Monday, 19 June 2017

Sermon Sunday 18 June: Day of touble

Reading: Psalm 27
Trouble is one of the facts of life - how do we deal with it?

 The Book of Psalms resonates with experience, so can help us to deal with it; it is a help in worship and life. It is good to share your testimony, so that your experience can help others! David was one who experienced a life of blessing, elevated from being a shepherd to a king. But his life was also full of trouble, being pursued by king Saul for a long time, and having a couple of rebellions, one led by his own son, who was killed.

He was often afraid, often in trouble. And much was his own fault; the results of his sin with Bathsheba were far-reaching! Are you, like David, afraid? He had lots of reasons! Many do not apply to us, but there are many others. Of what are you afraid? The psalm gives confidence, but is it wishful thinking? Is it unrealistic? What was David's solution (Ps 27:4)?

The presence of God, who does help us to deal with our troubles, both in the immediate, but also in the gift of eternal life, when all troubles are past. David rested in the ultimate good. When we know the reality of God, all else loses significance. Paul could speak of his troubles, far more than most of our's (see 2 Cor 11:23f) as light and momentary (2 Cor 4:17)!

 As Christians, this is fulfilled in Jesus, who facilitates the presence of God with us. The Psalm gives us three results of this.

  •  Hear my voice (Ps 27:7). We can tell him our trouble. Importantly we can know that God hears - we can relate to Him through Jesus. So especially in trouble, do not forget to pray. Turn not your servant away (Ps 27:9 (RSV)); 
  • We can know that God is with us. Such assurance is not there in the OT, but we are forgiven - through Jesus. But although God gives us access to Him, do not exclude yourself! 
  • Teach me your way (Ps 27:11) - so we may not make mistakes and cause trouble - much is our own fault! We can know the way - through Jesus (Jn 14:6), not just of final salvation, but of immediate need. Do not think that you know better than God! The Bible often promises blessing, but in obedience (see Deut 5:32-3). 
 We can share David's relief, we WILL know his goodness (Ps 27:13). Firstly in the land of the living, as all troubles overcome in death and eternal life, AND in the land of the living - thank him for many blessings now Worth waiting for? (Ps 27:14) INDEED! And he gives strength now

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