Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God’s help in trouble, God’s comfort in trouble, and God’s deliverance from trouble.

‘God’s help in trouble.’ ‘The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!" One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!" To which the king replied, "No, this is not good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail. About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way. As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this." "No," his friend replied, "This is good!" "What do you mean, 'This is good'? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?" "If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you."’ It’s kind of a funny story, but it illustrates some good points. Even though it doesn’t always seem like the best option for God to pick for our lives, He sees the big picture and knows what the future holds. I find it interesting that people are willing to place their trust in almost anything, except God. They won’t try God. They won’t allow Him to be their Refuge and strength.

This particular psalm has many different views, by many theologians as to what particular incident the writers, The Sons of Korah, are referring to in these eleven verses. ‘Whatever (if any particular incident) it may be referring to, one thing is certain: it contains a lot of consolation for the Church of God, and was given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.’ ‘It begins abruptly and nobly by saying to everyone: you can place your trust in whatever you want, but God is our Refuge and Strength.’ Basically, Christians should be saying to those who trust elsewhere, “You do what you want. I’m staying right here.” ‘When the rains come God protects us.’ I’ve often sat in a funeral where there were many unbelievers, and I’ve wondered to myself, “How do you get through this.” I’ve been in the hospital room and homes of a terminally ill people where they, or their loved ones are not Christians and I’ve wondered, “Who do lean upon for strength?” How does one get through the hurt, when they don’t have God to lean upon? How does one prepare for death, when they have no idea what awaits them?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

‘God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.’ ‘Thus God protects us as our shelter and fights for us; He is both our Shield and our Sword; our Security when attacked, and our source of power to attack.’ He’s not only available to defend against the trials and tribulations of life, and the darts of satan, but He is a Sword in our hands that we use to combat the trials of life as we face them head on. ‘Fears increase: the question is, does our faith increase to cope with them?’

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,

When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?

When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,

Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

If your anchor is in anyone, or anything else except Jesus Christ, it will not only drift it will break. ‘No matter what storms of outward or of inward trials come, enemies may be raging without, and sin may provoke uproars and fears within, God is our Refuge; He is always near, and always sufficient.’ No matter what harm comes, no matter what trial of life, no matter what scheme of satan, we have help in times of trouble. ‘He will always be there to help when the pressure mounts, and when the world closes in on us.’ It’s not too late to start trusting in God. It’s not too late to anchor in Jesus Christ as your Refuge and strength. Psalm 67:7-8 says:

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