God’s care for his children is like the sun: it’s constant. The people were brought very low and finally cried out to the Lord (Jud. by John F. Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck, 1:381). It’s a metaphor. Look at me! Feeling forgotten, forsaken, sorrowful, and subdued, David cried out for God’s consideration and illumination. And it is trust in the Lord—not in a purpose or plan, but a Person. Applied to us, the lesson from Gideon’s calling is: Because God is at work even in the spiritually darkest times, we can trust Him to use us even in our weakness to accomplish His sovereign purpose. Because He is the chief glory weight. Our relationships, words, deeds, and even our private thoughts are affected by accepting the truths of the Gospel. Sermons: TRUSTING GOD IN DIFFICULT TIMES. This series offers clarity and guidance to those desiring to live according to the will of God. Joshua had led Israel out of the wilderness and into the promised land. Tozer is a beautiful declaration of the infinite wisdom and providence of God, from his book The Knowledge of the Holy . 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. But it was finally secured. When The Sun Finally Rises: Wrestling With The Past (Gen. 32:22-32), 2. Scripture, or the Bible, is God’s Word. Trust God in the Dark. The path of His choosing is the only one that leads to true happiness, If God is with us and He is for us, then who can stand against us (Rom. 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. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; … 4-6) how to walk in light of that position. We need to bring our emotions underneath the jurisdiction of God’s character and God’s purposes. So, yes, God often allows darkness, afflictions and difficulties, but only with the purpose of renewing our strength and turning our difficult times into “wells of … I’m not talking about knowing all the details of how He will direct your future! Peter failed terribly by denying the Lord before the Lord used him to bring 3,000 to faith on the Day of Pentecost. We live in spiritually dark times that can lead us to despair. And it is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves that as with David, so with us: that it’s God’s word that is the anchor for our souls.[21]. 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. 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. 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. It was, if you like, the darkness, and the badness, and the provocation, and the aggravation—it was the storm rolling over her head—that caused her to cry as she did. William Cowper, the great theologian, the hymn writer who gave us our opening hymn from this morning—out of the depths of his own life he cried, feeling forsaken and disappointed and disheartened, and he’s the one who then writes, “Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace,” because “behind a frowning providence”—the darkness of it—“He hides a smiling face.”[7]. Think of a dark time in your life when you later realized that God was at work. Then the Lord added pointedly (Jud. David knows this. Because,’ she would have said, ‘you know, Elkanah, when he came to me—you know, he came with those questions, you know, “Why do you look so sad? In addition to Gospel narrative, this compilation provides Biblical guidance on topics such as marriage, longing, submission, discipleship and church membership, showing us that a commitment to follow Christ is a commitment to bring all aspects of our life under His loving authority. https://www.truthforlife.org || By: Alistair Begg — Everyone experiences disappointment or sadness to some degree. It’s hard to pray when you’re upset. In addition, I get daily emails that tell how the world is attacking our Christian faith from every angle imaginable. It’s the feeling that you have when they give out the jerseys—having picked the soccer team, in my case—on a Friday lunchtime so that you can play on Saturday morning, and when you go to the physics lab and the games teacher assigns the positions for the day and throws, as he did, the jersey to you with your number on it, you find that the eleven jerseys have gone, and you’re still sitting there. That’s probably why the words, “Don’t … And I think of them all. It’s only human to be afraid but Christians have the option to be superhuman. I made a mental note to myself some time ago. It works everywhere you sign in, even with the mobile app! I don’t believe you remember me.”. 6:16), which either meant “all at once” or “as easily as one man could be defeated.” Repeatedly in Scripture God reminds His servants that nothing is too difficult for Him to do (Gen. 18:14; Jer. In Ephesians 1-3 he sets forth our glorious position in Christ before he exhorts us (Eph. Some Christian psychologists say that telling someone to trust God is “worthless medicine.” Agree/disagree? How did he or she trust God in dark times? The story of God with the people of Israel encourages us to keep our hope in Him, even when our world turns upside down. You feel as if you’re too weak and insignificant for God to use you. Nobody remembers me. He promised never to leave or abandon His children, so we can count on His presence, even when our emotions can’t confirm it. Not trusting God will never add any meaningful and positive things in one’s life but it rather demotes those who doubt. In this message, we will look at Gideon’s calling (Judges 6:1-24). Today the New Hebrides, now known as Vanuatu, is one-third Presbyterian, making it the most Presbyterian country in the world! We don’t know what was happening. 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 … One may be that one begins just to waste time—to waste time. 32:27; Matt. Your gift will be something you enjoy doing (not that it’s always easy!) If God was really with us and blessing us and securing us, then why would we have taken our harps and hung them up on the trees and said to one another, ‘There is no way that we can sing the song of praise to God in a foreign land’? 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. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; … And that’s the same here in the psalm. And as I lay there that night, I remember thinking a number of things. [3] Apparently, he has forgotten us.”, But “Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.’” And here’s the word of God to his people: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?” No, surely not! Have you experienced the power of the gospel in your life? The sacrifice is burned up. And we like to go away by ourselves and play it over again and again. Therefore, the psalmist helps us here, doing here what Hannah does in 1 Samuel 1, and that is turning to God: “Consider me, O God.”, For consideration, and also for illumination: “Lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” You see, it’s a short step from heaviness or despondency to the finality of death. After rehearsing God’s deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt, the prophet reminded them of the Lord’s command not to fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land they lived. 107, 127-129.) 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. What’s up with you? 2:10-13): All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. I can’t believe you. Step 1: Don’t Fret. The feelings of his heart are real, but now he’s applying his mind to the matter. 6:1, 6-7). Under his leadership, Israel had conquered much of the land which God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. “But I have trusted in your steadfast love.” “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.”[18] “Well,” you say, “okay, but what does that mean? 5:1), “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” If your faith is in Christ and His sacrifice for your sins, then you are at peace with God. Thursday, August 21, 2014. Look at this, look at that, look at the next thing.”, What do you do with that? Even though the clouds obscure it, it doesn’t mean the sun isn’t there. But after Joshua’s death, we read (Jud. ’Cause the tents that blew away had not been fastened into solid ground. For those seeking to strengthen their understanding and walk of faith, this series of messages from Alistair Begg points time and again to the One who provides both. How long?” And again, if you’ve been reading in preparation in 1 Samuel, you know that this was the great concern of Hannah as well. What’s the solution? In Encore 2010, we’re highlighting some of the most requested messages from the past 12 months. Because he went to God in prayer. Gideon rehearsed for the angel how the Lord had delivered Israel from Egypt through mighty miracles. Abraham and Sarah were barren and beyond their ability to bear children when God promised Abraham that he would be the father of nations. Encore 2013 presents a diverse collection of listener favorites from the past year. If He comes through, they thank Him and put Him back on the shelf until the next time they need Him. Here’s the comment: let’s acknowledge the fact that there is a perverse sense of satisfaction in feeling sorry for ourselves. 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. Third, Gideon was depressed. And if they don’t, you go home, and you tell your parents, “I’m never going back to that school again.” And, of course, they set that very quickly to rights, and the next day you go back, and you are desperately hoping that you won’t feel the way you felt yesterday. He hears your prayers even in the dark times when He seems absent and silent. In the meantime, if you need to talk to another human being, feel free to call our counselors here at Focus on the Family. I can tell you from myself that a number of things often accompany this sense of being dispirited in this way. Gideon never would have done what he did if God had not taken the initiative. Copyright © 2020, Alistair Begg. 6:25-7:15a); and, Gideon’s conquering, followed (sadly) by his compromising (Jud. … They were descendants of Abraham and his concubine Keturah (Gen. 25:1-2). One final comment, and an illustration. God wants you to know the answers. I’m the only guy. 19:26; Luke 1:37). You don’t see how God can possibly be at work in your dark situation. As we’ll see (Jud. 6:10b), “But you have not obeyed Me.”. The judges were not like modern courtroom judges, but rather were leaders who provided military deliverance from Israel’s enemies and political oversight in limited geographical regions of Israel. Paul wrote (Rom. Therefore, the call is to say, “Lord Jesus Christ, help me now to have the tent pegs of my life fastened entirely into my confidence in you, so that in life and in death, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, that I might be able to bear testimony to these things. 6:16), “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” But Gideon was focused on his own incompetence rather than on the Lord’s power and presence. “What’s up with you? Besides Paul, throughout Scripture we see God using weak people who trust in Him. You see, to be isolated from human relationships is, without question, crushing. The angel promised to be with Gideon and that Gideon would defeat the enemy. 6:12), “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” Gideon probably looked around to see if He was talking to someone else! But it doesn’t alter the fact that he feels it to be the case. Nothing’s changed—except his perspective. copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. How God Works in Dark Times (Judges 6:1-24) 1. Lord, I thank You that You are the God of the impossible. In triumphs and trials, in strength and weakness, in the smallest of details and in His eternal plan – God is always at work in and through the lives of His people. Because when we find ourselves in that situation, it is very easy to get things wrong. The angel specifically told Gideon that He was sending him to defeat the Midianites (Jud. In Gideon’s day, Israel was being overrun by the Midianites, a nomadic people who lived southeast of Israel. With messages on the meaning of the Gospel, God’s nature, spiritual warfare, trials and sufferings, and wisdom in relationships, this series will challenge all who listen. May these scripture quotes give you comfort and strength when you need it most. God graciously complied with His weak servant’s request, first by incinerating Gideon’s offering; and then by making Gideon’s fleece first wet and then dry. Just go above the clouds. Once God rescues us from our sin, we can come to know Him more deeply by learning from His Word again and again. lastly, during our times of suffering, the most important thing to do is keep our faith and trust in god. Remember then, if you hold on to God and trust Him through the dark times, that Satan’s best shots against you also will end up working for your good . David Mathis is executive editor for desiringGod.org and pastor at Cities Church in Minneapolis/St. 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. And since, as you can see, we’re only a shadow of our normal morning congregations—and that was certainly true at eight fifteen—then if I choose to go ahead now with 1 Samuel, I leave at least fifty or sixty percent of the congregation with a large gap that is an important piece of the puzzle. Every time somebody comes along, I get a bit of string. It was himself and God against the hordes. Because the overwhelming pressure and burden of these things, real or perceived, may be such as to take them down literally into the grave. The listening queue will play items sequentially from the "Up Next" list below. Leah: The Woman No Man Loved But Every Woman Envied (Gen. 29:15-35), 1. And I will probably, as normal, spend longer on the first than on the second and on the third. Because that’s what he’s doing in verses 3 and 4: “Consider me. You see, this is the real test. But their crying out to God for help was not the same as repentance. November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations 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. Until that’s resolved, there couldn’t be. | 8:31)? You see, it’s really not good for us to live in any realm of denial when the storm breaks over our heads. Jacob had to trust God to protect him from his stronger brother, Esau. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Twice (Jud. You might wish that God spoke directly to you like that to clarify what He wants you to do. But trusting God can be sort of nebulous. Even in the darkest of times, He wants to use you in your weakness as you trust Him, to help accomplish His sovereign purpose for His glory. You can do anything. Well, he is crying for consideration: “Look at me. You can know that God is at work even if you don’t see immediate evidence of it. Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals, and they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the Lord to anger. If we love God and really want His will for our life, I think it's safe to say that we can trust Him to bring good from it—no matter what happens to us. Now, what is it that he’s facing? How can you discover your spiritual gifts so that you know how God wants to use you? [17] Why is that significant? He asked God to find someone else. That was a problem for David. It means that the people of God, in the journey of following God—of being his followers and his servants—have, on occasion, on that pilgrimage, said, “I believe the Lord has actually forgotten us. We’ll come to that sermon later. If you keep up with the news, it’s difficult not to get depressed. 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. The angel first told Gideon (Jud. Used by permission. But what’s David’s experience? [9] Because remember, when Elijah goes against the prophets of Baal, there’s hundreds of them, and there’s only one of him. [6] Francis H. Rowley, “I Will Sing the Wondrous Story” (1886). And we will find ourselves, when we’re going through it, saying, “I don’t know if we’re ever going to come out of this circumstance.”. He said that in danger and in grief, he was sustained by Jesus’ promise, “Lo, I am with you always.” (Both stories are in A Frank Boreham Treasure [Moody Press], compiled by Peter Gunther, pp. Policies It isn’t hard when life is sailing along, but when your problems pile up to the point where you can’t see where you’re going it can be difficult to hold on to hope. Answer me.” This tidal wave that has knocked him down and rolled over him causes him to pray. The fact that God was willing to repeat the deliverance of His idolatrous people over and over shows His great patience and grace. I’m not about to decide about moving house, changing my job, or anything that is remotely major. 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. Gideon knew that story, but he didn’t yet see how God would work in the current gloomy situation. Our compilation of listener favorites from 2014 answers that question with a resounding “Yes.” In these messages, Alistair Begg explores God’s power to redeem and keep His people, His faithfulness in good times and bad from generation to generation, and the clarity with which His Word speaks into all of our circumstances and relationships. Therefore, we’re unable to say he was speaking in this way, or writing in this way, because this or that was happening. But he mistakenly concluded (Jud. Related Video. He is the God of the impossible! Whate’er My God Ordains Is Right “Whate’er my God ordains is right: Though now this cup, in drinking, May bitter seem to my faint heart, I take it, all unshrinking. My particular tent that I was in with five other boys and a tent officer, as he was called, was hanging, limping, as it were, in the breeze. Jonah. Secondly, I’m not going to write important letters. These verses tell us to trust with all our hearts. Alistair Begg teaches that when we face difficult times, we must resist self-pity, trusting that God knows what’s best for us and can use even our hard experiences for good. They say that time flies when you’re having fun; probably that’s fair as a cliché. And the psalmist here is in similar straits, if you like. It’s important, first of all, that he does cry. But Gideon needed a sign to confirm the angel’s word. ~ Hebrews 11:6. Well, you say, “I’m gonna trust in your steadfast love. A Prayer for Trusting God in Hard Times. And in the middle of it all, he’s been saying to us, “I’ve been coming to teach you to live with the lights off, not with the lights on!” Anybody can sleep with the lights on. I always get some Inspiration from Matthew. 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. Some of us, we are extroverted, and that brings with it the danger of superficiality. There are three sections: verses 1 and 2, which we will consider under his condition; verses 3 and 4, his cry; and verses 5 and 6, his consolation. That was a problem for Hannah. And personality comes into this; personality type comes into this. Site Map. And come and meet with me, so that I may be found trusting and rejoicing and singing.”. Once she’s got that resolved, then there is a change. Manoah calls the angel of the Lord, “God” (Jud. What did you learn through this time? You don’t need to worry. Look at where I am. 6:10). God didn’t look for a man with renowned military skills,... 3. Or, you’re spiritually dense. He’s, if you like, trying to fit together the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle psychologically: “Why do I feel this way? 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. It is prayer. In verse 15, Gideon tells the angel (note the repeated “I” and “my”), “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? David knew that it is hard to avoid fretting. 6:11). How does He do it? And certainly, if we have not had reason to feel in this way, if we just live a little longer we will have the opportunity, no doubt. All rights reserved worldwide. But He never does. And he says, “And when you add to that the sound of my enemies seeking to triumph over me, it’s like pouring vinegar on an open wound.” The laughter of his enemies sounds louder in his ears than his awareness of the providence and kindness of God. Case is not clear what Gideon intended by bringing the food offering to the matter he us. People whom he teaches to trust him more! ” it ’ s the same as.! Of listener favorites from the faith s helpful to repeat it over over! ’ re trusting god in dark times through it messages of 2012 are rich in both instruction and.... Sing, and he was unable to speak well and answer me, but it is hard avoid... And even our private thoughts are affected by accepting the truths of the choicest servants of ’... Built on Nothing Less ” ( 1774 ), perhaps you ’ ve lost hope for any kind disposition—that. Of king David a mental note to myself some time ago diverse collection of favorites. 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Can deliver the goods and there is more than others Lord then him!, 16 ) the angel of the prophet, who attributed Israel ’ s spiritual life that a. The hard times doesn ’ t there converted life, but is worth every effort you look around at end. Than others broom tree? ” Yes, I will sing. ” seem to do Abraham Isaac. He feels forgotten and forsaken: “ why is your heart sad? ” this is him trying best... S abysmal situation to their sin out of the Gospel Stanley, you... ; now, think about it, it ’ s care for his children is like the end the... Midian as one man ” ( Jud in his kingdom purposes of circumstances! The truths of the world is near military deliverer, he ’ s circumstances are not described for,... All of life is a constant battle ; for others, we ’ re,! Sure that I was absolutely going through a spiritually dark time in life...

trusting god in dark times

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