Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Key Verse: Psalms 34:1 NKJV “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Today, we find ourselves constantly reminded of the suffering all around us. Tragedies abound. Heartache and heartbreak seem to be ever-present. Our joy, however, is not defeated in the midst of these difficult moments. The world constantly is looking for happiness. As a result, they look for the temporal, the worldly, in order to find that happiness. And they are left defeated and discouraged. Stop looking for happiness, seek joy.
Psalms 34:1-22 NLT “I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the Lord. Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth. The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken! Calamity will surely destroy the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished. But the Lord will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.”
Hope for the Hurting
1. When you hurt – worship (vs 1-3)
– the greatest avenue for overcoming pain is praise
– vs 1 I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises
– vs 2b let all who are helpless take heart
– worship is an ever-present reminder of an ever loving, ever-working, ever-worthy God!
2. When you hurt – pray (vs 4-7)
– vs 4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me
– vs 6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles
– you are never closer to the power of God than when you are in the presence of God though prayer
– a prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian
3. When you hurt – run (vs 8-10)
– run to HIM!
– vs 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
– when in the midst of pain and problem, many run FROM not TO
4. When you hurt – listen (vs 11-14)
– listen to His Word
– listen to His calling
– listen to His promises
5. When you hurt – trust (vs 15-18)
– vs 15 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.- Pain is the great distractor. It distracts us from the promises of God because we are focused on our own problems, not His ability to deliver us
6. When you hurt – don’t quit (vs 19-22)
– vs 19 The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
– vs 22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
– God has never promised a life free from pain and suffering, but He has promised us a life of victory over our pain and suffering.
The TakeAway –
1. Make it a practice to spend at least ten minutes of every day thanking and praising God for the good in your life
2. Spend time everyday asking God for clarity and wisdom in navigating this thing called life.
3. Read God’s Word daily
– a Proverb and Psalms every day
4. Don’t walk away when it seems that things aren’t working
5. Remember the greatest of all promises and the greatest of all hopes – – our Salvation!