Summary: This message addresses the fact that GOd loves all people and has a desire to forgive and restore in their life.
The question that I put before you today is this: Where can we find real security and refuge during the painful moments of life?@ Is there something to under gird our inner most thoughts and feelings during a time of great loss?
Only one fortress exists for such a time as this. In the midst of the painful loss of a father, grand-father, brother and friend, there is only one place where you can find true security and strength - and that is in the AShadow of the Almighty God.@
The apostle Paul asked the question in Romans 8:31 AIf God is for us, who can be against us?@ The fact is - Paul new the answer - ANo one!@ No one can stand against us if God is on our side.
Paul - much like the Psalmist who penned the words I read to you a moment ago was expressing a great confidence and hope in God – and in God alone.
There is no denying the fact that the Psalmist (the one who penned these words that we just read in PS. 91) had observed and experienced many difficult times in his life. Yet his mind was not caught up in these perils, the problems, the heartaches and struggles of his life – but rather in the security and the comfort of the AMost High.@
Refuge and safe haven is not found in the human defenses - but rather in the shelter of God. Security and peace of mind is never accomplished by what we can do for ourselves. It is always found in God.
He and He alone will be our refuge and our fortress and He promises that He will deliver us from all of the things that try to defeat and discourage us.
The Psalmist painted a beautiful word picture of God=s protection as that of a mother bird who would stretch out her wings to cover her young with her feathers. It is an image of warmth and peace.
All of us need to find hope in something that goes way beyond this time and this place. We must have hope.
Hope is the which allows us to carry on in life with confidence and dignity.
In this very sad setting today, here in the midst of grief and loss, we need a vision that will carry us beyond this moment.
And, God has given us this hope in the resurrection of His son Jesus Christ. He taught us through His action of love and sacrifice – that He is a caring God.
He also taught us through the simplest of words that this world is not the final resting place of our souls. For those who choose to follow Christ, He promises an eternity of great joy.
In fact John writes in his gospel that Jesus made this fact very clear. Again, let remind you, Jesus says, AIn my father=s house are many rooms...I am going there to prepare a place for you.@
It is the desire of Jesus that you choose to follow Him with this life so that you may inherit an eternity with him in the life to come.
You can be certain of this - death in this life is not an end in itself! There is a promised eternity that will follow.
We are here today to simply attest to the fact that life is short and it is only a preparation for something more.
We place our hope in this life to come upon the authority of Christ himself. As we consider everything that Jesus had to say about life and death we find that He spoke very little about the dead. At least, He did not go into great lengths to explain the details of life after death. However, He offers a consoling word to those who would inquire.