Sermon Notes: Application from Psalm 461
We are beginning a new series that we are tentatively calling....well, to be honest, we don't have a name for it yet. But the idea is for Alex Thermenos (and occasionally, a sub off the bench) to provide some points of application drawn from our Sunday sermons.
Alex earned his degree in Practical Theology from Southeastern University, and now works as a Project Coordiantor over at Adventist Health System. He also preaches occasionally, and also blogs over at Redemption Applied, which you can (and should!) check out here.
This past Sunday, Benny preached on Psalm 46 and addressed our need for God's help when life goes wrong. When we face pain and difficulties in life, it can be tempting to feel alone, abandoned to our trouble. Indeed, one of the key elements of fear and anxiety is the feeling that we are facing our threat alone. And one of the points Benny made yesterday morning addresses this issue directly. It comes from v. 4-5 of Psalm 46 (ESV):
"There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
"God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns."
Benny explained that the church is the City of God, and God is with us. Facing difficulties in life does not mean you are alone. Rather, suffering in this life is an opportunity to find that God is with you and that having God with you is better than having anything else.
We can apply this to our lives by doing this: when you are afraid, go pray and preach the gospel to yourself. Remind yourself: "Because Jesus takes my sin away and makes me righteous, God is with me. I am not alone. And God wants to make me happier in having him and safer in having him and more comforted in having him, than in ending my pain or changing my situation or giving me an easier life. God is with me and he loves me." And pray to God to ask him to make you feel his presence and to help you to see that he loves you and is with you and that he is better than anything you can ask for.
Beyond that, do ask God to change things. God does intervene in our lives and change our circumstances, and Scripture calls us not only to delight in him, not only to ask him to change our hearts, but to ask him to change circumstances (James 5:13-18; 2 Corinthians 1:8-11).
And God will respond. God will act on your behalf. And whatever he does will bring good to you in such a way that it causes you to see him as more glorious than before.
Listen to the entire sermon here.