Summary: Sermon 1 of 5 in the series You Need a Hug - Comfort in the Changes of Life
Sermon 1 Title: The Divine Purpose for Change
Series: You Need A Hug - Comfort In The Changes of Life
The world is the scene for perpetual change. The sun rises and sets, the moon waxes and wanes, the tides rises and falls. Seed-time and harvest, summer and winter,day and night, come and go. While we cannot take the psalmist’s declaration in a literal sense, changes come alike to all, even the inevitable change to which Job refers, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come"(Job 14:14).
The changes of which David speaks are those changes we least expect. Changes that disturbs our arrangement, unhinge our plans,and frustrate our hopes. Changes like earthquakes upheave all order, comfort, and settled ease. Without such changes we are liable to drift into the perils of an undisturbed life, and pleasant monotony breeds ignorance of God. When a man’s life is filled with blessings and is never darkened by storms, there is the fear that the absence of change will rob him of deeper life in Christ.
David was a man of many conditions. He was much tried yet much favored. The circumstances of the psalm from which our text is taken refer to the tragic era in his life when he found himself betrayed by his counselors, and his confidence was good and shook. But his trials drove him nearer to God. Je knew only too well that uninterrupted prosperity was apt to cause neglect of higher things.
When a train of troubles attends us and we look at our afflictions, losses, and crosses, and cry out, "All thes changes are against me!"let us take comfort in reading,"It is good for me that I have been afflicted" (Ps.119:71)
We know there are those who devise plans and always succeed. All vessels they launch have prosperous voyages and return heavily laden with rich cargo. In some cases these men affluence are not even saved. Worldly in life and not too particular about honesty, and they succeed and they righteous fail.
I said in my prosperity , I will never be moved" (Ps. 30:6 NASB). The prosperity of the placed life often produces self -confidence and forgetfulness of God. When the heart desires are filled and freedom from impoverishing changes, the need for God is not even small. Unbroken prosperity is spiritually dangerous. Ine who does nothig but win and prosper seldom a chastened, spiritually refined, sympathetic person. Uninterrupted, monotonous success sometimes breeds atheism.
The paradox of faith however, is that we are built up by being broken down. God does by undoing; He makes as He breaks. Reverse and changes are tools for the shaping of character. Change is a phase of divine ministry. God takes us back to move us forward. The waves go out and returns with fuller force.
There are others whose life is in another direction, like a placid lake. To them health is wealth. A body without sickness or pain is greater richess than Benjamins and Jacksons. The march of life is taken with the step and eye of a giant, No restraint is experienced. Weariness, pain, and despondency never impedes progress. Further, the enjoyment of uniformity in the matter of physical blessings often creates indifference to the evident need of those who suffer. Compassion is dried up. Pain in stricken lives is not understood.
Life’s changes always should and constantly awakens fear and lead us nearer to God. They are stepping stones to marvelous experience. What are some of the lessons we learn from our experiences? There is, first of all, the sovereignty of God. Amid all the troubles of life, one increasing purpose runs. All the varied threads are in the hands of the Perfect Weaver.
Severe changes overtakes us, life is emptied of treasures, hopes and ambitions are blasted, and the first reaction of our agony is to think God is cruel. With calmer reflection we withdraw our hard feelings and tell Him he does all things well.
Then there is the unchangableness of God. David knew this in the midst of all of these changes. God was unchanging in his character, purpose, and love. He is without change. And if he were always performing some trick on the battlements of heaven, the attention of the universe might be brought to him. Because of the sameness in God, men do not fear Him as they should.
We have difficulty taking our days seperately. We must learn to put all our days together and not to look at one doay crowned with success and another shadowed with trial and failure.Sublime victory is ours when we recognize that all our days, with all their changes, have resulted in our likeness to the unchangeable one.
One of the greatest blessings of life is a tender heart. To be without love for God or man is indeed tragic. A person is practically unless in respect to service in a world of need if lacking sympathy. No one can understand the sorrows of others if no trials have been experienced.