Summary: sermon about crying out to God
“What Could Be Better Than Hallelujah?”
David P. Nolte
For some people the words, “Hallelujah,” or “Praise the Lord,” or, “Bless God!” are just that: words. Keri’s song suggested that there are some words we may say that are better than a Hallelujah.
While I in no way minimize the value of giving God our honest Hallelujahs, because we always ought to praise Him, yet sometimes certain prayers are better than a Hallelujah. Consider David’s prayer, for example: “LORD, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to You. For my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like red-hot coals. My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones. I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness. I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof. My enemies taunt me day after day. They mock and curse me.” Psalm 102:1-8 (NLT)
Keri’s song suggests a kind of prayer that, in keeping with David’s prayer, is a cry to God and that’s better than a Hallelujah sometimes!
So, what kind of prayers touch the heart of God as much as our Hallelujah? He loves to hear:
I. A CRY FOR HOPE:
A. David sounds like he needs a good shot of hope.
1. He feels that God has turned away.
2. Life seems to be rapidly flying past him and disappearing like smoke.
3. He is in pain, he is sick and emaciated.
4. He is weary and dreary and forlorn.
5. He feels all alone.
6. He feels attacked, threatened and intimidated.
B. Sometimes we feel like that, don’t we?
1. Life passes us by and is gone before we know it.
2. We become depressed and anxious under the stresses we are compelled to experience.
3. We may feel that people are against us or don’t like us or just don’t care.
4. And worse, we may feel that God has withdrawn from us.
C. Hope has eluded David, but his faith seeks God and his cry does not go unheeded. At the conclusion of this Psalm, he says, “The children of Your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in Your presence.” Psalm 102:28 (NLT). In the midst of hopelessness:
1. He has hope for a better day to come.
2. He has hope for security.
3. He has hope to be in God’s presence.
D. The song expresses a cry for hope from a tearful mother, a hopeless drunk, and a frightened soldier, saying:
God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves a drunkards cry,
The soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
E. This does not minimize the desire for, or the importance of, praising God, but it emphasizes the desire of a loving Father for us to cry out to Him when hope has fled. Let me illustrate trusting God for hope WHEN IT IS MOST HOPELESS.: I read about a painting of an old burned-out mountain cabin. All that remained was the chimney and a pile of charred debris. An old man and a small boy stood looking at the destroyed home. They escaped with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They lost it all otherwise. Beneath the picture were the simple words, "Hush child, God ain't dead!"
That picture of that burned-out cabin, that old man, the weeping child, and those words "God ain't dead" is a reminder of hope!
We all need reminders that there is hope in the midst of all of life's troubles and failures. We need reminders that all is not lost as long as God is alive and in control of His world and we trust Him.
It is often in our darkest times that God makes His presence known most clearly. He uses our sufferings and troubles to show us that He is our only source of hope. Are you facing a great trial? Put yourself in God's hands. Wait for His timing. He will give you hope that will not disappoint. Hope is not for the easy, it is also for the impossible!
God loves our cry for hope and next, He loves:
II. A CRY FOR HEALING:
A. Hear David’s cry: “my bones burn like red-hot coals. My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones.”
B. The song said,
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody