Summary: In a world filled with volatility and uncertainty, Christians enjoy assurances that bring peace in the midst of any storm. Message uses Psalm 23 to teach confidence in God and how to use Scripture for prayerful declarations.
Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order to release $ 100 billion to Iran. i This comes after Iran humiliated ten American sailors on international televisionii and launched a ballistic missile in violation of international law last month.iii But the Iranian Nuclear agreement is finalized and leaders are now saying “peace and safety” as a result.iv Iran’s president said that deal is a “golden page” in Iranian history and “the only people unhappy were the ‘warmongers’ and ‘Zionists.’”v But will all this bring stability to the Middle East or will it simply finance more trouble there?
We have wars and rumors of wars going on around us. North Korea set off a hydrogen bomb Jan., 6th.vi America responded with a display B52 power in the Korean Peninsula. Confrontation with China continues. Last month China accused America of “serious military provocation” when one of our B-52s flew near disputed territory in the South China Seas.vii In short, the political environment of the world is very unstable, as are the financial markets.
Friday ended the worst 10-day start of a year in the history of the stock market. viii Low oil prices are an indication of low energy demand which is an indication of a slowing down of the world markets.
So the question on everyone’s mind is what happens now? Where is all this headed and how does it affect me and my family? Nobody knows the details that answer that question. But I can give you a biblical basis for dealing with it.
What can you expect in 2016? You can expect:
I. To have all your needs met!
Ps 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”x That was David’s declaration. That was his expression of confidence in the Lord. David himself had been a shepherd. He had a shepherd’s heart. He took care of his sheep. He led them into green pastures. He made sure they were ok-- because they were his sheep. When a bear attacked those sheep, David rose up and defended them. When a lion sought to devour them, David protected them. David was there for them. And David knew that Jehovah is a much more faithful shepherd than he could ever be. If he was that protective and caring over his sheep, how much more God would be over His people. So David begins with the statement. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
The Hebrew word translated “want” means “to lack, to be without, to decrease, to be lacking, to have a need.”xi I will not be without. I will not be decreased or diminished. My needs will be met.
The Living Bible says, “Because the LORD is my Shepherd, I have everything I need.” Phil. 4:19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” God Himself is the supplier. Our confidence in a good future does not stand on the shifting sand of society, but on the Rock, Jesus Christ. He is the Good Shepherd. Everything that I share with you is only true because, “The LORD is my shepherd.”
God told the prophet, Isaiah, “Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, For they shall eat the fruit of their doings. 11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, For the reward of his hands shall be given him” (Isa 3:10-11). That’s what I’m doing this morning. I’m saying to God followers, “it shall be well” for you. God will take care of you.
He supplied manna in the wilderness and brought forth water out of a rock.xii In another impossible situation, Jesus fed 5000 with only two fishes and five loaves.xiii
Turn with me to 1 Kings 17 and let’s see how this works. King Ahab and Jezebel have led Israel into idolatry and judgement. God has brought a draught on the land. It’s a financial disaster. It’s affecting everything. 1 Kings 16:33 says, “Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.”
But watch how God took care of Elijah. First He sent him to the Brook Cherith and had ravens feed him. 1 Kings 17:6 says, “The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.” Not exactly a five-star hotel; but Elijah had all his needs met. Who would have ever come up with that survival strategy? Oh, yea, just get ravens to feed you! God says, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11 NIV). God wants somebody here to hear that. If you will abide faithful to Him, beyond question, He will abide faithful to you! In 2016 you will have everything you need.