Sermons

Summary: In openness and yieldness, we find God even in the puzzling events of our lives--the times of trouble and tribulation

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Psalm 22:1-5, 15-21 “Discover God During the Trials of Life”+

INTRODUCTION

King David was a man of God. He was once described as a “man after God’s own heart.” King David did not lead a charmed life, however, even though he was a king and had a personal relationship with God. He had many trials and most scholars believe that David wrote this psalm during a particularly troubling time. David probably wrote this psalm when Saul was attacking him, or when Absolom, his son, was leading a rebellion against him.

Each and every one of use can identify with David’s struggles that are expressed in this psalm. We have been in that same position and struggled with the same questions. As people of God we are troubled by God’s silence during the intense struggles of our lives.

NO DOUBT ABOUT GOD

The psalmist does not question the reality of God in this psalm. He does not interpret the predicament that he is in as proof that God does not exist. The question that David is struggling with is “Why.” “Why” is God acting (or not acting) the way he is?

We struggle to understand the purpose of suffering and God’s place in suffering.

A common practice throughout the history of humankind is to believe that we could make a contract with God. The contract states that we would worship God and that God would bless us, make life easy for us, and help us when we are in trouble. Even David the wise man that he was had this idea about his relationship with God. God, though, refuses to be our errand boy, or our servant. We are supposed to be the servants of God.

PROTEST AND ANGER

David protests his situation. His situation is not caused by his rebellion against God, or by his sin. He doesn’t understand why his is struggling and his life is threatened.

David accuses God of not keeping his promise—where are God’s blessings?

David complains that life is unfair and that he is the victim of injustice.

David is angry that God is not going according to David’s game plan. God refuses to be fenced in by us.

David is fearful, which is expressed through anger, that life might overwhelm and annihilate him.

YIELDING

After expressing his anger, complaining about the unfairness of life, and allowing fear to seep into his heart, David returns with the assertion that God is God. God is greater than humankind and we will never fully understand God’s ways.

David begins to seek to understand what he can learn from his struggle. He asks himself, “What is God trying to communicate?”

David opens himself to God’s movement in his life. He stops being focused on accomplishing his goals in life.

David yields to God’s will and in doing so he is an example of how we are to yield to God’s movement in our lives.

CONCLUSION

One of the most difficult things to believe in the Christian life is that all things happen for the good. We can list scores of examples that we believe contradict this truth of scripture. Yet the God who made the greatest good, our salvation, come from the greatest evil, the death of his son, is able to bring good out of bad and transform our struggles.

We may go through very difficult times, but God is with us. Our hope is in God’s love, God’s power, and God’s control.

Amen


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