It starts and finishes with God
What Do I Do Now • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 29:02
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This morning we will continue with a series that we started a few backs called, “What Do I Do Now?”This was not a series that I had planned.I was all prepared and even did a video about loving your neighbor but when all the changes happened I felt to put that on hold and keep seeking God for direction on what we should do now that things have gone a little crazy.And while this is going on most of us want to know what to do?Not so much how to figure out what is happening but how to stay strong in the Lord and experience all that He has for us.Today is a real action section.We will be looking at my favorite book in the Bible, the book of Psalms and see what we can learn how David handled a tough time he went through.Let me tell you what we will learn.When trials or difficult times come from sources out of our control I think those are the most difficult to deal with.When I say out of our control what I mean is that trouble or trials can come from many sources.Like I can be in tough circumstances due to bad choices I have made.And although I may not like that many times those are easier to accept and deal with because I caused them.And If I caused them then I may be able to fix them.But when they come due to things 100% out of your control those are hard, things like when the boss isn’t fair, or when abuse happens, death comes, a relationship breakup that you don’t want or like what we are going through now with financial difficulties.You don’t have control over the situation but still have to live in it.Here is what I think is so hard when this happens.First of all you are in the unknown. You don’t know what will happen next so it is very hard to make plans. God knows Zimbabweans like to make plans.That’s hard because there is too much chaos.But there is also something else.None of us like to feel like a victim. But right now I think we all do because we didn’t cause this but must live in it.So we feel like we are at the mercy of others.We can even feel my happiness is out of my control. It is in the hands of others.Then wonder - Will all the plans I have made just get put on hold.Today’s take home is going to show us What To Do When Feel like thatWe will learn it from a great Psalm, Psalm 138What is great about this Psalm is that David was facing some trouble.We are not told what the trouble was and I’m glad.If we were then we would think the teaching only applied to that situation.Where this can be used for any trouble you are in.
Of David. I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
I’m curious. When you are in trouble what is the first thing you do?I think for most Christians we tend to pray and look to God.Here is what I like about the Psalms.We get to learn how David did all this. May learn from it.Look what David did. I give you thanks O Lord with my whole heart.When David was in this trouble he did not complain, he actually didn’t even start by praying about the trouble, he started with giving God thanks.Learning to respond like David can bring stability to you even when everything else is going crazy.This is where I want you to learn something.There is more than one way to give thanks and there is a place for both.Here is what I mean.I can be grateful for what someone does and thank them.For instance. While Tammy has been gone a few people have brought me food and I am super grateful for that.And when that happens you say thank you for bringing those meals that was super kind and helpful.But there is another type of giving thanks.It’s where you give thanks for who the person is not for what they do.I am grateful to Tammy for being kind and full of Joy.I’m not grateful for what she has done but just who she is.That is what David is doing here.He is giving thanks to God for who He is.With his whole heart.Let me tell you why this is important when you are in the midst of trouble and confusing times.It gets you connected with God and brings stability. Because it focuses on His who He is, His nature and draws you to Him.What this does is puts us in our place and God in His place in our life.He is the King of kings, The Lord of lords, He is the God that by His own words in
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
That is who God is and everything else flows out from there.Sadly we often get this wrong.We focus on what God can do and get hung up just on how we want God to help us.But what can happen when we do that is we start putting ourselves in the place of God not the other way around.We start telling God how He must help us.When that happens we actually disconnect from God not connect.That’s what verse 6 of this Psalm warns us agains.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.
David knew something about God.That although God was seated on the throne of heaven when people would humble themselves and go to Him as almighty God, God draws near to them.But to the haughty, those who get confused about who is God and who is the servant, he pulls back.It says He knows them from afar.Although David was king he knew there was a greater king and David not only trusted Him but humbly gave Him thanks and praise for who He was.That’s what verse two is about. He bowed down toward God and thanked Him for His character, His love and faithfulness.He didn’t thank Him for what He did at this stage but who He was.This is what I would challenge you to learn.Start thanking God for who He is not what He does.(MAYBE ADD THE PROPOSAL) You go deeper when you do.Maybe this will help you.I know two people in this room who have just got engaged.Now imagine if the boys get down on that one knee and say, Oh Devon and Colleen, thank you for making my dinner, doing the dishes, ironing my shirts. I give you thanks for the way you clean the house, pay the bills and go shopping.Is that exciting? You can hire that and has nothing to do with who they are.But what if you an amazing and kind person, thank you for how their love has changed your life and makes you feel more content, that because of your encouraging words you have made me stronger and that your joy spills into me and gives me the joy and strength to face anything.Do you see the difference.That’s what David is doing here. He isn’t concerned about what God has done or could do but who He is.Try it and you will see the connection is deeper.Otherwise your prayers and going to God is just a list.Once David did give God His thanks He did something else that I think we all find comfort in.Verse 3
On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.
David said the amazing words. On the day I called you answered.This is where prayer comes in.Just like how there are different ways to give thanks there are different ways to call on God.As we read the whole Psalm I have to believe David did not tell God how to help Him.See when He focused on who God is I think he just called and said God I need your help.He didn’t tell God how to help but just knew God was his help.Why do I say that?Because as you read on to you see he says tho I walk in the midst of trouble you preserve my life. He still had the trouble just went through it.Even in this verse the day He called to God, David didn’t say the trouble went away but notice David said my strength of soul you increased.I honestly believe this is how God will help MOST of the time.He gives us the ability to go through what ever is causing us the problems not just change them.Sometimes He does and that is great.Most of the times He gives us the inner strength to keep going.And not just survive it but come out as more than a conquerer.And application here that would beg you to start trying.Let God decide the help but learn to just call on Him.Lord I am weak and suffering, or I am fearful, I lack faith God and I need you and need your help.Then let God do what He wants for you.Finally one last lesson here.This is one that I have had to learn on many an occasions.What do we do when we have not caused out problems?When I am having trouble just because I live in Zimbabwe?Does this mean that all the plans I have made have to be put on hold?Does this mean that the promises that I feel God has given to me will not be fulfilled now?Do you ever wonder about this?Look at verse 8
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;