Does life seem to be just one huge trial after another? Are you tempted to think God isn't paying attention? That He doesn't care?
I was so encouraged by my pastor's sermon this past Sunday morning, I want to share my notes. A few comments are mine (a result of my mind whirling as our pastor taught), but most are those of my pastor, Dr. Gil Rugh.
We studied Psalm 3, titled "Morning Prayer of Trust in God"
with the ancient note added,
"A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom, his son."
David fled ... from his own son. A son who had used his position as the king's son to foment rebellion. A son who managed to "steal away the hearts of the men of Israel" to such a degree that David had to run for his life.
But Absalom's betrayal wasn't the only thing David had just experienced. His most trusted counselor, Ahithophel, had turned against him, too.
On David's way out of town, someone threw rocks at him, screaming that God now favored Absalom. He was essentially saying, "God has cursed you, David, and it's your own fault!"
Many are saying of my soul,
"There is no deliverance for him in God."
Have you ever felt like you can almost hear the Accuser of the Brethren saying things like that? "God's done with you. He doesn't really care about you. He won't rescue you. God has abandoned you. Why would God deliver you?"
Certainly David had reason to think God might turn His back on him. After all, David had sinned. A lot. Remember Bathsheba? Remember David's arranging things so her husband was killed in battle? This is the man who writes:
But you, oh Lord, are a shield about me,
My Glory, and the One who lifts my head.
What can I learn from David? He failed. God doesn't. David could have wallowed in his mistakes and in his sins, but he didn't. He gloried in the God who does not change. The God who gives grace. The God whose mercies are new every morning.
I was crying to the Lord with my voice
David had great faith in God, but that doesn't mean he didn't cry to the Lord with his voice. Where should I go first when things look really, really, bad? TO THE ONE WHO IS THE REFUGE FOR MY SOUL.
I was crying the Lord with my voice
And He answered me from His holy mountain.
I lay down and slept.
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.
David is fully confident in God ... even though he still has to keep hiding. Even though he is running for his life. The Lord has cared for me to this point. He has brought me to this moment to hear His Word and to be reminded of His provision. Take heart. Lay down and sleep, for God is a shield about me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me round about.
The magnitude of trouble shouldn't matter. The Lord will sustain me. He is the anchor for my soul. "Sometimes He brings His strength to me through others."
NOTE: The fact that David is experiencing part of God's discipline (he was told after he sinned with Bathsheba that he would experience ongoing conflict see 2 Samuel 12) DOES NOT CHANGE DAVID'S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. God is still David's refuge and David's deliverer. God has NOT abandoned David.
Even in times of discipline, God is present. He is God with us.
Arise, O Lord, save me, O my God!
For you have smitten my enemies on the cheek;
You have shattered the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord;
Your blessing be upon Your people!
David doesn't fall back on his past conquests (remember Goliath). He looks to God.
Applying Psalm 3 to 2016:
- Sometimes the problems in our lives can be overwhelming.
- It may seem to some that God has abandoned me.
- First, I should go to GOD and TO HIS WORD (not to others)
- God meets us where we are. David doesn't wallow in his past mistakes and neither should we. We belong to Him and that will NEVER not be true.
- In overwhelming trials, remember it is the Lord who protects us.
- Earnestly seek the Lord. Cry to him with your voice in prayer. Claim his promises (like Romans 8:28). I may not see the "good" but He has promised good. His love is the same every day. His mercies are new every morning.
- WE DO KNOW HOW IT ALL TURNS OUT. Remember what Jesus said the night before his crucifixion? "Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."
If you would like to listen to the sermon yourself, here's the link:
God give you peace today.
He loves you. So much.