Summary: A sermon about being truthful with God.
Introduction: Rabbit Misunderstanding
Background: David finds himself in the midst of persecution
Purpose Statement: Because Dark Days Do Come...
I. Admit Where You’re At (vs. 1-2)
A. David feels abandoned by God
1. He’s been suffering for a long time, crying out to God
2. Dr. James’ wife Illustration
B. Too many Christians feel that depression = lack of faith
1. My friend Nora illustration
2. David does do something wrong here, he focuses on himself instead of God (v.2)
C. Part of making Christ Lord is being honest with Him
1. He’s our example and He suffered a sense of isolation
2. Elisha Hoffman Illustration
D. How do we reconcile this with the teachings on Joy?
1. First, God has never promised us a carefree life
2. Longfellow/Luther Quote
II. Ask For Help (vs. 3-4)
A. David begs God to intercede
1. He doesn’t feel like he has the strength to go on another day
2. Me caught in the rip tide
B. The wicked seem to prosper and the righteous suffer
1. David senses that things aren’t right in God’s world
2. RC Sproul’s response to why do bad things happen to good people
C. Stop trying to carry the world on your shoulders
1. Some of us are our own worst enemy
2. Grimaldi Illustration
D. Take advantage of the mechanisms God has given you
1. The Church can be a great resource
2. We are in a better position than David
III. Remember How God has Helped in the Past (vs. 5-6)
A. Learning to live like we believe God knows best
1. Slight similarity in being in a parent/child relationship
2. Two sets of footprints in the sand illustrations
B. God has told us we won’t always understand His ways
2. He sees the bigger picture
C. David gives us the cure to what ails him
1. Trust God
2. Sing His praises
D. Note how the Psalms were used in OT/NT times (vs. 1)
1. These Psalms would be sung corporately as well as individually
2. My own personal use of praise music – Hold Me Jesus lyrics
Conclusion: We need to be honest to God
JOE GIBBS, former head coach of the Washington Redskins, told me a funny story that had to do with one of his friends.
Joe’s friend, whom I will call Frank, owns a fine Labrador retriever. Frank looked out his window one morning and saw his faithful, obedient dog sitting on his haunches near the front porch. Frank thought he saw something hanging from the dog’s jaws. Sure enough, a closer look revealed it was his neighbor’s pet rabbit—now dead. Frank was stunned. Not exactly sure what to do, his brain clicked through several options until he landed on one that seemed best, though it would require a rather tedious process.
He gingerly pulled the rabbit from the Lab’s mouth, took the thing to the sink, and washed off all the dirt and gunk. He then took it into the bathroom, pulled out a hair dryer, and spent several minutes blow-drying the dead creature until it was nice and fluffy. That night, after it was dark and quiet in the neighborhood, Frank crawled over the back fence, slipped across the neighbor’s backyard, opened the door on the rabbit hutch, placed the dead rabbit in the cage, and snapped the door shut. He then slithered back through the darkness, hopped the fence, and breathed a big sigh of relief.
Next morning there was a loud knocking at his front door. Frank opened it and, to his surprise, found his neighbor clutching the dead rabbit. He was steaming.
“Frank, we have a real sickie in our neighborhood.”
“Really? Why do you say that?”
“Well, see … my rabbit here died three days ago and I buried it. Some guy just dug it up, cleaned it off nice ‘n’ neat, and stuck it back in the hutch. We’re talkin’ a real sickie, Frank!”
LETTER TO DR. JAMES’ WIFE
Dr. Frank James’ wife, Carolyn Custis James’, has written a book called "When Life and Beliefs Collide." The book is specifically for women and seeks to answer the question What does your faith cling to when what you believe is at odds with your day to day life?
A book reviewer for a newspaper in Washington wrote to her asking her to consider adding a chapter for single women in the next edition. This particular reviewer was a Christian and she revealed that she was suffering. She was single yet God had given her a deep desire to be married, to have a family. It had reached a crisis point for her in her faith.
MY FRIEND NORA ILLUSTRATION
When I worked at college on of my co-workers, one of the most devout followers of Christ I’ve ever known, had her 38 year old husband die unexpectedly from a brain anurism. Consequently, she suffered great grief and questioning of God’s goodness. She was put on anti-depressants to help her deal with her depression and anxiety but confided in me that she felt guilty needing to rely on medicine, not faith. Her church had taught her, and even reinforced after the fact, that good Christians don’t get depressed when bad things happen to them.