GOOD NEWS PAPER
Letter of Challenge Literature Fellowship (Aust.) Inc.
there are times when I sit down to watch the news or indeed read the
local newspaper, that you can find yourself slipping into a negative
mindset or at worst into a sense of depression about the condition of
the world. One of the things that can happen out of this is that, we
don’t see much to praise God about and yet as we read through
the Psalms there are a number of Psalms which have the idea of
praising God no matter what the circumstances or the situation that
we find ourselves in. So it is with this in mind that Psalm 65 is
written to praise God for His salvation and indeed for His
providential working in our lives day by day and moment by moment.
are three divisions here that we can break this Psalm up into as we
meditate on it for a while.
can see God in the temple verses 1-4. The writer of this Psalm is
David and he declares to the Lord that praise is waiting in Zion.
That is probably really code speak for the fact that when his people
go into the temple, or in more modern parlance when people go into
His church e.g. a building, then it should be marked by the fact that
the people are keen to praise the Lord. I think it is also important
for us to see that David is really trying to bring across the need
for worship day by day rather then just necessarily going into a
church on Sunday and that constituting our worship for the week.
David’s great desire is that as he worships the Lord he is
consumed by praise and thanks to the God who has done so much for him
in His providential care and love. We need to also see that out of
this need for worship develops a heart of praise. I wonder if you
have thought about what you can praise the Lord for each day as you
climb out of bed and think on what God has done. Think for example
the reason you get out of bed is because God has been faithful in
maintaining the universe the way it is and the earth in its existing
orbit, on its present angle and in its condition, day and day and
moment by moment and to give thanks to Him every day. Then we can be
like the Psalmist in Psalm 90 and verse 12 that says “teach
us to number our days so we may gain a heart of wisdom”.
When we take time to praise God it is amazing what can happen in our
own lives and in our own outlook on this world. We can thank the
Lord for our families, we can thank the Lord for the every breath
that we breathe and continue to thank the Lord for every meal that we
enjoy and on it goes. Maybe even right now you can take time to
think about what you can praise the Lord for and I think you will be
surprised by the number of things you can think of.
see in these opening four verses that there is the prayer of
confession where David is willing to honesty come before the Lord in
confession of his sin. David like so many of the biblical writers
was so aware of the fact that if he was not right with God then it
was not possible to praise and worship the Lord in spirit and in
truth. Of course this prayer of confession first of all requires us
to develop honesty with our own heart and attitude and then out of
that God is able to reveal His convicting power and bring us back
into that right relationship. This then brings us to the joy of
forgiveness. In Psalm 32 David declared what was happening to him in
his life when he said that his heart had been turned into the drought
of summer and that the Lord’s hand was heavy upon him. But
then he was able to confess his sin and know that he was forgiven and
as it were he was able to shout out with the joy for being forgiven.
lastly as we look at this point of God in the temple we see the
blessing of fellowship that comes from our confession to God and
forgiveness of God for our sin. It may seem strange to you who are
reading this devotion that there are many who come into a church week
in and week out and be a part of the congregation, but never really
become a part of the fellowship that is such an important part of
what we do as Christians. One of the main reasons this happens is
that they have never understood what is means to have that prayer of
confession and then to experience the joy of forgiveness for their
sin. So my prayer is that if you fit that category that God will
speak to your heart right now and encourage you to get right with
we not only see God in the temple verses 1-4 but we also see God in
the world verses 5-8. This is what one would call a character study
of the Lord in that we see first of all His righteousness in a dark
world. Going back to my opening comments about watching news or
reading the local newspaper, it just hi-lights more and more to me
the huge contrast between the righteousness of God and the sinfulness
of man. I am at times amazed at how some of the television
programmes can present an incredibly distorted view of what is right
and wrong. We seem to live in an age now where the value that we
knew to be right in past years, is now considered as it were out of
vogue or out of style. I am glad to recognise that the word of God
is not open to the trends and vagaries of this world but instead they
stand firm in declaring the righteousness of God in a dark world.
can see that the Psalmist declares his confidence in God in a dark
world. I am sure there are many things we see and experience that
may cause us to question whether God is at work in the world. As I
get older I realise that we worship a heavenly Father who is always
with us and never leaves us nor forsakes us. Just this morning I was
reading through my devotions in the book of Genesis and reading of
Joseph’s testimony in Egypt where the writer says and the Lord
was with him. When Joseph was in jail wrongly accused the Lord was
with him. When Joseph was in Potiphar’s house after being sold
off as a slave the Lord was with him. It appears to me that Joseph
was one of those men who could keep his focus on the Lord rather than
on his circumstances.
can see in these verses the light of creation in a dark world. There
are many who question the reality of God and whether there is a God
to speak of at all. But David as he writes this Psalm declares the
light of creation in a dark world. In a world that is so adverse to
the things of God the Psalmist says to look upon creation and its
awesome design and power and that is all you need to see God in a
dark world. Then lastly on this point we can see the power and
authority of God in a dark world. This is pictured for us as the
Psalmist talks about the noise of the sea as the waves crash and that
He has established the mountains by His strength and that He is
clothed with power and authority. You maybe tempted at times to
think that God is not aware of your situation or that God is not
listening to your heart cry, but I think it is fair to say that this
Psalm should be an encouragement to you to know that God’s
righteousness, confidence, light, power and authority are present in
a dark world. They are present because God uses them to encourage us
that He never leaves us or forsakes us even when the opposite seems
to be the case.
thirdly we see God in the harvest verses 9-13. God is sovereign in
the harvest in bringing the rain, providing the harvest and also the
abundance of that harvest and combining that with an expanding flock
of sheep. I know that in this country right now there are many who
are experiencing incredible drought and I am sure they are wondering
where God is in the midst of all of this. Maybe we are experiencing
drought because God is trying to get our attention in terms of
getting things happening the way they need to happen in our lives.
Sadly it is not until we find ourselves between a rock and a hard
place that we get a listening ear for the voice of God. Also I think
there are many in this country of Australia who think God is not
sovereign in bringing the rain or providing the harvest, but as we
are seeing at the moment I think it is fair to say that God is
absolute sovereign and that He alone reigns supreme. My prayer is
that as many people are struggling with the drought that they will
indeed respond in the right way by seeking God with a genuine heart
and commit their lives genuinely to the Lord, so then they can truly
worship God in spirit and in truth. It is then that they can
genuinely praise God for who He is and all that He does.
Carl Carmody, Editor of Challenge
would greatly value prayer for the work of Challenge newspaper both
here in Australia and overseas. There are a number of sub points we
would like to present in relation to this and I hope you are able to
find time to pray for each of these items:
pray for the distribution of Challenge here in Australia which has
remained rather stagnant over the last two to three years. Please
pray for a couple who are seeking the Lord’s will in terms of
coming into the work to take on the promotion and development of the
Australian edition of Challenge.
pray for a replacement editor for Carl. We have another couple who
are thinking and praying about this and we would value your prayer
for them as they think it through in their own minds and seek the
Lord’s will for their lives.
would really value prayer for the ongoing development of the work
overseas. It seems that wherever we go we are being met with great
enthusiasm and we would really value prayer for the Lord’s
wisdom in how we deal with all of these particular needs.
pray for our Southern African edition of Challenge. At this stage
we are looking at a significant increase in our printing costs at
the end of this year and we are asking the Lord for a doubling of
our funding for the Southern African edition of the paper. We are
also praying that in South Africa we can raise up more support and
sponsorship for the paper so it can become self sufficient and
indeed then become a sending nation. We have just been negotiating
the possibility of printing the paper in Zambia for both Zambia and
Malawi and once again we would value prayer for finances to do this.
At this stage we are only starting small with 10,000 for each
country but we know that those 10,000 can achieve a great deal as
the Lord would use them.
pray for our Kenyan edition of the paper as Pastor Paul Dondoh is
endeavouring to use the paper for ongoing church plant work. We
would really value support for bibles for new converts, bicycles for
people who are delivering the paper and evangelists who are using
it, and for the ongoing need of a Toyota Hi-ace van for the pickup
and delivery of the paper to various distribution points. The
hi-ace van is something that would cost around $6,000AUD.
continue to pray for our South American edition of the paper as we
prepare for another print run. We will be producing 25,000 copies
of the paper for Argentina and Uruguay. We would value prayer for
the finances for this and for the support we are giving to folk who
are helping us in the production and distribution of the paper. We
need around $12,000 to $15,000AUD per year just to fund this South
American edition of the paper.
to pray for our United States edition of the paper where we will be
producing both an English and Hispanic edition. At this stage our
print run will be considerably less than the last one. We
anticipate doing a print run of around 10,000 papers in total. This
could be more but again we really need prayer for finances to be
able to do what we are doing and be able to expand it.
pray for all of the partner organisations that we are working with
in getting out these editions of the paper overseas. Partnerships
are not always as straight forward as one would hope, they need
constant prayer and adjustment as we endeavour to achieve the goals
we would like to see happen.
pray for the need of finances for new staff members as we really
want to be able to fully fund the new positions of promotions person
and new editor for early next year.
pray for the team here at Challenge who do a great job and many of
whom have served the Lord here for many years in an honorary
capacity or indeed receiving a very modest stipend. Without these
sorts of people nothing could be achieved in terms of getting out
the various editions of the paper.
pray too for our board who have a very responsible position in
overseeing what is an expanding work. They would value your prayer
for wisdom and insight in directing and leading this work.
God for a very successful Impact Africa mission trip where we saw
God working in all sorts of ways both in the squatter camps and
prisons and elsewhere.
God for the way He is growing His work both here and overseas. The
feedback we are getting from the papers being used in Africa is very
encouraging indeed and we are trusting the Lord for great things in
South America, North America and elsewhere.
praise God for opportunities coming up to continue expanding the
work of Challenge into countries like India, Nigeria and Egypt. We
really want to praise God for the open doors He is representing and
we trust Him for great wisdom as to when we step through those
praise God for the way in which he has raised up people who are
giving generosity to the work of Challenge for which we are
enormously grateful. We do praise God also for the farmers who are
giving sacrificially through the wheat bin here in Western Australia
to further the work both locally and overseas.
Box 978, Cloverdale 6985
(08) 9453 3311 Fax (08) 9453 3006
www.challengenews.org — Email: email@example.com