Sunday, September 25, 2011
Scripture for Oct. 2nd: Psalm 77:1-14; 19-20
Sermon Title: What to Do When You Are Troubled
I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe has written the following concerning this Psalm: "Joyless days of trouble and sleepless nights of despair plagued the psalmist. Why? Not because of unbelief but because of faith. Because he believed in the Lord, he wrestled with himself and with God. He could not understand why the Lord did not keep His promises and deliver His people from bondage. What do you do in a situation like that? Of course, you pray (verse 1) and tell God just how you feel. Reach out to Him in the night seasons (verse 2), but do not refuse the comfort that He sends. He will remind you of His past works and wonders, and the more you meditate on them, the better you feel."
As Dr. Wiersbe points out, the feelings of despair when we are troubled are not just felt by unbelievers. Everyone is troubled from time to time, and when we are, God is there to comfort us. How does He do this? He uses our memories of what He has done in our lives to bring us hope, as He did with the Psalmist. He also reminds us of His great power to help us and the fact that He is a Great Shepherd leading us in mighty ways. We will talk more about this on Sunday as we continue our sermon series, "God is Closer Than You Think." I hope to see you then!