Sunday Sermons Living with Energized Hope in the Midst of Difficulties

February 06, 2022 | Buster Brown

“In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me! Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you.”  Psalm 71:1-6 

“O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! May my accusers be put to shame and consumed; with scorn and disgrace may they be covered who seek my hurt. But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.”  Psalm 71:12-21 

1. The Cry for Help in the midst of difficulties, as the discipline of remembering the faithfulness of God is brought to mind. (vv.1-6,10-13)

2. The Energized Cycle: 

• Hope continually as the goodness of the Lord is praised yet more and more. (v.14)

Q: What does the preface of the Lord’s prayer teach us?

A: "...to draw near to God with confidence of his fatherly goodness, and our interest therein; with reverence, and all other childlike dispositions…” Westminster Larger Catechism, Q:189

• To tell of God’s righteous acts and his mercies “for their number is past my knowledge”. (v.15)

• To go out in the power of God. (v.16)

 

OUTCOMES

1. Having a love for the coming generations. (v.18)

“Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.”  Psalm 22:30-31

2. Living with expectation of God’s reviving power. (vv.20-21)

BUT GOD!

“The life of a Christian is a perpetual warfare. For whoever who gives himself to the service of God will have no truce from Satan at any time, but will be harassed with incessant disquietude.”  John Calvin, Commentary on 2 Corinthians

 

QUESTIONS:

1. What do we mean when we say that life is filled with “battles and blessings”? How has our cultural context promoted the view that we should live in a pain-free, worry-free environment? 

2. What does it mean to say, “We live in a fallen, less than perfect world and should anticipate problems this side of Heaven?”

3. What did the Westminster Assembly mean when they said “We draw near to God with confidence in his fatherly goodness and our INTERESTS THEREIN”?

4. How does the Energy Cycle get us outside of ourselves and give us a desire to bless the coming generations?

5. How does God bring renewal to us? (v.20-21)

 

“We need to see something of a pattern of piety for the church and for the individual Christian (in the Psalms). The pattern is this: the real and inescapable problems of life in this fallen world should lead us to prayer. Prayer should lead us to remembering and meditation on the promises of God, both those fulfilled in the past and those we trust will be fulfilled in the future. Remembering the promises of God will help us to praise him as we ought. As we praise him we can continue to face with grace and faith the problems that come daily into our lives.”  W. Robert Godfrey, Learning to Love the Psalms, p.76