When Troubles Come
Published March 4, 2018 at 10:30 AM
Audio of the sermon preached on March 4, 2018, at Cable Community Church, Sherrard, IL
Content Copyright Belongs to Cable Community Church
When Troubles Come
Times are tough. The stock market is down and then up again. Interest rates are threatened to go up, or then again… maybe they won’t. Insanity runs rampant leading to, among other things, the killing our school children. So, where do we turn? What are we to do in times such as these? How do you find the Way when troubles come?
During Superbowl 37, in 2003, FedEx ran a commercial that spoofed the movie Castaway, in which Tom Hanks played a FedEx worker whose company plane went down, stranding him on a desert island for years. Looking like the bedraggled Hanks in the movie, the FedEx employee in the commercial goes up to the door of a suburban home, package in hand.
When the lady comes to the door, he explains that he survived 5 years on a deserted island, and during that whole time he kept this package in order to deliver it to her. She gives a simple, “Thank you.”
But he stays at her door. He is curious about what is in the package that he has been protecting for years. He says, “If I may ask, what was in that package after all?”
She opens it and shows him the contents, saying, “Oh, nothing really. Just a satellite telephone, a global positioning device, a fishing-rod, a water purifier, and some seeds.” Each of these things something that could have helped him to better live on or sooner get off of the island.
Like the contents in this package, you have resources for growth and strength available for you, if only you will take advantage of them. Such resources for growth are found in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Back in the Old Testament, a leader named David discovers that even amidst life’s pressure, confusion, failure and daily living, God provides a way through life’s wilderness.
This morning we are studying Psalm 25. In this Psalm, God provides us with a "package" full of resources for growth and strength. Follow along as we read this Psalm and see that you need to …
Trust In God (vv. 1-3)
Seek His Paths (vv. 4-5) and…
Humble Yourself (vv. 6-10)
- Trust In God (vv. 1-3)
- Look Up.
- Lift up your troubles to Him
- Your defeats
- Your shame
- Change your focus.
- Psalm 42:11 - “Why so downcast, O my soul, … Put your trust in God.”
- Col. 3:2 -- Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth
- Too often our focus is on ourselves or our circumstances
- Psalm 123:1-2
- Unto You I lift up my eyes,
- O You who dwell in the heavens.
- Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
- As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
- So our eyes look to the LORD our God,
- Until He has mercy on us.
- Psalm 25 presents us with a different tack on the spiritual life. For many Christians their spiritual focus is on the afterlife. Yet, God meant for His life to be realized in the present. In other words, the struggle of the spiritual life has its own rewards RIGHT NOW, in this life. As you walk with the Lord, you can (and should) realize (and enjoy) his faithfulness and love, for he is with you now. Look up!Seek His Paths (vv. 4-5)
- Seek Out
- Show….teach….lead…its dynamic, specific and purposeful. Think of it like this.
God will always give us glimpses of glory; quick snapshots into the future. Sometimes they come in dreams and visions, other times they are seen in pre-existing things. Ephesians 1:9 tells us that He will make known to us the mystery of His will. These flashes are used to ignite our passion; rekindle the fire within us and compel us to action. Our attitude should be to say, “Show me Lord and I will follow…Let me see something!” The problem comes when you are letting your thoughts shape these images instead of letting these images from God shape your thinking. Thank Him today for those glimpses of glory! Show me your ways.
- Once He has gained our attention and He’s got us looking He goes deeper. The word “teach” means to show the fundamentals or skills of something or to impart knowledge. In this season of growing, His plan is planted in us. He provides to us through His Word a strategy for Success. Proverbs 24 says that through wisdom a house is built and it’s rooms are “filled” through knowledge.
- He also allows us to learn the consequences of ignoring this instruction. Many times we go through this type of “training” process over and over until we get it right. There is a path that seems right to man but the end is death. It’s God’s path that we are looking for. Teach me your paths.
- These first two steps deal with God speaking to us and preparing us for what lies ahead. We cannot move into the “leading” phase until we get those first two steps down and have responded to what He has already done. Once we begin to take steps towards what He has shown us and is teaching us, then He begins to lead us down the path of discipleship that leads to fullness of joy and life everlasting.
- In their devotional guide, Experiencing God Day-By-Day, Henry and Richard Blackaby ask the question, “Are you satisfied with merely knowing the acts of God or do you also want to know His ways? This is a question that requires an answer and the answer that we give determines the depth and stability of our relationship with God. In other words, is it enough to be shown and taught or will you also follow HIs lead? James encourages us to be doers of the word and not hearers only. (James 1:22)
- Look. Learn… FollowHumble Yourself (vv. 6-10)
- Face Down.
- When you sin, ASK God to FORGIVE. Notice I said “when,” not “if.” It’s not a question of “If I sin …” The reality is “When I sin …” And unfortunately, that process begins early in life. A recent study discovered the 8 Rules of Toddler Ownership:
1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hands, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it’s mine.
8. If I think it’s mine, it’s mine.
Did you notice the key word is mine? Sociologists discovered that the key question Americans use to evaluate life is, “What’s in it for me?”
I am not surprised. I thought that “What’s in it for me?” had been the question since the world first fell into sin, and needed God’s forgiveness.
- For David, the key word is "Remember"
- Mercy and kindness — the nature of God
- not sins — our nature
- remember me — forget the sin, remember (and forgive) the sinner
- Romans 8:31b-32 -- If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
- Years ago a tightrope walker named Blondin stretched a 2-inch steel cable across the gorge of the Niagara Falls, attracting a large crowd. “How many of you believe that I can carry the weight of a man on my shoulders across this gorge?” he asked.
The crowd shouted and cheered their belief that he could do it. Sure enough, Blondin picked up a sack of sand weighing about 180 pounds and carried it across the falls.
Then Blondin asked, “How many of you believe that I can actually carry a person across the gorge?” Many people in the crowed indicated that they thought he could do it. Then Blondin called out, “Which one of you will climb on my shoulders and let me carry you across the falls?”
Suddenly there was silence. Everyone wanted to see Bondin carry a person across the gorge and many believed that he could. But no one wanted to put his life in Blondin’s hands.
Some time later Blondin did carry a man across Niagara Falls. The man was Blondin’s manager, who had known the tightrope walker personally for many years. “You must not trust your own feelings, but mine,” Blondin told his manager, as they prepared for the crossing. “You will feel like turning when we don’t need to turn. And if you trust your feelings, we will both fall. You must become part of me.”
This is what faith in Jesus is: knowing Him personally and entrusting our eternal life into His hands. We must become part of Him. Trusting Him in life’s wilderness to lead us no matter the situation nor the circumstance. By faith in Christ, He becomes part of our lives leads us on each day.
- The Psalmist truly believes that God is working on his behalf as he lives his life. Why not, then, lift up the heart to God today, to pray to God for guidance and divine teaching, to ask God to remember us? We began today seeking help for when troubles come, but this psalm gives us great words for everyday. This Psalm is like a vigorous workout in the gym; after it is over our body brims with energy and we are ready to face whatever comes our way.
- Look up - trust in God
- Seek out - discover His paths
- Face Down - humble yourself