Psalm 22

Josh DeJong
Psalm 22  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Psalm 22:1–2 NIV
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.
When a time of crisis arises, the first question we’ll often ask is this:

Where is God?

And sometimes, it’s meant as an accusation. As in, we’re telling God - you’re not there. Sometimes, we believe and trust God - but we honestly still wonder what He’s up to.
And, fun fact - Jesus, from the cross - quotes the beginning of this verse.
I think there’s 3 big steps to answering this question, ‘Where is God’?
Those steps are

Remember, Recognize, and Rejoice

Psalm 22:3–5 NIV
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

Step 1: Remember when God was there in the past

Some people here have amazing stories about things that God has done in the past.
But the enemy - he can use those memories as weapons against us. When we should be saying, ‘God has done before, and so we know He’ll do again’ - instead, we hear ourselves saying, ‘God used to do something, but now He’s not doing that same thing again’.
Imagine you were driving with someone. You had no idea where you guys were going, but they were confident. So you get up to a street, and they turn left. And you go, great, we’re on track. left turns. Then the next street up, they make a right. Fear says - that wasn’t another left. Left meant they knew were they were going. So we must be lost.
Faith says, ‘They made a left because they knew what they were doing. Now they’re making a right for the same reasons.’
I was careful in how I chose my wording here. I didn’t say, ‘remember what God did’. That’s definitely super important. The emphasis here though isn’t on the what - it’s the who.
Something happened, and God was there. Life took another twist - and God walked along with that. God never leaves us, never abandons us. Our faith should lead us to a place of total trust in and confidence in God - that no matter what WE do or have done, GOD is still doing His thing, and His thing is amazing.
But things change, right? That can be hard. Seeing God having won in the past is great and all - but this is something new, something different. Something we don’t know.

God doesn’t work moment to moment - this was all figured out before time began

It’s not whatever is happening is suddenly a surprise to God. That he didn’t see it coming.
Isaiah 46:10 NIV
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’
Now, Isaiah here doesn’t say, God CAN do whatever he pleases - if things line up right. He doesn’t say, God will do what he pleases IF. God’s giving us a firm promise - his purposes WILL stand. He WILL follow his plan. There’s no doubt there. There’s nothing we or anyone else can do to stop him.
We just need to decide if we’re willing to work WITH him, to trust him - or not?
The next step
Psalm 22:9–10 NIV
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

Step 2 - Recognize that God is here with you every step of the way

The God of the infinite universe made you. With care. We have this image of God as someone watching from the outside, waiting. That He’s super angry at us and we have to please Him. But the scriptures say that God knit us together in our mother’s womb. God put care and time and effort into creating each one of us.
Psalm 139 is a wonderful psalm on this topic. Psalm 139:1-6 “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”
The thing is - we don’t often doubt that God is here. We believe that he’s absolutely everywhere, at all times. That there’s nothing He doesn’t see or know. It’s easy to accept that God is here.

We doubt that God is here for us

We can wrap our heads around an infinite God that’s everywhere. But an infinite God that is everywhere, and also pure, holy, powerful - and He still puts up with us? Not only puts up with us - makes us with care, and walks with us every single day, whether we feel him or not?
We don’t doubt the reach of God’s arm - We doubt the depth of his love.
If we really, truly embraced the idea that God’s love is so big and so deep and so wide, and so close and so persistent - we wouldn’t worry about a thing.
And God finds great pleasure in helping us with even the every day, mundane, life stuff.
Luke 12:24–26 NIV
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
The bible says, that even the birds are fed by God. That God watches over every single one of them. How much more valuable we are than birds in God’s eyes!
And Jesus is the one saying this. And he says - since this is true, why even worry at all?
The last part we need to do is this:
Psalm 22:27–31 NIV
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!

Step 3 - Rejoice that at the end, God wins everything

So we have God. And he’s been with us so many times in the past. That teaches us that we can rely on Him to always be there in the future.
And also, despite his power, and majesty, and overwhelming goodness - he takes great joy in walking with us each step of our lives. Being there for even the day to day stuff.
But let’s not make a mistake Here - the God who walks with us, who made us and loves us - he’s the God above all gods, the King above all kings. He created the entire universe and everything in it, and it’s all His.
One day, we will see with our own eyes, our God on the throne over all of creation. Every single knee bowing before Him, every kingdom surrendered to Him.
Life will feel like a battle. We will have trouble, we will have trials. But God wins everything. And at the end of time, we’ll see and understand exactly that.
Romans 8:31–37 NIV
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
So Paul says, God is for us, and we can’t even possibly begin to appreciate how big of a deal it is.
We know that God will be gracious with us - because He didn’t even spare His son. He gave his life to get us. How could a God who does that the next moment cast us away?
Paul goes on to say, if God in salvation justifies us, who could have the power to condemn us? And even as we fail, Jesus intercedes for us to God.
Maybe in our lives, we feel like ‘sheep led to slaughter’. We feel like the odds are stacked against us and everything sucks.

We are more than conquerors because of God

That phrase means exactly what it sounds like. It’s not like, there fought a hard battle but eventually we won. It’s way more than that, way more decisive. God swept the field before we set one foot on it.
STORY - Watched a superbowl once, the one team spent a lot of time studying the other team’s patterns and defenses. It was barely a game - it was just watching one team get systematically taken apart by another team. It wasn’t a battle, it was a slaughter.
The most powerful, most Holy, supreme being over all creation won everything - and He loves us deeply and desperately wants to be with us. And He has the power to make just that happen, no matter what’s happened to you.
This section started with the phrase, ‘If God is for us - who can be against us?’ That’s an incredibly firm foundation to stand on. And it gives us great hope, great joy, great peace.

Let’s Accept that Promise Today

Because the truth is - we NEED to accept it. It’s not like, if we don’t live a perfect life God will abandon us. No - he’s constantly working for our good. If we don’t accept that, and live for that - then we can miss it. We can walk each day, problem to problem, minute to minute, hanging our heads and waiting for the next thing to rock the boat, while God desperately tries to get our attention.
Or we can respond to his calls. Believe that God is king, and He loves us and calls us His children. Believe that he’s there every single day. Believe that he wins every single battle we fight. And we can live in the amazing peace and joy that comes from being a child of God. All we have to do today is respond.
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