Summary: Message for fathers about being strong in the Lord
Note: Message inspired by Devotional from CTA about Father's Day.
Title: Strong in the Lord
Theme: To show that the Lord is our strength, we need to trust Him not ourselves.
Text: Psalms 27:1-4
What were you doing on 9/11?
Tragedy has a way of freezing time. When tragedy strikes, be it an earthquake or a terrorist attack, people suddenly become aware of their surroundings. They know in an instant what they are doing, and they remember that moment for years to come.
Sometimes these memories contain a revelation. It could be a revelation of how little what we are doing really matters. After 9/11, one businessman remembers how turning in a report on company profits seemed less important that day. It could be a revelation of the deeper significance of things we ordinarily take for granted. Many parents recall how, after 9/11, simply watching their children sleep or praying with them before they went to bed suddenly became one of the most important things they did that day.
Tragedy has that power. It freezes time, and it helps us see what is truly significant in life.
Getting to the Heart
Why all this talk about tragedy? It leads us to Psalm 27, where David remembers a time of tragedy in his life.
David speaks of evildoers assailing him, devouring his flesh. He remembers adversaries and foes, climbing after him in an attack and yet stumbling and falling to the ground (v. 2). The more David remembers, the more tragic the vision becomes. He raises his eyes from these attacking foes only to see an entire army encamped on a battlefield before him. As he looks over that field, David watches in horror as the army rises and begins to wage war against him (v. 3). Yet, for all of these horrifying scenes displayed before David, this tragedy has frozen one moment in his mind—not a moment of despair, but instead, a moment of eternal worth.
So important is that moment that David chooses to begin his psalm with it. David begins his psalm from a place of spiritual strength. He writes:
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
the Lord is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
What a way to look at tragedy or turmoil.
It is different than what we are use to. It gives us an idea about that are circumstances are not the issue it is how we look at them.
As he looks at the armies encamped around about him David says two things:
1) The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear
Light – guide “His Word is a light unto my feet and a light unto my path"
Salvation “my hope, my deliverer”
2) The Lord is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid?
Strength – strong, security,
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.
Psalms 16:1 Keep me safe, O God,
for I have come to you for refuge.
Isaiah 12:2 Surely, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation."
2Th 3:3-5 But the Lord is faithful; he will make you strong and guard you from the evil one. (4) And we are confident in the Lord that you are practicing the things we commanded you, and that you always will. (5) May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and the endurance that comes from Christ.
It is God who gives us our strength.
Zechariah 4:6 So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Sometimes we just need a change of perspective
Elijah and the Syrian King
2 Kings 6:15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" 16 So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.