Summary: A sermon about finding a song of joy, after struggling through a difficult period, and crying out to God for relief!
Ill: Man criss-crossing in grocery aisles, and overhearing woman and daughter in store:
-daughter wants "Cookies" – "Ellen, we just have ¾ of aisles, it won’t be long…"
-"I want candy" – "Now Ellen don’t cry… two more aisles to go and we will be checking out."
-At the check out – "I want gum" – and begins throwing a tantrum – “Now, now Ellen, we will be through in 5 mins. and you can go home and have a nice nap.”
Man to woman in parking lot, “I noticed how patient you were with Ellen”… “O you misunderstood, my little girls name is Tammy, I’m Ellen.”
Vs 18 near “the gates of death”
Vs 19 “they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.”
Vs 20 “And the Lord sent out His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.”
Vs 22 songs of joy.
Tribulation – followed by crying out – but then JOY!
Distress and grief, followed by crying out: Where are you? Or why didn’t you rescue us?
Bible filled with similar stories (Exodus 15:1) “The horse and rider have been thrown into the sea.”
Four stories that illsutraite this principle:
A) Ray Palmer, born Nov 12th, 1808 – at 13 forced to quit school to take a position as store clerk. Managed to complete school and was teaching at a girls school near NYC. Had a discouraging year filled with illness and loneliness…
My faith looks up to thee,
thou Lamb of Calvary,
Now hear me while I pray,
take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day
be wholly thine! (#452 UMH)
B) Albert Ackley series of Evangelistic meeting, when young Jewish man asked “Why should I worship a dead Jew?” … Ackley searched it out, and would resolve “He lives I tell you, he is not dead…I can prove it by my own experience:
"I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today; I know that he is living, whatever men may say. I see his hand of mercy, I hear his voice of cheer, and just the time I need him, He’s always near. He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me, and talks with me, along life’s narrow way. He lives, he lives, salvation to impart; You ask me how I know He lives; He lives within my heart.” (#310 UMH)
C) Horatio Spafford, family at sea 1873, sailed to near the spot:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul,
it is well, it is well with my
soul. (#377 UMH)
D) At the close of Vietnam era, Bill & Gloria Gaither tough period of song writing. Post affects of the war. Some people claiming that God was dead. Bill & Gloria’s own hopes seemed dashed, about that time they learned Gloria was pregnant with son (Benjy). They had two daughters, Bill remarked “Brother this is a really poor time to bring a child into the world.” And then Benjy was born and Bill held him for the first time, and he would write:
How sweet to hold, our new born baby,
And feel the pride, and joy he gives. But
greater still, the calm assurance, this child
can face uncertain days, because Christ
lives….Because He lives I can face
tomorrow, because He lives, all fear is
gone; Because I know, He holds the
future, and life is worth the living, just
because He lives.” (#364 UMH)
O yes.. cry out to God in despair, but then joy!