Encourage0gram July 1, 2016
Greetings in the Name of our King Jesus!
I received sad news today about a wonderful missionary friend of mine. She has cancer. It is such a shock to her and her family and to us! My daughter Katie sang in her wedding not so many years ago.
Life can be very uncertain but eternity is assured forever! At FCC we have many families in similar circumstances. Like sicknesses, marriage struggles, job losses and the list goes on. Our staff prays over many difficult situations every week and we are blessed to do so. So I sit here thinking about how I can send along a message to encourage you all today.
NIV Psalm 40:1-5
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him. 4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. 5 Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.
Please notice this is a psalm that David wrote to be set to music and sung publicly. Sometimes we think that some songs are too personal but David has a powerful testimony to share in Psalm 40. Everyone in the worship service can benefit from hearing it. We do not know the exact circumstances David is facing but we can all empathize with his emotions and should follow the example of his actions.
The first step David took is of paramount importance. He waited patiently continued to wait for the LORD. It does not matter who you are or where you are, this is an example to follow. Waiting on the Lord is actively seeking Him. It suggests prayer and resting in the Sovereign LORD and His infinite love, mercy and grace. We are never “self” sufficient, it is the LORD who provides. It is great to have a support system, but even if we were abandoned by everyone we can still rely on our LORD!
Isaiah 40:31 promises that those who wait or hope in the LORD will experience a renewed strength! So what does the LORD do to renew David’s strength?
1. The LORD answers his prayer! (1) David’s prayer caught His Father’s attention and He heard his cry. He always does! There is never a request from his children that He ignores. He may ask us to continue to wait in His seeming silence but we are assured that He hears. He further assures us that He willingly obligates Himself to act. See John 16:24.
2. The LORD delivers David (2a). He lifts him! Ever need a lift? Of course you do and God is excellent at lifting us. The slimy pit is no match for our great God and Savior! Even when we rebelliously jump into a slimy pit He still lifts us out! Asking for a lift is the key to experiencing it. Too many times we rely on ourselves or others to lift us when all we need to do ask our Father! Make this request early and often!
3. The LORD secures David (2b). Many times we do not know where to stand but the LORD does. He knows and He sets our feet. The ability to stand is essential. The LORD continues to show us the firm place to stand. It is good to set your feet on solid ground during a crisis. This solid ground is found by standing on His promises! In a crisis we need assurance and our God provides everything we need! See Philippians 4:13,19.
4. The LORD restoes his emotions (3a). The move from groaning to singing does not always come immediately. But as we continue to trust in Him by waiting on Him – he gives us a new song! He puts the words and the tune together! Even a precious song like “Jesus loves me” can have a dramatic effect on our perspective and emotions. The hymn of praise rises up to heaven to give Him all the glory even before we know His answer. I confess I have sung such songs with tears flowing, haven’t you? Some songs become so precious that we can never sing them again without the memory of His deliverance! Once in New Hampshire, I was so overwhelmed by life that I began each day for at least a month listening and singing to the same songs on one tape! I set in my office allowing the LORD to put the song of praise in my mouth. That experience has been repeated many, many times. I believe that it is a ministry of the Holy Spirit not only to remind me of Scripture but also songs! See Colossians 3:16-17 and Ephesians 5:18-20
The final result that David sees is that many will see him in this struggle and deliverance. Then they will worship the LORD and put their trust in Him. The evangelistic fruit out of such stories is amazing! God speaks to us in many ways and our deliverance stores reveal His great love for everyone!
Be encouraged whatever you are facing today. Seek to just wait on the LORD. Do not make the mistake of thinking that waiting is doing nothing, it is not! It is following the leading of the LORD and trusting in Him through the storm!
NIV Psalm 40:17
But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.
I must wait, wait, wait on the Lord
I must wait, wait, wait on the Lord
And learn my lessons well
In His timing he will tell me what to do,
Where to go, what to say. Maranatha singers
My thoughts and prayers are with you all!
Let’s join together in intercessory prayer for all who need to wait on the LORD today!
Your servant for Jesus’ sake,