Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This is a sermon to preach at the beginning of a new year. It includes the true story of George Muller.

What Will You Face In The New Year?

Psalm 37:23-24

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand"

On this first Sunday in 2016,

I wanted to preach a message that would encourage us

as we start a new year.

Our Bible passage today comes from Psalm 37.

One word in Verse 24 is very important to consider.

It's the word "though".

"Though he fall."

Some Bible translations say, "When he falls."

Notice that it does not say, "If he falls."

There is a big difference between "though" or "when" and "if."

The word "if" states the possibility of someone falling.

The words "though" or "when"

declare a certainty that someone WILL fall!

We are all sinners saved by grace.

Yet, all Christians eventually fall.

As we journey down life's pathway, we all stumble.

We lose our way, we struggle,

and sometimes we trip and fall on our journey.

No Christian is exempt.

We all fall sooner or later.

It's what happens when we fall

that makes all the difference.

All of us wonder what 2016 will bring.

Will it be a good year or a bad year for us?

I know the answer to that question.

2016 will be a lot like 2015.

You'll have some good days and some bad days.

You'll be sick for a while

and you'll be healthy most of the time.

Some of your prayers will be answered like you hoped

and some won't be answered like you wanted.

Life will be the same this year

because we all face the same ongoing challenges

in our walk with the Lord.

Point #1. God promises that when we stumble, we will not be utterly destroyed.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand"

Some Bible translations say, "Though he stumbles, he will not fall."

Picture in your mind

that you are walking on a path though a woods.

As you are walking, you don't see a tree root in the path

and so you trip and fall to the ground.

When the path is narrow and winding,

it's hard not to fall sometimes.

Life is like that.

We all stumble in many ways.

The Hebrew word translated to "utterly cast down"

means to be cast headlong into a deep pit.

Imagine standing at the Grand Canyon peering over the edge,

looking down 3,000 feet to the canyon floor below.

Suddenly someone pushed you from behind.

When you finally hit bottom,

you won't get up, dust yourself off, and keep on going.

You would have been "utterly destroyed."

God promises that won't happen to you and me.

Though we may face desperate, life-changing circumstances

in the next twelve months of 2016,

God will not allow us to be utterly destroyed.

Nothing can happen that will sever our relationship with Him.

The reason is clear.

He upholds us with His mighty hand.

Think of it this way!

A father is walking with his young son by his side.

There are 2 ways father and son might hold hands.

The young boy might reach up with his tiny hand

to grasp his father's huge hand.

That works until the child stumbles

and he is forced to let go of his father's hand.

If the father places his huge hand around his son's tiny hand,

the boy is safe no matter what happens

because his father's hand holds him up.

He may stumble but the father's hand "upholds" him.

Here are two other verses we should consider.

Proverbs 24:16 says, "Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity"

We may fall again and again,

trouble may come again and again,

we may struggle again and again--and again!

But it is the Lord's purpose that we should rise--

again and again and again.

Psalm 145:14 says, "The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down."

When you fall, remember this.

God never intends you to stay down forever.

He intends for you to "rise up" and keep on walking with him.

Three Practical Applications

#1. God takes pleasure in our struggle to walk in holiness.

The last part of verse 23 says, "And he delights in his way."

The word "he" in that verse refers to God.

The word "his" refers to the individual Christian.

I remember when Jeremy was just learning how to walk.

For months he had been crawling around on the floor.

Eventually he learned how to pull himself up

and stand on his wobbling legs

while holding my hand.

One day, he let go of my hand,

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