Trusting God for Everything

Posted: November 2, 2011 in Psalms, Uncategorized

Psalms 31-33, “Trusting God for Everything”

The Psalms have spoken much about trusting in God & tonight is no different.  Again, we’ll see the authors coming from different places & experiences: whether it’s David in the middle of a trial, or on the glorious end of forgiveness – or an unnamed author simply praising God for His glorious work & sovereign reign.  Yet all three proclaim that God can be trusted.  When we’re in a trial, we can trust God for His goodness.  When we’re convicted of sin, we can trust God for forgiveness.  When we’re blown away by creation, we can trust God for His power.  Our God is truly good, and our God can be truly trusted!

Psalm 31 (NKJV) – Trusting God’s Goodness
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

  • David’s trust and relationship with God (vss. 1-8)

1 In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness. 2 Bow down Your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me.

  • In a sense, these first two verses can be seen as a summary statement of the entire psalm to follow.  David affirms his trust in God, and asks for God’s deliverance.  It’s actually a summary of most of the psalms we’ve seen to this point. J
  • Specifically, David is asking for four things:
    • Vindicate me!  That his faith would not be in vain/cause shame.
    • Hear me!  To have an audience with God.
    • Save me! That God would grant him an escape from attack.
    • Protect me!  Not only escape, but shelter.
  • God won’t ever let our trust in Him be in vain.  People sometimes wonder why God would allow something happen in their lives. “I’ve been going to church every week, reading my Bible, and helping other people – but yet I have ___ happen.  How can God let this happen to me?”  In a sense, they’re voicing something similar to David: “I’m trusting the Lord; don’t let me be ashamed in that trust – let that trust be proven true.”  Yet there’s a major difference between David & us (if we think that way).  David’s trust was in God in the middle of his worst times; we sometimes think we shouldn’t have to endure tough times at all because of our trust in God.  Faith does not exempt us from trials; it equips us to endure them in the strength of God.  David could pray that God wouldn’t let him be ashamed in his faith because David understood God was always going to show Himself true & righteous – no matter what happened in David’s own life.

3 For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.

  • Notice the combination of vss 2-3.  In vs 2, David prays that God would be his rock & fortress; in vs 3 David affirms that God IS his rock & refuge already.  Again, he knew that God is always good & true to His promises, despite any present circumstances David may have been enduring.
  • The prayer?  That God would lead David out of this trial.  Not merely for David’s benefit, but for the glory of God.  Because God had promised to care for David in a covenant relationship, David is praying that God would help him for God’s own “name’s sake.
    • When we pray the promises of God, we’re not claiming that God needs to obey us (perish the thought!) – rather, we’re asking that God will be true to what God has already promised.  It’s for HIS name’s sake & HIS glory that God will show Himself to be faithful.

4 Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength. 5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

  • David may have been surrounded by his enemies, but whatever trap they had laid for him, David knew that God was stronger.  God was worthy of David’s trust, and David knew that his redemption rested in the Lord & His promises.
  • Impossible to read these words & not think of the Greater-than-David – Jesus ended His sufferings upon the cross with this same phrase.  Even Jesus could say this same thing from the cross.  Our Lord’s enemies had indeed surrounded Him, but yet even the horrid crucifixion was not defeat to Jesus; God delivered Him through it with the coming resurrection!
  • Note what this means for us.  We may be in the midst of our trials – we may be surrounded by spiritual (or physical) attacks – yet it is in the middle of those times that we can still express our trust in God.  Again, faith in God does not exempt us from these instances; it gets us through them.  Our God is always going to be good to His promises – no doubt!

6 I have hated those who regard useless idols; But I trust in the LORD. 7 I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, For You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities, 8 And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a wide place.

  • Contrast between David (a man of faith) & his enemies (men of idols).  The idols are useless; God is an active Redeemer & Deliverer.  God is worthy of our trust because He is alive.
  • David’s prayers of verse 2 are shown in faith here: God does hear – God does save.
  • David’s lament because of his enemies (vss. 9-13)

9 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my body! 10 For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away. 11 I am a reproach among all my enemies, But especially among my neighbors, And am repulsive to my acquaintances; Those who see me outside flee from me. 12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.

  • In the depths of despair, grief, and trial, where do we turn?  The same place David turned: to the Lord.  David did not run from God because of his troubles – he didn’t rebel or claim that God loved him any less; David ran to God & pleaded for mercy.
  • Again, we can hear the voice of our Savior here.  The Messiah was despised & rejected by men – His body was broken for us as Jesus was flogged & bloodied.  David perfectly (and prophetically) describes the sufferings of Christ.  This is what Jesus endured for us.  The Messiah of the world – the Son of God was made repulsive to men…amazing humiliation!  The One who declared to us the glory of God & who ought to have been seen as the most beautiful in all the Universe was despised & rejected & forgotten to suffer and die.

13 For I hear the slander of many; Fear is on every side; While they take counsel together against me, They scheme to take away my life.

  • We get a bit of insight to David’s problems here.  Apparently his enemies were laying traps for him by lying about him & slandering his character.  And it was more than David – the Pharisees lied about Christ, conspiring for His death.
  • BTW – we have an enemy that will lie about us too.
  • David’s faith & prayer (vss. 14-18)

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

  • People may slander, but God is always going to be God.

15 My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me. 16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me for Your mercies’ sake.

  • Entrusted to God as a servant is to his king.
  • David is asking for the blessing of God – to have the glory of God’s countenance to shine upon him.

17 Do not let me be ashamed, O LORD, for I have called upon You; Let the wicked be ashamed; Let them be silent in the grave. 18 Let the lying lips be put to silence, Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

  • David again prays that he would not be put to shame, but contrasts himself with God’s enemies.  Those who trust God ought not be put to shame, but those who are wicked ought to indeed be shamed.
  • Question: is this a proper prayer?  After all – David’s praying for God to kill his enemies!  David is simply being honest.  It’s not as if he could pretend that he was happy with his enemies – God would see through his lie.  Yet as God’s chosen anointed king, for the enemies to come against David was for them to come against God Himself.  If they continued in that sort of rebellion, this is exactly the sort of justice that they ought to experience.
  • One day, all the lying lips will indeed be silenced!  What a glorious day that will be!
  • Praise for God’s promises & protection (vss. 19-22)

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men! 20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion From the strife of tongues.

  • What a contrast with the enemies of God!  The enemies store up God’s wrath & judgment; the people of God can look forward to the gifts of the goodness of God.
  • First, God’s goodness is seen as protection.  David has prayed that God would be his rock of refuge & fortress of defense; now David affirms that God hides His precious people in the secret place of His protection.  He puts His people in a place where the enemy simply cannot touch them.
  • This is exactly what happens in Christ.  We’re placed into Jesus’ hands, and no one can snatch us away from His glorious grip!

21 Blessed be the LORD, For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city! 22 For I said in my haste, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications When I cried out to You.

  • 2nd, God’s goodness is seen as faithfulness. God did hear David when he cried out – praise God for His deliverance!
  • Exhortation to trust like David trusted (vss. 23-24)

23 Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. 24 Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD.

  • David turns from his personal praise to an exhortation to the rest of God’s people to do the same thing.  Love God!  Contextually, David is telling us to trust God just like he trusted.  Praise God for His goodness & faithfulness.  God WILL strengthen us; there will never be a reason to be ashamed when our hope is in the Lord!

 

Psalm 32 (NKJV) – Trust in God’s forgiveness.
A Psalm of David. A Contemplation.

  • Although we cannot say for sure, it’s likely that Ps 32 was written regarding the same events as Ps 51: David’s adultery with Bathsheba.  Whereas Ps 51 would have been written when David’s repentance was fresh, Ps 32 reflects back upon the confession & repentance David made unto the Lord & the joy that came as a result.
  • Maskil seems to mean “instruction” – this contemplation of David is his instruction to the people of the necessity of confession and repentance.
  • Joy in forgiveness (vss. 1-2)

1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

  • Blessing.  Just as Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes, by declaring the blessing of the person who trusts the Lord, so David declares the blessing of the person who is forgiven by God.  Oh how happy is the man who is truly forgiven!  How free from sin – how cleansed from guilt – how assured he can be of the promises of God!  The forgiven person can be extremely happy – he’s been blessed in every way by God!  4 ways described here:
  • Forgiveness: The word used here denotes something being “carried off/taken away.”  The transgression that David had committed had been completely taken away from him by God.  No longer would it be a weight that David had to bear upon his conscience; it was completely taken care of in Christ.
    • That’s exactly what forgiveness is!  Have you experienced that kind of weight being lifted from your back?  Like the character “Christian” in “Pilgrim’s Progress,” the vast weight that once was on your shoulders has been thrown off – completely taken care of by Christ Jesus. (Spurgeon) “The word rendered forgiven is in the original taken off or taken away, as a burden is lifted or a barrier removed. What a lift is here! It cost our Saviour a sweat of blood to bear our load, yea, it cost him his life to bear it quite away. Samson carried the gates of Gaza, but what was that to the weight which Jesus bore on our behalf?”
  • Covered: Reminds us of the Hebrew thought of “atonement” during the priestly sacrifices.  The blood of the bulls & goats could never fully take away sin, but it did cover them for a time – put out of sight until God the Father could send the perfect sacrifice in Christ Jesus.  David’s sin which once was completely open & in the sight of God was “covered” – put away & no longer a hindrance to full intimacy with God.  Likewise with us when our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ!
  • No imputed guilt: Speaks of the justification we’ve received in Christ.  David had indeed sinned & borne his iniquity, but God did not impute it to David’s account.  Instead, God imputed His own righteousness because of David’s faith & trust in Him.  Likewise with us – in fact, Paul writes of the exact thing to the Romans: Romans 4:5–8, "(5) But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, (6) just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: (7) “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; (8) Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.” " []  We were the ungodly ones & there was nothing we could do to work for our righteousness; it had to be given (imputed) to us by God & it was!
  • No deceit.  There had been sin in David, but now there wasn’t.  There had been a liar in David, but now there was only purity.  This is a complete spiritual transformation!  The person who once was completely defiled in sin had been made absolutely pure in Christ.  No wonder David could call this person supremely blessed!
  • Grief of unrepentant sin (vss. 3-4)

3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah

  • Unconfessed sin brought physical suffering.  For David, his bones grew old, and he groaned in pain.  Obviously physical pain does not automatically mean that we have unconfessed sin in our lives (re: Job), but physical pain CAN be brought about by sin.  Doctors have often observed how mental stress can manifest itself in physical ways – sin is the ultimate stressor.  It can rob us of sleep, make us nervous, and begin a road into physical depression.  David understood this first-hand.
  • Unconfessed sin brought spiritual conviction.  Not only did David physically suffer, he spiritually understood that he ought to have confessed his sin.  He knew God’s hand was upon him day & night & the longer he ignored God’s conviction, the worse he felt.  Of course, that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be for a child of God.  We ought not be able to sin with impunity – if we’re born again children of God, we’ll experience the loving discipline of our Heavenly Father, just as David experienced.
  • Forgiveness comes after confession (vss. 5-8)

5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

  • David confessed!  Sometimes we get confused as to what “confession” actually is – yet David describes it perfectly.  He “acknowledged” his sin to God & did not try to hide it.  He simply agreed with God that his sin was indeed sin & he needed God’s help to deal with it.
  • David experienced the forgiveness of God!  So simple a statement, yet so profound: God forgave David’s iniquity.  What the exact sin was, we don’t know – we can reasonably guess that this was the sin with Bathsheba, but it’s interesting that David never comes out & names it in the psalm.  Other than those he had sinned against, David didn’t need to name it to others; he simply needed to name it to God & he was assured of God’s forgiveness.  Whatever the sin was, God offered pure cleansing & a new start.  Incredible grace!  Whether our sins are “little” or “big” (and in David’s case, it was likely “big”), we know we can find our forgiveness in the Lord if we simply ask!  There’s no limit placed here – there’s no specific description saying “only ___ sin can be forgiven.”  ANY sin & EVERY sin can find it’s forgiveness in Christ!
    • Be careful not to divorce this from the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross.  Sometimes non-Christians get the idea that because God is a forgiving God, that if they simply say “sorry” at the judgment seat, that God will grant them forgiveness & let them into heaven.  God is indeed a forgiving God, but there is a foundation for His forgiveness, and that’s the cross of Christ.  David’s whole relationship with God was based upon the covenant promises of God – David looked forward in time to the Savior just as we look back.  David’s forgiveness came the same way our forgiveness comes: by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.
  • This is a promise for all of God’s people, straight from the Bible!  1 John 1:8–9, "(8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." []  1st we need to acknowledge that we have indeed sinned, and then 2nd we confess it to God in humble repentance – then we will experience the forgiveness & cleansing of God!

6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. 7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

  • This lesson isn’t only for David; it’s for all over God’s people.  “Everyone who is godly” ought to seek God in confession & repentance through prayer.  This carries over today for the Church.  Those who experience physical & spiritual pain because of their sin need to confess their trespasses to one another and pray for one another that they may be healed (Jas 5:16).  Those who have experienced the discipline of God ought to go to God in prayer & acknowledge his/her sins in order to receive the freedom that comes with forgiveness.
  • Be sure to confess while you’ve got the opportunity!  David writes that we need to do this in a time when God might be found…when we know the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and the pain of our sin is fresh.  Don’t wait!  It’s a dangerous thing for our hearts to grow calloused to the pain of sin…
  • Yet it’s in confession that we can experience the deliverance & forgiveness of God!  David describes this as God’s “hiding place.”  Typically we think that if we’ve sinned, we need to run from God in an attempt to outrace our guilt – yet Scripture tells us just the opposite.  Run TO God!  If you want deliverance from guilt, you can’t outrun it; you need to be cleansed from it.  God offers that protection for His people through Christ Jesus!
  • God’s guidance to keep us from sin (vss. 8-9)

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. 9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.

  • The psalm changes to God’s perspective.  David had confessed & sought the Lord & then exhorts the rest of God’s people to do the same.  Now God describes what we will find when we do humble ourselves before Him in confession & repentance.  God promises to instruct us & teach us to live in such a way that will bring glory to God.
  • Notice how God desires to guide us: “with My eye” – not with the “bit & bridle.”  Those who work with animals know that horses & mules respond to a bit & bridle because of pressure (in the best scenario) & pain (in the worst).  That’s not what God would desire for us.  He would rather guide us with His eye – with supreme gentleness that we would respond to even the slightest movements of our Savior.
  • Concluding praise (vss. 10-11)

10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

  • The choice is clear: do we desire sorrow or the mercy of God?  Then trust the Lord!  Confess your sins & place your trust in Christ.
  • If your trust is in Christ, then rejoice!  Praise the Lord for the forgiveness you have received & the fact that He has made you upright in heart.

 

Psalm 33 (NKJV) – Trust in God’s Power

  • This seems to be the 1st psalm since Ps 10 that hasn’t been specifically claimed to be written by David (and only the 4th in the entire book of Psalms to this point).
  • Call to worship (vss. 1-3)

1 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. 2 Praise the LORD with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. 3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

  • The call goes out to all of God’s people to praise Him.  Have you received the righteousness of Christ?  Have you been made upright by the new life of the Holy Spirit?  Then praise God!  Rejoice in the Lord!  Don’t hold back – give your God the praise and the glory that He deserves.
  • Praise is a beautiful thing!  Notice that the author is not writing of the quality or skill of someone’s voice, but of the sincerity of one’s heart.  A grammy-winning musician who knows nothing of Jesus’ salvation can sing a pretty song, but it is impossible for them to sing beautiful praise unto God.  Only those who tasted of the goodness of the Lord through Jesus Christ can offer beautiful praise & it has nothing to do with musical skill.  Sing with all your might unto your King – He considers it beautiful!
  • How are we to praise God?  By every means possible:
    • Play instruments: a harp – an instrument of 10 strings – piano – guitar – bass – drums – organ – or a didgeridoo…it doesn’t matter as long as you play the music unto the glory of God! 
    • Sing songs: Those who can’t play an instrument have still been given an instrument by God – your voice.  Sing out!  Perhaps it’s a new song (as here), or it’s a psalm, hymn, or spiritual song (Eph 5:19) – make it up, but sing unto the Lord!
    • Proclaim & shout: Sometimes only a shout is sufficient.  Give God a shout of joy & proclaim His praises to the people around you.
    • God is less concerned with the method by which we praise Him than He is with the fact that we simply praise Him at all!  The call has gone out to give Him praise – are we going to be the participants?
  • The work of the word of God (vss. 4-9)

4 For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

  • What’s one reason that we’re to praise the Lord?  Because we’ve been given the word of God!  We know what God has done on our behalf through Christ – how He’s worked within the history of the world – what He’s promised to do in the future.  All of that gives us marvelous reasons to give God praise.
  • God’s word is intertwined with His work.  When God speaks, His work is accomplished.  That’s how the universe was made (as we’ll see) – that’s why the word of God never returns void – that’s why the word of God pierces us like a two-edged sword.  The work & word of God are described as goodness – 4 ways: right, truth, righteousness, and justice.  God’s work is everything that is good & perfect.
  • Why is the earth filled with God’s goodness?  Because He made it!  Creation will show remnants of God’s character & glory.  Just as a painter can be identified by the certain types of brush strokes in a painting, and a book’s author can be discovered by certain phrases and words typical of an author, so the universe’s Creator is made evident by God’s handiwork scattered through every single aspect of the created universe.

6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

  • The work of God’s word in creation.  It was sufficient to not only create, but sustain the entire universe.  The proof?  We’re all still here! J 
    • God made everything by His spoken word.  Genesis 1 shows us 8 times in 5 days the Bible tells us “Then God said…” & things came out of nothing into physical existence.  When God speaks, there is power.  Physical existence is an act of the sheer will of God.
    • God made everything through the Living Word. John 1:1–3, "(1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." []  Jesus is the very expression of God – He is God of true God, and thus Jesus is the cornerstone of all creation because He is Himself the Creator.  Don’t miss this when reading through the creation account.  Jesus made the heavens – Jesus made the stars – Jesus gathered the waters of the sea together.  Jesus is the perfect man, but He is so much more than mere man.  He is God Almighty!
  • What’s our response to this?  “Let all the earth fear the LORD!”  Acknowledge God for who He is & give Him the reverence and worship He deserves simply for being God.  The call now goes beyond the people of God & into the entire world.  Only God’s people can truly give God’s praise, but all the inhabitants of the world ought to be in awe by the incredible work of God.  So many people today look into the heavens & shake their fist at God in rebellion, but that’s the exact opposite reaction than what they ought to have.  People ought to be in awe at all the things God has done.
  • God’s work among the world (vss. 10-15)

10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. 11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.

  • Contrast between men’s counsel & the counsel of God.  God’s counsel is perfect & is everlasting.  God’s counsel supersedes the counsel of man.  The nations of the world may make their plans, but ultimately they can only do what God allows them to do.  He is absolutely sovereign & at work in the midst of His world.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.

  • The blessings of being the people of God!  The Israelites had written this about themselves, but today we can join in that same song of praise.  WE are God’s chosen people.  1 Peter 2:9–10, "(9) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (10) who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." []  He’s chosen us in order that we would glorify Him & give Him praise!  (This takes us back to vss. 1-3!)
  • Yet notice that God doesn’t merely see His own people.  See vs. 13…

13 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. 14 From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; 15 He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

  • God sees us all & knows us all. We are individually fashioned by God.  Every man, woman, and child (including the unborn) have been uniquely known by our Creator.  He is acutely aware of every human being from conception to death – every work done by man is seen by the eyes of God.
    • Not only does this remind us of judgment day, but it also underscores the importance of the Great Commission.  Someone who lives in a country closed to the gospel is not a person who has been forgotten by God & unknown or unloved by God.  God fashioned THAT person, too.  Does God not deserve to have His Church attempt to reach THAT person with as much fervency as the people in our own nation?  We’ve been called to make disciples of ALL the nations – we dare not grow lazy simply because some are easier to reach than others.
  • The point?  God is sovereign not only over His people, but over all the earth.
  • God’s work among His people (vss. 16-20)

16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, 19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.

  • Men’s works do not save – all of our best plans to save ourselves fail.  A king cannot be saved by a multitude of an army; not if we’re talking about TRUE deliverance.  An army has no power to act in regards to spiritual life.  It doesn’t matter what kind of weaponry a nation possesses; it cannot fight its way into the kingdom of God.  Salvation only comes by the blessing and grace of God.
  • Yet God will save & bless those who fear Him!  He promises deliverance and life!
  • How do the people respond?  The same way they began in vss 1-3: with praise!  See vs. 20…

20 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. 22 Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.

  • This is our declaration!  We do fear the Lord.  We do wait for Him.  God is OUR God.
  • Those who hope in God experience the mercy of God – just as He promised according to His word.

Conclusion:
The call has gone out to God’s people to trust Him.  The call has gone out for God’s people to praise Him because He is worthy of our trust!

  • God can be trusted in trial.  He is our rock of refuge & our fortress of defense.  Jesus Himself experienced the depths of rejection & pain & still give us an example of committing ourselves unto the Lord.  No matter how bad the pain is, you can be sure that your God will never let your faith go in vain.
  • God can be trusted to forgive.  There is glorious happiness and freedom in forgiveness!  Yet so many Christians miss out on this daily intimacy with God because they run FROM God’s conviction rather than running TO God in confession.  Let Him guide you with His eye & bring you into His hiding place of deliverance. 
  • God can be trusted to reign.  Our God created the world – He rules over the nations – He gives salvation to His chosen people.  He is worthy to be praised with all our might.

Where do you fall in this list tonight?  Maybe you’re in the midst of a trial in which people have despised you & slandered you.  Maybe you’ve been running from the conviction of the Lord because of unconfessed sin in your life.  Maybe you’ve gotten your eyes off of God because of the various things going on in the world & you need to be reminded of God’s sovereign work.  Whatever the case – take the opportunity you have tonight to express your trust to the Lord & then give Him the praise that He deserves.

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