Summary: God teaches us a valuable lesson that keeps our spirits going when we become discouraged from the pressures and persecutions of our Christian faith.
Encouragement for the Pursued
Prairie Baptist Church – 9/6/09
Text: Psalm 3
Key verse: Psalms 3:5-6 - 5I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. 6I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
Premise: God teaches us a valuable lesson that keeps our spirits going when we become discouraged from the pressures and persecutions of our Christian faith.
Two men were walking through a field one day when they spotted an enraged bull. Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence. The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn’t make it. Terrified, the one shouted to the other, "Put up a prayer, John. We’re in for it!" John answered, "I can’t. I’ve never made a public prayer in my life." "But you must!" implored his companion. "The bull is catching up to us." "All right," panted John, "I’ll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: ’O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.’"
Sometimes we feel like that in our Christian life. When we are living our faith and people pursue us and persecute us for what we believe and how we live.
Hopefully, we stop and pray.
The fact is that, much like David, the opposition can become overwhelming.
It can come from places we didn’t expect.
It is like the patient who had this dialogue with his doctor:
Doctor to patient: “I have bad news and worse news.”
Patient: “So let’s have it.”
Doctor: “The bad news is that you only have 24 hours to live.”
Patient: “I can’t imagine what could be worse than that!”
Doctor: “I forgot to tell you yesterday.”
Before we begin, we need to understand something about the enemy or enemies:
For lack of anything better up front, we have three enemies that attack us constantly:
• The world – this is not only a world system and God voided philosophy but it is a godless, flesh and blood mankind bent on living without God and rejecting God’s authority.
• The flesh – That is not only this body, flesh, blood, and bone, but also our emotions and desires driven by a still very possessive and powerful sin nature.
• The devil – We know who he is and that he is a very powerful, deceptive and influential being who wreaks havoc and leaves behind him destroyed lives and unfulfilled promises.
The opposite is what we as Christians are wanting:
• Instead of the world – we want the influence of the Word, the heavenly proclamation of God’s love
• Instead of the flesh – we yearn for the spiritual and the Spirit led
• Instead of the devil – we want to only hear Jesus; we want to hear the voice of God.
1. A Problem That Persists – 3:1-2
2. A Protection That Is Personal – 3:3-4
3. A Peace That Pacifies – 3:5-6
4. A Petition That Is Positive – 3:7-8
What can we learn from David’s experience that will keep our spirits going when we become discouraged from the pressures and persecutions of our Christian faith.
1. The Enemies Tactics That Trouble – 3:1-2
A. David expresses his trouble to God: