Summary: Another message in a series where I am seeking to preach through the Psalms.
FROM SINKING TO SWIMMING
TEXT: Psalm 13:1-6
Psalms 13:1-6 KJV To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?  How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?  Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;  Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.  But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.  I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE PSALMS OF COMFORT
The fall of 1996 was not a kind time during the life of the Bridge City UPC. Brother Harrell told me at least ten years after that time that everywhere he looked in that church that people were under some of the greatest strains of life that he had ever seen. He never has told me that problems that they faced during that time and if the truth be told, I would love to know what the challenges were. But knowing life as I have come to know it, I have a feeling that whether it was 1996 or 2013 or even the ‘80’s, life sometimes can punch you when you least expect it.
Brother Harrell told me that beginning on the Sunday nights in October, November, and some of December that he went into that pulpit with one thing on his mind—comfort. He told me he preached comfort from every single angle he could find in the Bible. To this there are still some of the saints in Bridge City that can recall how much the Word helped them to keep walking!
But that was not the first time he had preached like that, sometime in the 80’s the Bridge City UPC was going through a particularly trying time. Brother John Harrell told me that there had been times in his 40+ year ministry there that things were so bad that he wouldn’t even leave town because of all the problems and troubles that was brewing.
His messages in that series of ten were:
• Healing In His Wings
• Jesus Is So Approachable
• The Foothill Principle
• You Can Face Into the Wind
• Branded by the Marks of Jesus
• The Storm of “Not Yet”
• Light Sown
• The Father Is With Me
• Mysteries That Defy Explanation
-If you are in need of comfort and encouragement, there seems to be one place in the Bible that fits the bill. Perhaps no other book of the Bible pours out comfort and encouragement as does the Psalms.
A. Light and Darkness in the Psalms
-Just to take one small theme and pull it from the Psalms is to find great blessing. Consider what we find when we consider the man who has to battle with darkness.
• The Lord is my light and my salvation—27:1
• The Lord will enlighten my darkness—18:28
• God is a sun—84:11
• I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed—132:17
• The Word is a lamp to the feet and a light to the path—119:105
• The commandment of the Lord. . . enlightens the eyes—19:8
• Send out thy light. . . let it lead me—43:3
• Light is sown for righteousness—97:11
• Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness—112:4
• He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light—37:6
• He will keep you secretly in his pavilion—32:7
-There are a vast number of subjects that we can seek out when we read of God’s power in the Psalms. The great encouragement is that having an understanding that none of the challenges that faces the saint of God can stand against God’s plan or resources.
B. Quotes on Psalm 13
Charles Spurgeon—Whenever you look into David’s Psalms, you will somewhere or other see yourself. You never get into a corner, but you find David in that corner. I think that I was never so low that I could not find that David was lower, and I never climbed so high that I could not find that David was up above me. (From The Treasury of David)
Joseph Parker—This psalm begins with winter and ends with summer; it begins with low muffled tones of sorrow and ends with a rapture of praise.
Matthew Henry—Days of trouble must be days of prayer.
Andrew Fuller—It is not under the sharpest, but the longest trials, that we are most in danger of fainting. . . When Job was accosted with evil tidings, in quick succession, he bore it with becoming fortitude; but when he could see no end to his troubles, he sunk under them.