Summary: “Refreshing My Down Times” explores how to get a lift from God when you’re feeling down about life. Psalm 42:1-11 gives the practical steps to being refreshed in midst of not-so-happy times.
The Crossing Community Church
Times Of Refreshing
“Refreshing My Down Times”
Pastor Jim Botts
August 18th, 2002
How many of you are joggers? How about marathoners?
In a marathon there are those stations along the route where the runner can grab a refreshing drink as they make their way along. There are certain times in life it would be great to run into a spiritual water station. I believe that there are. The book of Psalms gives us some practical advice for getting “Times of Refreshing” for our souls. We’ll spend four weeks looking into key times when we especially need refreshment (Down times, Guilty, Rough, and Empty times).
Today, “Refreshing My Down Times.” Sometimes life can be a real downer and you really need a lift. Are you there right now? Let’s take a self test. Here are four indicators that you might be in a down time:
1. Maybe things are going great, but deep in your heart you’re thinking, “there’s got to be more than this to life.” You feel empty inside.
2. You feel like things will never improve, tomorrow will be no better than today. Like your best days are behind you and there’s no sign of a better future.
3. You have a sense of being lonely, even when you’re around people. Relationships aren’t doing it for you.
4. It doesn’t seem like you can trust anyone anymore. Your confidence is shot.
Today’ Psalm (42) gives great advice for each of those areas of need
The Bible give no retouched photo of life or people. From Jesus to Moses, down times were experienced by all. Our lesson today for how to get refreshment during your down times comes from the great hero King David.
Read Psalm 42:1-11
He wrote this Maskil (instructive song) to give us the keys to refreshing our down times.
There are four keys to finding refreshment in your down times…
1. Thirst for God (v1-4) BECAUSE WE FEEL EMPTINESS!
Expressed in terms of, “I feel hollow, empty about my life no matter what I do”
**We all long for God (v1-2a) : As it is natural for a deer to long for water, so also our souls naturally long for God. Our down times actually reveal the emptiness of life and our longing to know God. As thirst draws a deer to streams, so thirst in our hearts is designed to draw us to God. Our longing for God cannot be satisfied by anything else.
What about money? Christina Onassis, the daughter of wealthy Aristotle Onassis said, “Happiness is not based on money, and the greatest proof of that is my family.” Shortly after making that statement, she died of heart failure reportedly the result of years of abusing tranquilizers and diet pills. King Solomon, the wealthiest and wisest man in the Bible said…
Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money will never have enough money; Whoever loves wealth will not be satisfied with it. This is also useless (NCV).
What about success? Pop-star Madonna, when asked the question, “are you a happy person?” Replied, “I’m a tormented person. I have a lot of demons I’m wrestling with. But I want to be happy. I have moments of happiness. I’m working toward knowing myself…assuming that will bring me happiness.”
Comedian Eddie Murphy told People magazine, “I feel something’s missing…I don’t think there’s anyone who feels like there isn’t something missing in their life. No matter how much money you make, or how many cars or houses you have, or how many people you make happy, life isn’t perfect for anybody.”
The New Testament records the story of a woman who tried to fill the longing in her heart with relationships with men. In fact she had a steady stream of broken relationships (she went through 5 husbands). She was living an empty life of shame. One day she went to a well to draw water at a time when no one else would be around. She ran into Jesus.
John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life" (NASB).
In effect Jesus was saying, “your thirst has been misplaced, the answer to your soul’s thirst is me.” One drink and you’ll never thirst again. His water is the water of eternal life. You’ve drunken from many wells (religion, career, relationships, stuff, but we’re still thirsty). Take your thirst to Jesus and ask for His water!
You say, “I don’t think it’s possible to really experience God.”
**God can be experienced (v3-4); The writer is having a down time because people are taunting him while He’s longing for God. He is remembering God’s nearness to him (he can’t get over it- me neither).