Summary: Message dealing with the challenges of maintaining a victorious faith in a world of opposition.
The Word of God is where we can find peace in troubled times, and rest even in those moments we are feeling the stress from a busy world around us.
I thought I would take a moment to look up the words GLAD and GLADNESS in the Bible to see how many times those words make an appearance, and I’m GLAD to tell you that there are 139 references to the word.
I believe there are many “cousins” of the word Gladness, such as Joy and Happiness, and maybe more, and you can sure find enough mentions of those words in the Bible to realize that God is one who not only wants His people to be glad or joyful, but also expects us to have that kind of attitude, even in a world that seems to want to dwell on the negative.
I mean let’s face it, without the negative; many news networks would have a hard time staying in business. For some reason, there is not only a thirst to share bad news, but evidently, there is a thirst to hear it as well!
“Being Glad in a Sad World”!
We’re going to look at a portion of scripture from the Psalms that will help get this message across, and it’s found in Psalms 4:1-8 (KJV)
We’re going to look at three areas within this scripture today, and they are:
1. The Cry of the Righteous
2. The Commitment of the Righteous
3. The Calm of the Righteous
First of all, we see:
I. THE CRY OF THE RIGHTEOUS
In verses 1 and 2, the Bible says:
1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.
As many of you know, David went through many difficulties on his way from the shepherds pasture to the king’s palace as the second King of Israel.
It is believed that at this time in his life is when his very own flesh and blood, his son Absalom was actively conspiring to kill him as we can read about in 2 Samuel Chapters 13-18.
I don’t know if there’s anything that hurts the heart of a parent or Grandparent so much as knowing that their child or grandchild wants nothing to do with God, and as a matter of fact, is doing about all they can to openly trample on the hearts of those who love them.
At this time, David was feeling not only the sting of someone rising up against him to overthrow his throne, but the added difficulty of knowing it was his very own son who was stirring up the hearts of the people against him.
2 Samuel 15:4-6 (NIV)
4 And Absalom would add, "If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that he gets justice."
5 Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him.
6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
One might look at this, and think that David would do all that was within his power to wipe out Absalom and those who had risen up against him, yet all he could do was cry out to God for mercy.
I believe one of the keys in being glad in a sad world, is to stop looking for ways to get even with those who have hurt us, and ask the Lord for more grace and mercy in our own lives to deal with the situations we go through.
There are times that the only thing we can do, especially when it relates to our own families is cry and weep before the Lord on their behalf.
We’ve done all we can do, and all we can do is ask for some relief from the distress we face.
I believe we still serve a God who is able to give us the relief we need, IF we continue to trust and believe in Him for grace and mercy.
On the internet, you find story after story circulating about a person or event, and there is often no way to know if it’s true or not. There is a website called Snopes that is supposed to be the Bible of the Internet – In other words, if you want to know if a story is true or not, you simply go there and find out. Well, let me tell you that even there, there are times you will not find out the real story, however, some people would believe in snopes.com before they would ever believe the Word of God.