Summary: How to get back to a sure faith.
Our text this evening is the second half of Psalm 73:17-28 if you would like to find your place there…
(From Speaker’s Sourcebook II by Glenn Ven Eckeren)
Perhaps you heard about the church that planned to have the “No Excuse” Sunday Service….
Their advertisement for their “No Excuse Sunday” read as follows….
Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say "Sunday is my only day to sleep in."
There will be a special section with lounge chairs for those who the pews are too hard.
Eye drops will be available for those who have “tired eyes” from watching TV too late Saturday night.
We will have steel helmets for those who say
"The roof would cave in if I ever went to church."
Blankets will be provided for those who think the
church is too cold and fans will be provided for those
who think the church is too hot.
Scorecards will be available for those who wish to
list the hypocrites present in church.
Relatives will be in attendance for those who
like to go visiting their family on Sundays.
There will be TV dinners for those who can’t go to
church because they have to cook dinner.
We will distribute “stamp out stewardship” buttons for those who feel the church is always asking for money.
One section will be devoted to trees and grass for
all those who like to see God in nature.
Doctors and Nurses will be in attendance for those who plan to be sick on Sunday.
Finally, the sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those
who have never seen the church without them.
We will have hearing aids for those who say the
preacher speaks too softly and cotton for those who
say he preaches too loudly.
I guess that particular church was doling out doses of spiritual medicine per say….
Well welcome back to our part two of our two-part message…
“Shaken Faith or Sure Faith?”
Last week’s message was a similar to taking spiritual medicine…
It was good for us…but was a little bit difficult to swallow…
Because the first half of Psalm 73 versus 1-16 is a bit depressing…
And stopping at verse 16 leaves one asking…
Where is the good part? ….
We looked at what the Psalm writer had to say…
Here are some selected verses…
3 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity
the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
12 This is what the wicked are like—
always carefree, they increase in wealth.
13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure;
in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been plagued;
I have been punished every morning.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
it was oppressive to me
It is evident the author’s state of mind could be described as depressed, frustrated and possibly down right angry. The Psalm writer’s feelings could be interpreted as an indicator of a “Shaken Faith”.
And as God’s word always does…
Last week the scripture led us to examine ourselves…
And we took a mental self-test of sorts…
We asked ourselves the following questions…
Where is my faith today? …
(Shaken Faith or Sure Faith)
How did I get here? …
(If the answer was a Shaken Faith)
How do I avoid getting here again? …
(Looked at scripture to help us avoid doubting our faith)
And during our previous study, perhaps we were reminded of a time when we had the same attitude as the Psalm writer. Maybe we were even convicted that we were beginning to doubt our Faith, which possibly led us to ask, the question we did not address last week… “How do I get back to a “Sure Faith”?
Let’s look at this evening’s text together Psalm 73 stating with Verse 17
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
18 Surely you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
20 As a dream when one awakes,
so when you arise, O Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.
21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,