Summary: It's easy for some people to have a “pity party” & end up feeling so depressed about themselves & what is happening in their lives. Sometimes they even cry out, “Where is God? Why isn’t He doing something about this?” (PowerPoints available - #372)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(PowerPoints used with this sermon are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at email@example.com and request - #372.)
ILL. The story is told that there were two young Boy Scouts who were twins & did not quite live up to their Scout Oath. They stole things, swore, & generally got themselves into trouble around town.
Their mother, realizing she needed help, asked the Scoutmaster to talk with them. He agreed & decided to see them one at a time & hopefully get them to understand that they needed to change. He thought he would first get them to see that their actions were sinful.
When the first scout arrived, he was told to sit down, & the Scoutmaster, who was a big man with a pretty loud voice asked, "Where is God?" He wanted the scout to realize that God is everywhere, & that He knows what we do.
The scout looked stunned & his mouth dropped open, but he said nothing. So, the scoutmaster repeated more sternly, "Where is God?"
Again, the scout just sat & stared dumbly at the Scoutmaster. So the scoutmaster raised his voice & asked a third time, "WHERE IS GOD?"
The little scout screamed, jumped up, ran out the door, all the way home, into his room, dove into his closet, & hid under his clothes. And that's where his brother found him. He asked, "What happened?"
The first scout replied, "Man, we are in BIG trouble! God is missing & they think WE took him!" (www.BoyScoutTrail.com)
A. Well, I’m not sure about that story, but I do know that it’s easy for some people to have a “pity party” & end up feeling so depressed about themselves & what is happening in their lives. Sometimes they even cry out, “Where is God? Why isn’t He doing something about this? Does He even care about me?”
I think that is a good question to consider: “Does God care about us? Does He really care?”
One passage in the O.T. concerning this is Isaiah 63:7-9, "I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us yes, the many good things He has done for the house of Israel, according to His compassion & many kindnesses.
"He said, ‘Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me’; & so He became their Savior. In all their distress He too was distressed, & the angel of His presence saved them.
“In His love & mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up & carried them all the days of old."
Now that's a remarkable passage. And perhaps the key words are in vs. 9 where it says, "In all their distress He too was distressed…"
Didn’t God say almost the same thing when He spoke to Moses at the burning bush? He said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, & I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them. . ." (Exodus 3:7-8).
And He told Moses to tell Pharaoh, “Let my people go!”
B. Over & over the Bible proclaims that God loves us & cares for us. We see that in the birth of Jesus. Notice that God did not send His Son to be born into a royal family to enjoy the very best this world has to offer.
Instead, He chose to experience what it is like to be poor, to spend long hours working under a hot sun, to have calluses on His hands, & sore, aching muscles.
He knows what it is like to be a part of a despised race, to be arrested & tried for crimes He did not commit. And hanging there on the cross in our place, He experienced pain such as you & I have never experienced.
ILL. Years ago, a group of missionaries had an audience with Mahatma Gandhi to explain their work in India. As the meeting drew to a close, Gandhi asked them to sing one of their favorite Christian hymns. They asked, "What hymn shall we sing?" Gandhi answered, "Sing the hymn that best express¬es what you believe."
So they sang this one, "When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, & pour contempt on all my pride."
They chose well, for that hymn expresses what we believe - that on the cross, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Glory, died for us. And because of that it is a wondrous cross, & we sing about it because God's love transformed it into a symbol of victory over sin & death.