Summary: During bleak, devastating times, God is Rock we can lean on. He is more than a listening ear, though He is that; He can bring new life to demoralized souls.
Transforming Devastation into Confident Dependence
1. July 24 (UPI) -- A British police department said officers responding to a report of a "large apex predator" -- a black panther -- in a public park arrived to find the supposed dangerous animal was only a stuffed toy.
Horsham Police said officers were summoned to a park in the Steyning area of West Sussex, England, on a report of a big cat on the loose.
The department said the officers who arrived at the scene didn't immediately realize that what initially appeared to be a black panther was actually a stuffed toy.
"Reports of a large apex predator in the Steyning area turned out to be true," Horsham Police tweeted. "It may be a stuffed toy, but the attending officers didn't necessarily know that at first."
2. As in the case above, many of the things we fear do not come to pass.
3. But sometimes our fears are realized. And sometimes things are worse than we could have imagined.
Main Idea: During bleak, devastating times, God is Rock we can lean on. He is more than a listening ear, though He is that; He can bring new life to demoralized souls.
I. Remember That God Is INVOLVED in Your Life (1-5).
A. He recognized that his current stress might be an EFFORT by God to develop him (1-3a).
• Trials either make us better or bitter.
1. His problems are both medical (bones) and non-physical (soul).
2. Two possibilities
• God is disciplining him for his sins.
• This concept is lost in an age of the nice God that has replaced the true God.
• It seems like God is disciplining him for his sins (imagined in fear)
3. Most commentators believe that rebuke for sin was real, not imagined in fear.
Hebrews 12:5-7, And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
B. If the focus of our lives is GLORIFYING God, we have a powerful argument for God answering our Christ-centered prayers (3b-5)
• He can bless God in greater ways if alive than if dead.
1. The usage of the term “sheol” in the OT can mean one of two things.
• The grave, where all our bodies end up
• Hell, where the lost reside
2. Three possibilities
• David did not believe in the after life (very contradictory)
• David feared he would be sent to hell because of his sin.
• David knew he could praise God in greater ways surrounded by other people, thus influencing them to serve the Lord. We will not be able to influence or impress others with God when we are in heaven.
• Psalm 22:2, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you…”
Application: At times, it is hard to believe that God has not dropped you and left you to fend for yourself. It may feel like he has lost track of you. He hasn’t.
II. REMIND God of Your Misery (6-7).
A. God has no memory issues; to remind God is to ask Him to focus and ACT.
B. David uses poetic HYPERBOLE (exaggeration) to illustrate his grief.
1. His groaning have fatigued him like he has been working on a rock pile.
2. He has flooded his bed with tears to the point of dissolving it.
3. His eyes have cried so much that they are worn out and failing.
C. In this life, we experience a lot of both physical and, perhaps worse, EMOTIONAL pain.
Here is an excerpt from an article from Forbes magazine:
Whether you’ve been told ‘no thank you’ for a job opportunity, become estranged from a partner or friend, or even been unfollowed on a social media or dating site, your brain has to process being rejected. And neuroscience suggests that it literally - hurts.
Although the brain does not process emotional pain and physical pain identically, research on neural pathways suggests there is substantial overlap between the experience of physical and social pain. The cascading events that occur and regions activated in our brains - and therefore our reactions to the acute pain - appear to be similar.
Further, it seems the impact may not be limited to just how the brain processes the emotions and pain associated with rejection, but that real heartbreak can actually take a toll on your IQ. According to research from Case Western Reserve University, exposure to rejection led participants in a study to have an immediate drop in reasoning by 30% and in IQ by 25%.