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Summary: How can I stay up in the down times of life? Here God shows us 5 things to do.

How to Stay Up in a Down Time

Psalm 37:1-9

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - March 15, 2009

*Do you ever fret? -- Charles Spurgeon tells us that “to fret is to worry, to have the heart burn, to fume, to become vexed,” or angry, irritated, agitated, annoyed. (1)

*Anybody who’s been paying any attention to what’s going on in our world has plenty of reasons to fret.

-And even if you aren’t fretful about what’s going on in the world, you can fret about your family, your friends, your job or your checkbook.

-Everybody gets fretful at times. But God wants you to stay up in the down times, and in this Psalm He shows you how.

1. How can I stay up in the down times of life? -- First: Calm yourself by realizing that God is in control.

*Let this great truth calm you down: God is in control. The Lord is always on the job, and He is going to straighten out this world’s mess. God’s judgment is sure. His judgment is always right, and at just the right time, the whole world will see it.

*As King David said in vs. 1&2:

1. Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.

2. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.

*Then down in vs. 7-9, David said:

7. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret it only causes harm.

9. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth.

*Sounds like God wins to me! -- So those who trust in the Lord can stay up in any down time.

*Pastor Rodney Buchanan says, “The reason I am an optimist is because I serve a God who is in control. I often think about the early church and the culture in which it not only survived, but thrived.

*Most early Christians lived within the bounds of the Roman Empire where there were persecutions. It was literally a national sport to throw the Christians to the lions as cheering crowds watched them be torn apart.

*The Roman roads were often lined with crosses on which Christians hung because they would not denounce Christ.

-Not only was abortion acceptable, a father could kill his child at any age.

*The government was completely hostile toward Christianity and anyone who was a follower of Christ. And yet it was during this time of enormous opposition that the church grew from just 120 believers to untold thousands. . .

*God is unstoppable. It doesn’t matter how much opposition there is, God is in control and He will have his way! God is in control no matter how things look.

-That does not necessarily mean that our nation will always be prosperous or safe. -- But it does mean that there is a God who is control of history, and he will have the final word. This is our hope and confidence. (2)

*How can we stay up in the down times of life? -- Remember that God is in control.

2. And keep putting your confidence in Christ.

*In vs. 3&5, David twice tells us: “Trust in the Lord.” The word picture behind this word “trust” is rushing to someone for refuge and safety.

*R.G. Lee was talking about trusting God when he said,

-“If you trust in administration; you will get what administration can do.

-If you trust in hard work; you will get what hard work can do.

-If you trust in your sparkling personality; you will get what personality can do.

-(But) if you trust in prayer; you get what God can do.” (3)

*Keep trusting in the Lord, and in vs. 5, “commit your way to the Lord.”

*The word picture for “commit” is someone who is loaded down with a heavy burden, but then he rolls it onto the Lord.

-This reminds me of 1 Peter 5:7, where God tells us to “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” And that’s what we need to do.

*Listen to David again in vs. 5&6:

5. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

6. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

*How is the Lord going to “bring forth your righteousness as the light?”

-There is only one way, and that is through the cross of Jesus Christ.

*What if you were the best person in Ouachita Parish?

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