, And for comforters, but I found none” (Psalm 69:20).

“Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them” (Ecclesiastes 4:1).

“For these things I weep; My eyes run down with water; Because far from me is a comforter, One who restores my soul. My children are desolate Because the enemy has prevailed” (Lamentations 1:16).

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah” (Psalm 68:19).

“Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves” (Romans 15:1).

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another” (Galatians 6:1-2).

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity” (Colossians 3:12-14).

“Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus” (Romans 15:5).

“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:1-4).

“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:1-3).

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

“We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).

“So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase” (Acts 9:13).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

“But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree—in order not to say too much—to all of you. Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him” (2 Corinthians 2:5-8).

“For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more” (2 Corinthians 7:5-7).

“But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts” (Ephesians 6:21-22).

“For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother” (Philemon 6-8).

“Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).

Tags: blessings, comfort, difficulties, encouragement, facade, godliness, hidden, prosperity gospel, serenity, spiritual maturity, strength, struggles, support, tears


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