Summary: Part 1 of 2: What our response to God should be when life gets messy.
When Your World Falls Apart
Woodlawn Baptist Church
September 10, 2006
Read 2 Samuel 12:16-23.
We can only imagine what a terrible low point this must have been in David’s life. During the course of the previous year, King David has been involved in an adulterous affair, had the husband of the woman murdered, brought the pregnant Bathsheba into his own home, adding her to a growing list of wives. He has suffered the chastisement of Nathan the prophet and has been warned that not only would the sword never depart from his family; verse 14 records Nathan’s prophesy that this child would die. David is a man who has been brought low through guilt, shame and godly rebuke. Imagine knowing that the child he has brought into the world would never live and having to live with that weight. You may never experience the tragedies of David’s life, but we all experience times in our lives when it seems our world is falling apart.
A few years ago Kathy and I were struggling to make ends meet. We had a preschooler and a toddler, and the Christian school for which I was working was barely paying me. I was throwing papers in the morning, and summer was approaching, so we had the hope that my two incomes plus a summer job would get us caught up. However, just as school was about to let out I learned that they weren’t going to be able to pay me for the summer – and our world took a nosedive. We lost our van, ruined our credit, scraped by and wondered why God would allow it all to happen. After all, I was serving Him like mad and sacrificing my future in His service.
Mom works with a man here in town who in one year experience the death of his mother and the death of his four-year old daughter, only then to have his wife divorce him. Even as I tell these stories you can probably think of others, maybe even your own.
Life is filled with terribly trying times: financial, marital, health, work, family and friends to name a few. But what do we do? We can’t prevent the trials of life, but when it seems your world is falling apart there is something you can do. In fact, no matter what the circumstances, I want to give you seven parts of your response to God when your world falls apart around you. We’re not going to have time for all seven of them today, so I’m going to make this a two part message that I’ll finish next Sunday.
So often when everything goes awry the first thing we do is panic, get frantic, start worrying, fretting and making ourselves sick, but David gives us an example to follow. When the Lord struck the child with illness David turned to the Lord. Rather than losing his head, he remembered God.
There are two things you need to remember. First, when your world falls apart, you need to remember that it’s not your world. We know the Scripture says that “the earth is the Lord’s…” but we fail to remember that this means the good and the bad. When Job’s world fell apart, he kept things in their right perspective. He said in Job 1:21 & 2:10,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb. And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord…Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”
So remember that your world isn’t your world at all – it is God’s, and as such we must be willing to accept whatever comes our way.
Second, remember that your life is not your own. We might acknowledge that the world belongs to God, but we still feel a certain amount of injustice when the world falls apart around us. Somehow we feel slighted, or like God let us down. What we’re really claiming is that we have the right to certain things and the right not to experience certain things. But our lives belong to God. If you’re a child of God “you were bought with a price.” Your life doesn’t belong to you any more!
A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain. Part of the cost of discipleship is a daily dying, and perhaps the primary way God works to kill the old natural man in us is to drag him through the white-hot fires of trouble and difficulty. I don’t like it – I can kick against the goads so to speak, but in the end I must remember that my world and even my very life belong to the Lord God above.