Summary: Part 2 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.
Today I want to finish a message I began last week. We are dealing with how we ought to respond to God when the tragedies of life strike. Our text tells us the story of when King David had been told that his newborn son would die. How much lower could he get? His life in recent months has been caught up in adultery, murder, deceit, guilt and shame. Now, because of his sin his son will die.
About three years ago I conducted a funeral for a young girl whose baby had died. The baby was less than a month old. I still remember that vacant, hollow look in her eyes as we held the services. Her world had absolutely fallen apart. It doesn’t have to be a death though.
None can deny that tragedies come – and when they do they can be devastating to our families and to our personal faith. They come in all shapes and sizes, and what may rock your world may not affect the next person at all. Someone has appropriately said that life can make us bitter or better, but it is up to us to determine which of the two takes place. If we respond to God appropriately then even in the most difficult of times God can take those troubles and work out something very beautiful in our lives – but the choice is yours.
Last week I gave you the first four parts of what a right response to God ought to be.
1. Remember – when your world falls apart that it is not your world, nor is your life your own
2. Pray – plead with the Lord about your situation, not simply for it to go away, but that you would meet Him in that situation
3. Fast – both as an expression of your deep sorrow and as an expression of the gravity of what you’re going through
4. Examine – Is your relationship with God right? Is there sin in your life that needs to be handled? Is God trying to teach you something, and what are others learning about God from your testimony?
We have seen how David did each of these four things when his world was turned upside down. I want to remind you before we go any further that while we have elevated David to enormous status as a friend of God and saint; he was just a man, no different from you or me. He felt the same sorrows we feel, the same frustrations we experience, the same worries and anxieties that we face on a daily basis. I know, just as you do that David’s responses were not always what they ought to have been, but here we find a great example of what a proper response ought to look like.
I say all that to make this point – life can be hell sometimes, and until we’re in the middle of it we really don’t know how we’ll respond to God. I don’t know what I would do if one of my children were to be taken from me, but I can hope that as my relationship with Christ becomes the focal point of my life that all of my responses to Him are going to be appropriate. Don’t say you’ll do this or that – just purpose in your heart today to live in His presence so that when the time comes that your world falls apart…and it will come…you’ll respond in such a way as to bring glory to His great name.
I told you I was going to give you seven parts, so today let’s finish with the last three:
We talk about trust in church all the time, but do we really understand what it means to trust God? Webster’s defines trust as assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. So if we are talking about trusting God, then we have an assured reliance on God’s character, on God’s ability, on God’s strength, and on His truth.
What is the character of God? Is it good or bad? Is He holy or wicked? We all say that He is good and holy – but do we trust Him when things go bad in our lives? Do our words and actions and attitudes suggest that what we say on Sunday mornings… “God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good,”…is how we really feel outside of church? When the going gets tough? When you or someone you love gets sick? Terminally sick? Is He still good when you go broke or your marriage falls apart? Regardless of what happens in our lives the character of God never changes – we must cling to that unchanging character of God and trust that He is not only good, but that He is good to us.