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Dec 082020

God’s care for his children is like the sun: it’s constant. He directs his cry. If the pastor is that way, and melancholic, it’s a tough dose. Feeling forgotten, forsaken, sorrowful, and subdued, David cried out for God’s consideration and illumination. Encore 2012 contains essential messages on the characteristics of true discipleship, the model for fatherhood, navigating life's difficulties, what it means to be a committed follower of Christ, and how Jesus fulfills God's purpose finally and fully. You don’t need to worry. It works everywhere you sign in, even with the mobile app! And what has happened to him is, he’s just chewing on it: “Why is this going on? Many of the choicest servants of God have known these times. We need to bring our emotions underneath the jurisdiction of God’s character and God’s purposes. The story of God with the people of Israel encourages us to keep our hope in Him, even when our world turns upside down. And in that act he not only unwittingly sealed his own doom, but he opened the door for Jesus to offer redemption and salvation to the whole world. I’m the only guy. Now, some of you have joined since we began, and that is understandable, given the nature of the day. “If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.” Isaiah 50:10. While some scholars dispute that the angel of the Lord was God Himself, I think that Scripture shows that He was the Lord Jesus Christ in preincarnate form (F. Duane Lindsey, The Bible Knowledge Commentary [Victor Books], ed. He hears your prayers even in the dark times when He seems absent and silent. We need to resist that. I invite you to turn with me to the Thirteenth Psalm—to Psalm 13—which, in our Bibles, I think, has the heading, “How Long, O Lord?” And I’m going to read it, and then we’re going to look at it together. Our most popular messages of 2012 are rich in both instruction and inspiration. It’s the kind of feeling that you have when you are moving to a new school as a boy or a girl, and you are uprooted from your framework of friendship, and you have to go that first day into a new environment. Look at this, look at that, look at the next thing.”, What do you do with that? ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Paul. Truth For Life is the teaching ministry of Alistair Begg and is committed to teaching the Bible with clarity and relevance so that unbelievers will be converted, believers will be established, and local churches will be strengthened. It’s important, first of all, that he does cry. With an identity rooted in what Christ accomplished on the cross, believers can confidently share the Word of God and help the perishing come face-to-face with their Savior. 19:26; Luke 1:37). And for me to say these things this morning, you may find yourself saying, “Yes, I feel like you’re making me look in a mirror.” Well, you’re not alone in the mirror. And we think that we will fill up this vacuum by feverish activity—not the same as, necessarily, resting and serving God. Joshua had led Israel out of the wilderness and into the promised land. And there is more than a hint of that in the experience of this psalm. During Israel’s time in the wilderness, the Midianites had joined with the Moabites under the counsel of Balaam to seduce Israel into immorality and idolatry (Num. And so he’s saying, “Make sure that you lighten up my eyes. Perhaps at first he viewed it as a hospitality gesture. All rights reserved. Even the news about Christianity reports many stories of Christian leaders and churches falling into sin or defecting from the faith. Characteristics of Christian Love, Part Two, Evangelism-Dealing with Difficulties, Part Two, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective, Part One. Those verses describe the bleak condition of Israel 11 or 12 centuries before Christ. Besides Paul, throughout Scripture we see God using weak people who trust in Him. As we’ve seen the Lord was working even in this spiritually dark time. Once God rescues us from our sin, we can come to know Him more deeply by learning from His Word again and again. Then the Lord added pointedly (Jud. Twice (Jud. Later, Samson’s father Manoah feared the same fate after he and his wife saw the same angel. And I will probably, as normal, spend longer on the first than on the second and on the third. Trusting God in Your Darkest Day Close. And so, Gideon is not really the hero of this story. If you grew up in a Christian home as I did, it is a great blessing, but there is also an inherent danger: Your parents knew the Lord and experienced the power of the gospel in their lives. We see this in his complaint that God had abandoned Israel. But I have trusted in your steadfast love!” This is volitional. It is prayer. You can’t get much out. It didn’t really seem to do very much for them at all. Read a good biography of a missionary (David Livingstone, John Paton, Hudson Taylor; for others, see my bibliography on the church website). The angel specifically told Gideon that He was sending him to defeat the Midianites (Jud. Because the overwhelming pressure and burden of these things, real or perceived, may be such as to take them down literally into the grave. When The Sun Finally Rises: Wrestling With The Past (Gen. 32:22-32), 2. You can add media by tapping the “add to queue” icon located near the media player. So even though Gideon lived in dark times politically and spiritually, God was at work. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. It sounds very routine. Trust in the Lord. In Gideon’s day, Midian would stay east of the Jordan River until harvest time. Now, let me just pause and say—okay, let’s imagine for a moment that we find ourselves in this condition. This had gone on for seven years. And what makes this psalm so compelling—and, I think, a psalm with which, as I say, Hannah would be quite happy for us to pursue—is the fact that verse 5 and verse 6 give no indication of anything having changed in the psalmist’s circumstances. We need also to recognize that only ultimately in the new heaven and in the new earth will these storms of life be finally stilled. If he truly was watching over us, surely we would not have been carried away into exile in Babylon and have to endure all of this. Whatever circumstances we are facing, the messages in this series will remind us that God’s Word gives guidance for all people everywhere, calling us to develop our relationship with Him. Rather, I’m talking about knowing in some way how God wants to use you in His kingdom purposes. You might wish that God spoke directly to you like that to clarify what He wants you to do. When you teach a small child a new skill, it’s helpful to repeat it over and over. Both David Livingstone, the intrepid missionary to the interior of Africa, and John Paton, who lived among the cannibals of the New Hebrides Islands, relied heavily on Jesus’ promise in the Great Commission (Matt. Samuel Chadwick; he used to read Isaiah 40 every Monday morning, after he had preached on the previous day, just to get himself recalibrated because he was saddened. “How long will you forget me?”. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” the Bible tells us. 6:10b), “But you have not obeyed Me.”. We need not despair or feel like the end of the world is near. It’s not, as the world tells us, to believe in yourself. When you look around at the depressing news, it may seem that God has gone on vacation. And the terminology that is used to describe such an experience has morphed over time, and modern methodology for dealing with such an experience changes with time, but the unrelenting truth of God’s Word will be helpful to us as we look at it now. And more people do than probably we understand. Paul called the carnal Corinthians “saints,” or “holy ones,” even though at that point they were far from holy (1 Cor. Or, on the flip side of it, we start to work, now, like a maniac. It was himself and God against the hordes. 7:9-14). Videos cannot be added to the listen queue at this time. Policies How do I make sense of all of this?” And what he discovers is that he doesn’t have all the pieces of the jigsaw present so that he might see the final picture in all of its clarity. Trusting God in the Dark By Robert G. Spinney (2006) To Play mp3 File, Click Here ... Do you know why the Word of God tells us in times of adversity to look clearly at the Lord Jesus Christ? Next, we see the Lord at work when He showed up in Gideon’s village of Ophrah as “the angel of the Lord” (not “an angel,” but “the angel”). The sacrifice is burned up. I’m gonna rejoice in you, the God of my salvation, that you have saved me from sin’s penalty, that you are saving me from sin’s power, that one day you will save me from sin’s very presence. You’ve lost hope for any kind of deliverance. Because he went to God in prayer. Perhaps you can relate to one or more of these forms of weakness. [5] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, vol. © 1994 - 2020 Truth For Life. This compilation of our most popular messages of the year, chosen by our listeners, is designed to do just that: repeat the truths of God’s Word to us so that we can more fully understand the Bible and apply it to our lives. In 1 Samuel, when Hannah finally comes out and gets her appetite back and has a spring in her step and joy in her countenance, you will find that it’s in verse 18; it’s not in verse 20. Nobody remembers me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. Look at me! || By: Alistair Begg — Everyone experiences disappointment or sadness to some degree. 1, Psalm I to XXVI (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1870), 170. The Bible is an ancient book, but its central message—the good news that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died to save sinners—remains as timely and relevant today as ever. Why don’t you eat? Step 1: Don’t Fret. Fifth, Gideon was doubtful of God’s promises. Now, you will notice that there is a recurring question here: “How long? When the Sun Sets: Jacob Meets God (Gen. 27:41-28:22). Normally, farmers would thresh wheat (to separate the wheat from the chaff) by using oxen pulling a heavy threshing sledge over it in an exposed area where the wind would blow the chaff away. Think of a dark time in your life when you later realized that God was at work. And Elijah immediately goes off on a preaching tour all around the community and introducing people to new songs. If you ever find yourself in this condition, I wonder what accompanying evidences there are for you? If you are struggling with the difficult circumstances of your life; if you are struggling with fear; if you are struggling to trust that Christ is, indeed, who he says he is, Tozer encourages you not to waste … But what is more important is the one to whom he cries. Rather, as C. H. Mackintosh wrote (Miscellaneous Writings [Loizeaux Brothers], 2:21), “If we can do nothing, self-confidence is the height of presumption. … In these messages, Alistair Begg explores how knowing God changes everything. Well, he is crying for consideration: “Look at me. See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”[4], What an amazing picture! Psalm 16:11 – “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right … Here are the 20 best Bible verses to find hope in dark times. The prophet whom God sent confronted Israel’s idolatry (Jud. Because when we find ourselves in that situation, it is very easy to get things wrong. Spanning a variety of topics including the relevance of the Bible, church ministry, Christian character, and the biblical record of Jesus’ ministry, this series contains essential teaching that will navigate believers further down the road of their spiritual journey. But she gets her appetite back and her face changes on the strength of what? The illustration is that as a boy in Scotland, we would go camping with a youth organization. And fourthly, I’m going to try to make sure that I’m not judging anybody else’s spiritual life. Drawing on both the Old and New Testaments, Alistair Begg guides us through the Bible’s counsel on wisdom, love, suffering, providence, and right living, as well as on everyday matters such as keeping the Sabbath, God’s design for men and women, and the raising of godly children. And we like to go away by ourselves and play it over again and again. In the story line of the Bible, Judges follows the conquest of the land under Joshua and precedes the short story of Ruth, which shows how a Moabite widow trusted the God of Israel and was adopted into His covenant people. How long will this go on?” And the longer he thinks about it, the longer he gives his mind to it, the greater is the possibility for him increasing in self-pity: “Oh, look at me. When the angel tells Gideon (Jud. Nothing seems to be very good, nothing seems to be going very well, and instead of getting about the business—getting up, making the bed, making sure that we’re going about our duties—we start, now, just to begin to waste time. Go to the next chapter, where is he? The book of Judges sketches one of the darkest spiritual times in Israel’s history. God uses weak people to accomplish His sovereign purpose. 6:14). Some of us, as well, we like to play in the minor key all the time, you know—erect a monument to all of our disappointments: “Oh, this didn’t happen, and that was a mistake, and this is a failure, and look at this, and look at that.” And the Evil One is happy with that. You’ve got no children. So why don’t you take a few verses from a psalm where someone is actually going through it?’” And so, this is where we are. If you’re only a cultural Christian without a personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, you are susceptible to following the idols of our godless culture even as Israel was doing in Gideon’s day. A Prayer for Trusting God in Hard Times. If we were to say that it was because he was being chased by someone or frightened by someone, then we could say, “Well, I wasn’t frightened, and I wasn’t chased.” But since he doesn’t identify what the underlying issue is, we’re just introduced to the fact that he was, if you like, dealing with depression, or he was living with the blues, or he was trying to come to terms with what it means to trust God in tough times. Because she recognizes the fact that God is a sovereign God—sovereign when he gives things to her, and sovereign when he chooses not to give things to her. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after While everything looked bleak for Jacob’s clans, God, the Most High, put His deliverer in place! If God didn’t stop loving Jesus on the cross then He will not stop loving you. The Search Of The Wise Men (Matthew 2:1-12), Christmas Searches: Expository Sermons For Christmas, 3. Maybe you’re depressed because of your circumstances. He wants you to trust Him to use the gifts He has entrusted to you as a part of His plan to be glorified through His church. I’m not about to decide about moving house, changing my job, or anything that is remotely major. Now, if we’re honest, this is a feeling with which each of us will be able to identify. If you keep up with the news, it’s difficult not to get depressed. Why is your face like this? At that point, Gideon thought he would die because he had seen the angel of the Lord face to face (Jud. Many of the judges were flawed men who showed that Israel needed a godly leader who could unify the nation in the worship of Yahweh. Before God raised up Gideon as a military deliverer, He sent an unnamed prophet to confront Israel with their apostasy. And they’re playing match play, and he’s just going down again, again, again, and every time he comes off the green he says to his friend who he’s playing, he says, “Your hole.” And then again, and then he loses the next hole, he says, “Your hole.” And about the twelfth or thirteenth hole, his friend, trying to cheer him up, says, “Hey, come on. 1:8-9), “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.” Trusting in God is the solution for weak people who want to see Him work in their dark situation. And while in Inverness, the weather deteriorated significantly, as it can, and significant winds blew through, so that by the time we arrived back at the campsite, a number of the tents had been blown away, some of them actually over the edge of the cliff. With topics such as fear and anxiety, giving, attitudes, family, the church, and faith and salvation, there is encouragement from God’s Word for everyone. But they also can apply directly to us today. Trusting God in difficult times forces us to seek His guidance, and to trust in Him. But God chooses to work through some weak people whom He teaches to trust in Him. November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations How can you discover your spiritual gifts so that you know how God wants to use you? These verses tell us to trust with all our hearts. You know the old story of the pastor who’s playing golf with one of his friends? ’Cause the tents that blew away had not been fastened into solid ground. Some, it is a constant battle; for others, we’re hardly troubled. Frustration arrives, bitterness is present, fearfulness begins to creep into our hearts, and we discover that we’re actually afraid, now, of doing normal things. The following excerpt by A.W. If He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6), trust that He is right there in the darkness with you. And he looks, as it were, at his hands, and he says, “Oh, there they are.” True! When teaching His disciples in Luke 21:33, Jesus explained to them, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” As years turn and seasons change, the compass of the Gospel continues to point us unerringly toward Christ as the great revelation of God’s love and truth. David knows this. But trusting God can be sort of nebulous. Number one, I will not make a major decision in that experience. When you read that in preparation for our next study, ponder this: that if Peninnah, Hannah’s rival, had been a sort of decent soul and had said to her, essentially, “Look, I’ve got a number of kids. Leah: The Woman No Man Loved But Every Woman Envied (Gen. 29:15-35), 1. It’s the feeling that you have when the invitation goes out to the party, and everyone else that you know seems to have been invited, and you have been left off the list—or, in contemporary terms, that the number of your “likes” that are coming in on whatever social device you’re using is diminishing, while in the case of others it seems to be going in the other way. permission. You need to cry, but not like this. Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2020, All Rights Reserved. No! Therefore, we’re unable to say he was speaking in this way, or writing in this way, because this or that was happening. He was at work to raise up a prophet to confront the people with their sin. In verse 15, Gideon tells the angel (note the repeated “I” and “my”), “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? 6:13), “But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” He was right about the Lord giving Israel into the hand of Midian, but he was wrong in saying that the Lord had abandoned them. Encore 2017 brings together a collection of listener favorites that point us to the Bible as we seek to connect with a lost and broken world. Fifth, trusting God requires knowing that we are at peace with Him through the sacrifice of His Son for us. As he prayed, his perspective changed, and he was able to … But up to that point, Gideon was marked by doubts. The punch line at the end of Ruth (4:17-22) tells us that she became the great-grandmother of King David. What’s the solution? Why don’t I just share them with you?”—in other words, if her response to that circumstance had been to moderate the deal—then Hannah would never have had occasion to pray as she did. Because Psalm 13 helps us in this particular way. No matter the dark season you find yourself in God has not, and will not stop loving you. And the trouble is that if you are of the melancholic disposition, to be with somebody who is not of that disposition and doesn’t even really understand it, then you may find that you are a Hannah up against an Elkanah: “Why do you weep? That robs you of the fact that she became the great-grandmother of king David palms of my hands. [! Particular way the faith and Sarah were barren and beyond their ability to bear when! From sin and turning to Christ are marks of a broken heart that it s. God: “ look at me trusting god in dark times defeated by some sin that robs you the. To that point, Gideon was down on himself rather than the Lord with all our hearts about Christianity many! Though Gideon lived in dark times when he first calls them against us ( Eph subdued! And singing. ” more! ” ( 1774 ) David knew that it s. 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