Summary: A Message from Psalms 42 speaking to the trials and troubles which we encounter.
The Answers We Need
* Two days after the 9/11 attacks on our nation, Anne Graham Lotz was being interviewed by Jane Clayson on the CBS early show and was asked, "I’ve heard people say, those who are religious, those who are not, if God is good, how could God let this happen? To that, you say?"
Lotz replied, "I say God is also angry when he sees something like this. I would say also for several years now Americans in a sense have shaken their fist at God and said, God, we want you out of our schools, our government, our business, we want you out of our marketplace. And God, who is a gentleman, has just quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public life. Removing his hand of blessing and protection. We need to turn to God first of all and say, God, we’re sorry we have treated you this way and we invite you now to come into our national life.”
* In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I watched as many “religious” people went on TV and radio trying to explain away God’s control over natural events like a catastrophic hurricane and put a humanistic spin on the love of God. Yet, as I read my Bible, our humanistic and cultural concepts do not line up at all with God’s word. While we may not like to hear this message, our dislike of it does not diminish its truth.
* Candidly, every one of us is searching for answers. The specific answer we want may be as simple as an answer on a high school history test to as traumatic as asking a loved one if they want to sign a DNR order. It may be as difficult as who to marry or as common as which car to buy. The list of questions can get extensive. We are looking for answers! While we won’t answer every question life today, most of us routinely ask ourselves questions such as; “Why?” Or “What?” or “How?” or even “When?”
* From our text, let’s see if we can find some much needed answers. Now, we may not like what we find, but again, truth is truth and can’t be changed.
1. We begin with the “Why” question. Why do trials even happen? (even to good people) I suggest we find an answer in this thought, “My Trials from God.” (v3, 5a, 6a, 7, 9-10, 11a) Can you sense what the Psalmist is feeling? He is hurting, asking why, and wanting some relief. Candidly, many of us are already saying, “Pastor, God doesn’t send trial, Satan does that.” Obviously, Satan THINKS he’s sending this, but it’s God who gives the final word. Consider Job’s predicament. Satan asking for permission is chronicled in Job 1. Consider the Apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Even though Paul saw it as a ‘messenger of Satan’, God had to give His permission or it would have never happened. Years ago, I heard Mike Warnke say this, “Classification in the Navy is where they let you pick out what THEY want you to be.” In other words, you can do whatever you want as long as it helps us fulfill our mission, our purpose, & our assignment.
The Answers We Need – Pg 2
* This is a picture of how Satan is involved in your trial. God allows Satan to get all excited about trying us, but God has a backup plan.