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Intersection of Life and Faith

<< Activate with Pastor Jesse Bradley

Activate - August 1

  • 2013 Aug 01

Passage: Psalm 147:3-5
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
My wife and I traveled to the ocean because we both knew we needed to mourn. When you have several miscarriages, despair wants to be your closest friend and distracts you from God’s goodness in the midst of sorrow. We needed a change of scenery to process the tremendous ache of disappointment. Life can be headed one way with profound excitement, and then another direction when you realize a door is closed and dreams are crushed. The thrilling anticipation we felt from a positive pregnancy test and then the grief we felt months later when the doctor looked us in the eyes to tell us that the baby had no pulse threw us into an emotional crevasse. It is at those times that we find solace not in our feelings of misery, but in the One who receives our tears and gives us a greater perspective and perseverance. The ocean and the sky pointed us to God who is compassionate and yet eternal.
The Psalmist writes that no one has power and strength like our God. He is able to gather the exiles, heal the brokenhearted, determine the name and location of the stars, and has no limit to His understanding. Look to God as you appreciate what He has made in creation. In your walk with Him, don’t lose the deep wonder that is fitting for such an incredible God. The transcendent God above us is also the immanent God who embraces us in our pain. Jesus is a man of many sorrows and is well acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3).
Stars are not scattered throughout the universe randomly. God cares for the stars, and He knows them each by name. They are arranged in galaxies. The earth is part of the Milky Way galaxy. Stars are just one part of the vast work of God's hand in creation. There are billions of stars in our galaxy-the sun is just one of those stars. We share the same purpose as each of these stars: to bring God glory. Even though the sun moves at an estimated 150 miles per second,2 it would still take the sun hundreds of millions of years to travel across the entire galaxy. That is one big galaxy! Our minds can barely comprehend the size of our own galaxy, but scientists teach that billions of galaxies exist, and they are finding new galaxies all of the time. In a similar way, we are constantly discovering new aspects of the expansive grace of God. Only God could design and sustain such a universe, and at the same time, only God could offer this amount of grace!
In Psalm 147, we learn that God cares for the earth, the grass, the cattle, and the ravens. How much more does He know and care for you (Matthew 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-34 remind us how worrying is unnecessary and unhelpful)! God actually knows you better than you know yourself—He is the expert. Your knowledge of yourself might seem big, but it's very small compared with how well God knows you. He is both Comforter and Creator. God knows everything about you and He loves you. God knows when to call us home and how to heal the brokenhearted. You can trust Him with your needs.
1) How does looking at the sky, made by the Lord of the universe, give you confidence in God?
2) What helps you to not worry or be swallowed by discouragement?
3) Is there anything blocking you from accessing God's strength and wisdom in your life?
4) In what ways have you experienced God’s comfort?
Deeper Study:
Isaiah 40:1-31. The incomparable God brings comfort to His people.
Romans 11:33-36. God’s knowledge and understanding leaves us in awe.
Job 38:1-18. God’s superior wisdom puts us in our rightful place.
Isaiah 55:6-13. God’s Word never returns to Him without fulfilling His plan.
Psalm 145. Notice God’s character and His faithfulness to every generation.
Father God, You amaze me. My brain can barely grasp what You have put together in this universe. Your hands are good and  strong.  I  pray  that  I  would  trust  You  more  in  my decisions and my actions. I want to worship You with wonder and awe. I bow down before You. You are my Maker. You know me in every aspect. I thank You today for your great love. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit