Summary: Our spirits faint when life gets hard. Can we trust the Lord when there seems to be no way out?
Sermon No. 13
HE KNOWS THE WAY
By: Atty. Numeriano P. Galgo, Jr.
October 25, 2020
Tagum City, Philippines
B. Overview of the message
The message this morning is about God’s leading in times when we do not know which way to go. When we are at the lowest, darkest time of our lives, we lose the courage to move on because we are horrified. Our spirits faint when life gets hard. It is at these moments that we forget or doubt the truth that God will never abandon us no matter what. Can we trust him when there seems to be no way out?
Our main verse is found in Psalm 142:3 which says:
When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way.
Part II. Discussion
This Bible verse means a lot to me and it’s one of my favorites. When I was in law school, I recited this before I took exams and when I felt afraid. I even wrote this on one of my law books to remind me of my dependence on God.
This verse was also the prayer of David during one of the darkest hours in his life. Psalm 142 paints a picture of King David hiding in a cave because his enemies were pursuing him. He was in a terrible situation. He was hunted to be killed; the people who pursued him were far too strong for him; snares had been hidden for him; he was alone; no one was concerned for him; he had no refuge; no one cared for him; and he was in desperate need.
Imagine that situation for a moment. We even panic over small, trivial things — how much more David! He dreaded the horror of what might happen. I can imagine David had a difficulty breathing. Thoughts of being captured, tortured and killed must have crossed his mind.
In his loneliness and desperation, David noticed that his spirit was fainting little by little. His courage was fading away. He couldn’t think of a way to escape. He was helpless.
We know that David was a strong and courageous man. He was king; he was a man after God’s own heart; his faith was strong; he killed Goliath; he killed lions; he was a commander of soldiers; he was experienced in battle; and he was anointed by the Lord. Who would expect that his spirit would faint or become weak?
A. No one is exempted.
Our verse says, “when my spirit grows faint within me.” It doesn’t say “if my spirit grows faint within me.” The word “when” signifies certainty. There will come a time when our spirits will faint for different reasons. No human being is exempted whether strong or not, young or old, rich or poor. Even Jesus experienced it at Gethsemane before he was crucified. He told his disciples, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Matthew 26:38). Jesus also prayed, “My Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). In his extreme anguish, his sweat was like drops of blood.
I know how it feels like to faint. When I thought that my son, who was about 7 years old at that time, would be hit by a speeding car, I fainted. My knees buckled. I couldn’t move or shout. I lost my voice. I felt very weak. I felt that all my energy were drained in a second. I went to the gym regularly that time, but I became instantly weak. I watched helplessly. In my mind I just said, "In Jesus name!" When I saw that he was not hit, I was thankful to the Lord but I could hardly breathe.
What makes our spirit to faint? This pandemic; loss of job; financial needs; health and family problems; sin; the feeling that nobody cares; unanswered prayers; and failures, to name a few. We experience distress like David. Like him, we faint too. We feel helpless and hopeless at times.
B. Fainting happens within.
Our verse also says, when my spirit grows faint “within me.” Spiritual fainting takes place inside of us. Aside from God, only you and I know how faint our spirits are. Sometimes, we appear strong but deep inside we are getting weaker each day. We fake it because we think that nobody else knows. We are slow to address it. We allow it grow deeper until we fall out or backslide.
It could be that David tried to appear strong while inside the cave but deep within him he was trembling with fear. His spirit was fainting every minute. But the good thing was that, David acted without delay. He immediately prayed “it is you who know my way.” He surrendered his fate to the Lord right away. In other words, David was saying, “whatever happens inside this cave or outside, whether I live or die, you know best Lord. Your will be done.”