Psalm 57, Will Suffering Develop or Destroy Me?

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Title “Will Suffering Develop or Destroy Me?”
Read Psalm 57
Pray
Big Idea - Suffering will either develop you or destroy you.
Hook - Have you been ini a season in life that was so painful or so desperate that you wondered if you were going to make it?
-These are usually places of intense pain or stress.
We believe that this Psalm is written during a time when David’s life in serious danger. This happens during a time when David is fleeing King Saul. If he is caught by Saul’s men, He will die. There is a bounty on His head.
But here is what David knows. And he knows this from reading Genesis and Exodus.
Big Idea - Suffering will either develop you or destroy you.
There is something you need to know about life.
Suffering is normal.
-The question you should ask yourself is not, If you will suffer, but when you will suffer.
-Becoming a Christ follower doesn’t make you immune to suffering.
-There are many Christ Followers who wrongly think.
“If I follow Jesus and check off all the right boxes, I will not go through hard times.”
Many wrongly think, “becoming a Christ Follower will make life easier.”
-It does make life for joyous, more full of peace, and gives life much deeper meaning, but it does not make it easier.
It fact the Christ Follower is promised suffering.
2 Timothy 3:12 ESV
12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
So we know that in addition to the normal struggles of life that we will also have persecution.
The point is that suffering is a normal part of life.
Suffering will either develop you or destroy you.
Transition - Lookin your Bibles at the Graphic report of suffering in verse 4
vs. 4, Report of Suffering
Read vs 4
Note this is not physical pain. It is emotional & psychological pain.
David is by himself, alone, running for His life and desperate. He has no where to go and no one to go with Him.
He hides in a set of caves in the wilderness. No radio, not internet, no books … just David all alone.
He is persecuted and in pain.
-He is being hunted.
He fears for His life.
-There is no friend in the wilderness caves to help Him. He is all alone.
Maybe you have been in a place of pain before.
-Someone turned their back on you.
-Someone spoke out against you.
-For some of us our pain is a physical ailment that will never leave.
-Maybe your pain is an emotional struggle.
Illustration of Self - There was a season in my life where I was in deep emotional pain and depression. I had dark dangerous thoughts. I was broken, and in the moment didn’t realize how bad it was.
To add to the pain I had an individual in the church I was serving who was never happy and did all he could to make my life miserable. Sometimes even making up things about me that weren’t true.
-In the darkness and the persecution - there were days I wasn’t sure I was going to make it
-I know some of you can relate to being emotionally distraught. I have spoken with many people in this church family who have been in similar places. Quietly, privately you have suffered internally, sometimes physically … you have been in dark places.
Here is what I discovered about suffering,
Suffering will either develop you or destroy you.
Illustration - When you talk to any Marine about boot camp they can tell you the time during bootcamp that they were broken.
-The time that they didn’t have any more left in them.
-When all the pressure took them to a place of them learning to think differently about themself, their ability, and what they could do.
-Their training took over.
-The time their transformation began to bear fruit.
-They were becoming a warrior.
-The pain did not destroy them, it developed them.
Here is what we see in our Psalm today.
Suffering will either develop you or destroy you.
Transition - This spiritual development begins when you learn to find your ...
vs. 1-3, Refuge in God
David says this,
Psalm 57:1-3
We find refuge in God when we go to Him completely dependent on God for help, support, and protection.
When I think about refuge I think about a castle or fortress that has been prepared for battle. A place easy to defend. A place of safety.
Picture on Slide
-In Star Wars it was on Endor or Naboo
-In Lord of the Rings it would be Helms Deep.
-In Marvel it would have been Asgard.
David finds eternally the most loving and protected place in all the Universe
vs. 1, “...in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge”
Notice that the protection and help is intimate.
God doesn’t give a super force field bubble to protect sent from 1000 miles away.
God personally protects you with His wing as He holds you close to His side.
It is something that is loving and kind, that a father would do with His children.
David found a physical place of safety in the wilderness caves, but His place of soul safety was under God’s mighty wings.
The first step in being built up spiritually during suffering is just what David did - take refuge in God.
-Suffering is tricky:
a. The more you suffer the more you take refuge in God.
-You want out, but God knows what you need.
b. Many of you feel like you are about to break from the difficulty when you are in the middle of transformation.
-Sometimes we will only fully take refuge in God when our will is broken..
-and so God has to do a difficult work to teach us to find refuge in Him.
Read Psalm 51:8
Psalm 51:8 ESV
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
The great news is that - Romans 8:28 tells us, 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
Because David knew the heart of God, He knows that God always works out of a place of goodness for His people.
He could trust that in pain that God allowed was develop him spiritually.
Transition - He determined in his mind that the suffering would not Destroy Him, but that suffering would be a cause of praise - because God was up to something. God was developing Him. God was working for David’s good.
And so David cries out in verse 5.
Read vs. 5
-When you are going through times of suffering. Ultimately God is developing you. He is working for your good. He is causing you to become a person who will rest in His refuge and to bring Him more and more praise.
In the midst of His pain David offered a sacrifice of praise.
When you, when in pain and stress, offer praise to Him?
Will you keep your eyes on Him?
Will you find refuge in Him and praise Him?
Transition - Another reason David could offer praise to God is that David trusted in God for revenge on those who treated him wrongly. David did not take revenge himself.
Vs. 6, Revenge on the Unjust
Read vs. 6
Charles Spurgeon said, “Evil is a stream which one day flows back to its source.”
Sometimes in this life the unjust get what is coming to them.
Most of the time we must wait for God’s judgement in eternity.
-In David’s case, Saul hunting David turned to others hunting Saul.
-In war, while Saul’s enemies were hunting him, Saul was wounded by an arrow. He knew that if he were captured that he’d be tortured. So, he decided to fall on his sword and die.
-In the same day in battle his 3 sons died while they were being hunted in a retreat.
-God took revenge on Saul times 3. Saul and his 3 sons.
David took refuge in God and allowed God to deal with his enemies.
Application?
-You have had people hurt you. You have had people do you wrong. God will be your revenge.
-Holding something against someone is an emotional and spiritual poison.
-It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
-As you forgive, allow God to take revenge.
Transition to the Gospel...
Gospel - Final revenge over sin and Satan.
There will be a day when final revenge is taken against Satan and His enemies.
Revelation 21:8 (ESV)
8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
If you are a Christ follower there will be no revenge taken on you by God.
Why? “Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain He washed it white as snow.”
Jesus paid the penalty of sin on the Cross.
The wrath of God against your sin was taken on by Jesus.
Forgiveness is given when you open your hand in faith in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
For the unforgiven, the wrath of God will be poured out on their sin against God and His people.
-Why will God pour out his wrath for sin done against His people?
-God handles the revenge for the Christ follower
Transition 1 -Not only does God take revenge on behalf of Himself and His people for sin in eternity,
but David receives the blessing of God has taking revenge for Him on his current enemies.
Saul and his sons die by being hunted down in war.
Transition 2 - When you see how God is developing you in suffering (lifting you and dot destroying you) and how He will take vengeance for you there is a response we are called to. We are called to worship Him.
vs. 7-11, The Response of Worship
David sees that Suffering has not destroyed him, but instead spiritually developed Him.
So David looks at himself and says, Wake Up body and soul! Let’s praise God!!!
Illustration - Have you ever gone to work and at 9am you still can’t seem to get into the zone and get it done.
-You say, “I need another cup of coffee.” I gotta shake this off.
-This is David.
So David looks at himself and says, Wake Up body and soul! Let’s praise God!!!
Read verse 7
A. vs. 7, Worship in faith - with a STEADFAST, unwavering heart - never lost faith in God. The King James says, “My heart is fixed.”
David is making a statement that his anchor is dug into the sea bed and is not moving.
My worship is unwavering. I worship God alone.
Transition - Not only does David worship in faith, but his worship makes it out of Him. He is overcome what God is done.
B. vs. 8, Worship by expression
Read verse 8
-Awaken mind, Awaken heart, Awaken soul, Awaken body.
-Express yourself in worship
-When you take a walk and pray - talk to God our loud.
-When you are in your car, yell out praise the Lord
-When you are a home, get on your knees
-When you are in church Sing and sing loud, Say “amen” to the sermon.
-Don’t be like the stoic Episcopal British who are wooden in expression.
-Allow you heart to rejoice and express it.
C. vs. 9, Tell everyone
Read verses 9-10
Tell the people who are around me of God’s faithfulness.
-Let them know how God has blessed you.
-Tell them what God is teaching you.
Tell the people who don’t know of God’s faithfulness (Missions).
-Tell the nations. Tell the 3 Billion people on this earth who are unreached with the Gospel about Jesus being the Passover Lamb.
Note that the telling is sharing how God saved David from the pit of suffering.
David did not hide his suffering in shame.
David shared his suffering and refuge in God for God’s fame.
You have a story to tell. It is not a story of shame, it is a story of suffering to share with others of how God lifted you up when things were hard.
Suffering will either develop you or destroy you.
It will develop you only if you make God you refuge each and every day.
-The question is, will you run to God right now as your refuge?
-Will you find protection and help under his wing?
-Will you run to Him for strength in the pain & stress?
If you do not know Him, Will you run to Him in faith in salvation?
Psalm 57:11 ESV
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
Pray
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