Delight Yourself In The Lord (2)
Delight Yourself In The Lord
Delight Yourself In The Lord
Last week we started a new series called: How To Live When Life Is A Mess. We learning these lessons from Psalm 37Psalm 37 is a Psalm that King David wrote when he was very old.He looked back on his life and gave us some instruction on somethings he learned when there was a mess around him caused by evil people doing bad things.Whether your mess is caused by people or something else what is taught here will help you.Last week our take home was Don’t Let The Mess Control You.Because often that happens.You can usually recognize if the mess is controlling you by how you talk about it.When You say things like These people MAKE me so mad, This mess MAKES anxious or This mess MAKES me want to give up.David’s 1st point is don’t let that happen. You may not be able to do anything about the mess buy you can do something about how you react.Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he gave us three#1 Trust the Lord. Not trust Him to change anything but just trust the Lord in the mess.#2 Do good - Keep living and doing the the things you know that God wants you to do and do it in a way that pleases Him.Don’t that mess or evil people change your devotion to God.#3 The big one for me - Dwell in the land, meaning keep living your life. Make plans, dream, get married or whatever but don’t put living on hold just because of the mess.Many of you contacted me this week and said this spoke to you and you want to be committed to keep going.Good for you.Now we build on this.But before we look at our verse in Psalm 37 I need to read a few verses to you that set the stage.They are very unusual verses that most of you know well but need to see what they are saying and how they tie in.You will notice quickly a very common theme.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice
Notice the message. Rejoice IN THE LORD. Not what he has done but just in the Lord and rejoice always.We don’t just rejoice in the good times but always.Which would include when life is a mess.Obviously Paul must be doing really well when he wrote that.Yes he was doing well, He was doing well in the mess he was in, sitting in a prison cell.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness
Notice this verse does not say count it all joy when God is answering your prayers and life is going wonderful.James said, count it all joy when you meet trials.When life is a mess count it joy.Is nuts? Is that possible?1 Pet 1:6 Grieve and rejoice
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
Peter, rejoice when your life is a mess.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
This has been read at church several times.This is certainly a mess.Fig trees are not blossoming, there is no fruit on the vines, no food in the fields, no animals in the pens,Yet I will rejoice IN THE LORD.Nehmiah 8:10 C NOT BLESSINGS OR THE GOOD LIFE BUT J OF LORD.
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Not just in the good times.
16 Rejoice always,
Rejoice always, always does not mean when things are what you like but always.Do you see a consistent message here?It is: No matter what mess you are in we are to rejoice.BUT not one of them says you rejoice because of the mess you rejoice IN THE LORD.Today that will be our take home.In the mess we want to experience what these verses are teaching.We will see that when the mess doesn’t control you, your can still rejoice in the Lord.It is possible and God tells us this all through the Word this morning we will learn how.Read
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I don’t need to give a lot of background on this.Like those other verses David was looking back at his life and called to mind a time that his life was a mess and is giving us some advise on what to do while in the mess.And once again we have choice, a tough choice but a choice.We can fret, meaning be angry and anxious because of the mess which means the mess is controlling you.Or chose to do something else. That is delight yourself in the Lord.Amazing how this theme goes all through the Bible.Now we have to start with this word Delight.There is a picture here David wants us to see.If we see it we can start to do it.I need to show you a picture of what delight looks like.Do you see those smiles? That’s delight.Do you know why that is delight?Do you think it is because of what they are jumping on the trampoline?No. Matter of fact at whatever age Tammy is that is not so delightful. Actually it’s kind of painful.The delight is because they are together.I could show many other pictures of them together where they are not on a trampoline and just has as thrilled.See it’s connection that leads to delight here.This is what David wants us to learn.We need to find delight in the right place.This is where we often get messed up.Please listen to this.We can have a belief that “Delight” “Joy” and “Happiness” comes from having life go a certain way.We may think that when God blesses me with the right job, the right man or woman, the right house, the right government then I will really be able to rejoice.David is saying that is not what we are to find delight in.It doesn’t mean if we have them it is wrong.Let me tell you when you have them and delight in the Lord it’s wonderful but David is saying if that is what you are waiting for in order to LIVE YOUR LIFE or to ENJOY THE LIFE YOU ARE IN.You will not experience it but the mess will control you.This of just these two examples.What if Paul had the thought that He would be happy, joyful or having the ability to delight when he was out preaching the gospel in churches all across the world?He would be pretty sad. Because he did his best work in prison.And yet he could say rejoice IN THE LORD always.See it was connection. His rejoicing was IN THE LORD not in THE CIRCUMSTANCES. What if Habakuk had the belief that he would be the really happy when the trees blossomed, the fig trees produced fruit and his cattle were multiplying.If that was it he would be very disappointed and miserable.That is the picture.Those are wonderful but many times out of our control.But what is always in our control is to be with God.To connect and commune with Him.Where I have often found that I miss out until I catch myselfIs I can start to focus on what God can do for me, how God can help me, the ways in which God could bless me.I think as soon as He does that then all is well.Then God has a way of reminding me that it’s not about what He does or His blessings that I should delight in but Him.We delight in who He is.But this doesn’t stop there.This goes on to say, those that delight themselves in Him He will give you the desires of your heart.Of course this is a very misunderstood passage.Many think it is the formula to get what you want.If you just delight yourself in the Lord then whatever you pray He will do for you.You will get the blessings, you will get the answer you have been wanting, you will have the right door opened for you.Not even close.In the style of poetry that David is using here, you make a statement and then you build on it or explain it.That is what this is doing.This second half of this verse is tied trusting in the Lord, doing good, dwelling in the land and delighting yourself in the Lord.Then He gives you the desires of your heart.Now let me show you the picture again.Do you see the delight?What is their delight? Each other.Tammy is delighting in her grandchildren.The grandchildren are delighting in their grandma.So if I now ask you what is the desire of their heart?Anyone have a guess?It’s each other.That is the picture what God wants us to see here.When we delight in God, when He, not His blessings but God is our delight we want more.We want to experience Him, we want to know more about Him.When we want Him - He will give that to you.Then your joy grows even more.Then like all those verses we read about rejoicing always, counting it all joy, the joy of the Lord is your strength - you will be able to echo those same things because of Him.Here is a little application for you.Many want to know how do I get to that place?Here is someplace to start.What if God wasn’t the same yesterday, today and forever?That over time He changed. What if the attributes of God were not Love, Merciful, Just, Righteous, Full of Truth, all knowing and all powerful.What if the attributes were that He was proud, selfish, angry and unfair?Can you imagine how different life and the world be?Here is an exercise to try.What if this week you took a look at who God is, everyday you just took a look at one thing.God is love. Then thanked Him throughout out the day and asked Him to show you how He is loving?Every time you see something you thanked Him.Then the next day you looked at say how He is Omnipotent meaning He can do anything.Just made you list.When you see that I believe you will start to delight yourself in Him and will grow in your desire for more.Taste and see that the Lord is good.