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September 9, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. That's what God said on their no matter how dark your day is on their all right with you. Think about this. Think of the 23rd Psalm is all we all even though I go to the Valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.
Why you are joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana.
Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word are Laura dark from the middle English word dirt from the old English word you meant to hide as a noun, it's pretty's and understandably straightforward is definition. Absence of light. But when you think about it as an adjective, then there's a lot more meaning. The word dark and mean depressing, disconsolate, dismal, gloomy, grim, fearful, and using that term. It can happen at any time on any scale from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance Western Europe went through what was called the dark ages. Historians have written that the American Civil War were the darkest days in our history.
Most importantly, dark days are part of our life. Part of my life and it's part of your life. Think of the darkest days you have had so far.
You know exactly what I'm talking about dark days. Most assuredly, if you aren't having dark days. Now you will in future we mark our lives with dark days, the death of loved ones, marriages that end diseases, aging as it takes its toll, financial setbacks, and myriad of other things dark days or days of fear and anxiety, and desperation. In America we have whole industries because of dark days self-help books. Some of us actually believe will read ourselves out of the dark days. Some of us think we can drink ourselves out of the dark days. Americans spend $90 billion a year when alcohol we spent 18 billion a year in rehab. Some of us think we can medicate ourselves out of dark days were spending about $14 billion a year on antidepressants using the Christian when we go through dark days and we most assuredly will cry out to God help help.
What would God say you can say whatever he wants. I don't want to speak for them. That way, but I can tell you one thing he would say 4610 4610.
Lord I'm in a dark day. It's desperate, 46, 10 jewelry Bibles to Psalm 46 is a look at verse 10.
A very famous verse one of the very first verses I ever highlighted in my Bible at that time it was a King James Bible. This is a new American Standard Psalm 4610 simply says cease striving, and know that I am God the King James version it says be still and know that I am God know the question might be. Are you sure that the context there is dark days though. Look at verses two and three in verse six, first in verse two.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea, and though its waters, war and phone and though the mountains quake at a swelling pride verse six the nations made an uproar in the kingdoms tottered.
He raised his voice and the earth melded while the earth is changing. The mountains are falling there's earthquakes national instability and kingdoms that are tottering as a dark days and what's so interesting about this is when you read the entire song. Virtually all of the Psalm is about who God is and what God does except in verse 10, the psalmist gives a command to us.
Cease striving, and know that I am God actually says just cease in a new American Standard. Striving is in italics.
It's just trying for the best is an interesting word is it's the word rough in Hebrew, and that word means to let go.
Literally it means this to put your hands down to your side rough weather would stop being busy. If I were going to use an English word that I think fits the context and fits the dark days of our life.
It's this word relax, relax, now seems kind of odd and that because when dark days come in your life. Almost always, your responses not to relax.
In fact, we almost always respond emotionally to something like that but you know if you think about it. Relax makes sense. I mean after all, that's what we try to do anyway in the dark days only to be hammered heard something like this will I need to get a drink so I can relax see I need a drink. I need some medication so I can relax I mean some meditation so I can relax writing on how to relax as I like to stress and feeling like the anxiety well. God says relax and then he says, and know that I am God.
See how you relax honey, relax in the dark days of your life if you thought about the darkest days you been through the honest, this relaxation come to mind. You see how you relax while you miss a few reasons. Three. On this morning, but one is this in the dark days of your life. You can only relax if you know something in the dark days of your life. You can only relax if you know something notices kind of interesting because in the middle.
Dark, they should expect, for emotional words, even words of faith, which is certainly implied but he gives us cognitive words. In fact, he says the way you relax as you think a little differently, he said, relax and know that I am God. Knowing makes all the difference may be wondering I'm a little skeptical about okay I understand. Let me let me put it this way last year when you were watching the Super Bowl present a very relaxing experience for you know it was kind of like many heart attack it with. It was stress receipt by meters anxiety. I mean, until that interception.
You know how you felt okay now let's imagine something here this to say that you bought the DVD if your roof and you bought the DVD. Now you buy the DVD and you put it in to watch the game again. How stressful was it how much stress you have no in fact, I guess you could say you are what relaxed and relaxed.
Why, because you know something going.
You see, you know something and if you know something and makes all the difference in the world what looked like a very stressful situation. Once you know what changes everything knows what God says. He says relax and know that I am God that I am God. While she seems almost like God is trying to give you a reference point every dark day is different, but wanting it is indifferent as God no matter what you're going through, or been through are going to go through.
God says look here's what you need to know if you get a relax. I'm God I will be the reference point for everything that is going to happen. And once you start there. You're a very good spot.
You can actually figure it out when my mother-in-law was a lot the last especially the last 10 years of sober life you always put jigsaw puzzles together and would visit her in Pennsylvania should always have a jigsaw puzzle on it on the table and she loved the doom. She's very good at and I member sitting down always wanted to contribute to the cause and it always worked well as long as it wasn't near the last piece. One thing I learned about that. If someone put a thousand pieces together make a like 960 when you sit on, you better let them for the last present when you when you sit down to do a jigsaw puzzle. Just imagine how complicated it would be if he didn't have one thing the lid to the box because what's on the lid of the box.
The picture of the puzzle, not just imagine doing a thousand pieces without a picture with him got up you know how you got it to hold it up to look at a cohort up to look at it trying to make sure you have things that you need a reference point while ice a lot like that.
But there's a complicated there are puzzles goddesses look relax, be the lid you look at me figure this out.
So one thing we see for sure is that you know something something more here though in the dark days of your life. You can only relax if you have a really good example to follow the tracks you see somebody else do this. That's what I was sure this morning want to hold your place at Psalm 46 and go with me to second Chronicles chapter 22nd Chronicles, few pages to your left second Chronicles chapter 20 and hold your place at Psalm 46. An example the use of the young king's name is Jehoshaphat and he is something special was a king of Judah in the first two verses, you get an idea of what a dark day. Looks like if you're the king of Judah. The first two verses it reads like this. It came about that. After this, the sons of Moab, and the sons of Ammon, together with some of them unites came to make war against Jehoshaphat and then some came reported Jehoshaphat saying a great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea out of Obama, and behold it says they are in Hayes is on tomorrow that is in getting three different nations, all of them. By the way, with larger standing armies and Judah may cite here form the Confederacy and now they are going to attack due to know if you're attending, that's a dark day and by the way, sometimes dark days happen to kings, especially of the northern kingdom of Israel, because they were lousy kings and God was getting. That's not the case here at all.
In fact if you look and read in verse 31 and 32 of the same chapter, especially verse 32, only example concerning Jehoshaphat. It said this, he walked in the way of his father, Asa, and did not depart from it doing right in the sight of the Lord refined up in verse 31 that he was 35 years old when he became king and he reigned for 25 years is a good man, dark days happen to God's choices, servants see everybody gets dark days everybody knows who sometimes a days abroad because a disappointing hand of the Lord, but sometimes a days are dark because we live as fallen people in a fallen world, Jehoshaphat's a good man but he has a dark day and notice his first initial responses exactly the same as yours and mine. In verse three he said Jehoshaphat was afraid is very you know that the oncologist is shaking his head as he looks across the desk you that I have some bad news. You know that fear gripped her heart, you get the pink slip fear.
You get a dear John letter fear. So when dark days come. There is fear the natural first response, but it's only an initial response because Josip I was afraid it says and then he turned his attention to seek the Lord so we can have that very long, but that was the very first one. Why did he stay fearful because he knew something she Jehoshaphat knew something if you can relax in the dark days of your life you need to know something you know something turned back to Psalm 46.
Now let's look at what he might've known Psalm 46 verse one God is our refuge and strength, the first thing the Jehoshaphat knew his God is willing to spend his protection and his power on us.
God is willing to spend his protection and his power on us out of the psalmist says God is our refuge. Notice that's the protection and our strength. That's the power is not new to Jehoshaphat. In fact, every servant of God had the same idea. The apostle Paul understood that I can do all things to him strengthens me. Also, God is dedicated to be with us in the dark days, a very present help in time to trouble is not only my refuge and my strength, my protection of my power breeze also says maybe right there that's so important to the psalmist liver seven the Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is your stronghold. Verse 11 the Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our stronghold three times the same idea is with us is my security and he's going to be there in the New Testament the Lord said, concerning all of us. I'll never leave you nor forsake you. I will walk out.
I'm here even in the darkest days of the apostle Paul in second Corinthians 12. He has a lot of dark days back.
He is a dark decade but going on to those dark days. He has the storm, the flesh and it's giving them so much trouble that he entreats the Lord three times board to be removed from his life and God finally talks to Paul. He lets Paul know that it's not going to be removed and then he said something to Paul. They just called greater assurance about his presence in his life as he goes through the dark days.
He says all my grace is sufficient. In other words, I will protect you. I will empower you. My grace is sufficient to get you through noticing and promised Paul that the dark days when you just promised Paul to be with them as he goes through the dark days. Think of someone in the Old Testament like Joseph like this young man. His brothers hate his guts. So is brother Stroman a Pitner gonna leave them to die. Then I decide will not is not do that would sell so they sell him as a slave to be taken to Egypt so he goes into slavery in Egypt is in prison to get out of prison etiquette job in a sense, for work and some like Potter for Potiphar's wife keeps trying to seduce him now. Out of respect for God and respect for Potiphar, Joseph wants nothing to do with her. She then makes false accusations, the Joseph guess where he ends up back in prison. Now imagine so far he's done nothing wrong.
He's hated by his brothers.
He sold as a slave is in prison out of prison in prison. Those are dark days when you read the narrative literature in Genesis 3 different times in that narrative you read this, the Lord was with Joseph. The Lord was with Joseph. See, the Lord was with him.
That's what God said on their no matter how dark your day is on their all right with you. Think about this. Think of the 23rd Psalm a song we all love, even though I go to the Valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. Why for your with me. She that's the point. That's one of the things that he knew he knew that God was willing to spend his protection of this power on him and he also knew that God promised to be with him something else though if you go to 4610.
Again, he says cease driving a know that I am God your something else we need to know I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth while God will be exalted even in our dark days. In fact, the way I understand Scripture. He is most exalted.
As we respond to him and are dark days. It sounds a lot like Romans 828. All things can work together for the good.
You see, that's what he tells us the question we often have as one of the exalted when when he decides. Sometimes he's not exalted to the very end. Sometimes he's exalted somewhere down the line, but often he's exalted right in the middle of the darkest of days.
You see, one of the important things that I understand about my God. Is this you will never waste my struggle. He will not waste my struggle is very important to him. He will be exalted even in the midst of the dark days. Many illustrators go back a second Chronicles 20 again and notice what happens in this scenario. In verse 15 to has EL the son of Zachariah prophet stands up and this is what he says in verse 15 he said listen all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat, he says, thus says the Lord, to you and to us.
Do not fear or be dismayed. Because of this great multitude for the battle is not yours but God's. Notice what the prophet says the battle is not yours. It's God's see that makes a lot of sense. Especially if you being overwhelmed by Jehoshaphat. I mean, no matter how he looks at the strategy there's not much you can do about it. Each one of those armies are probably superior to his all three together. He has no chance. A lot of times that's waiters are dark days when her own. We can do this that Jesus set apart for me you can do nothing.
Life is overwhelming. Apart from Christ I I have been feeling for you who don't know Christ because I can tell you that you been to go through dark days and are gonna be on your own and you're not sufficient for but here Jehoshaphat is told that the battle is the Lord's see, he knows this the way you relax as you go through dark days need to know something and I know he knows you. So how do you know he knows well what what happens.
Look at verse 18 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord worshiping the Lord the Levites from the son of the kilobytes and the sons of the court fights. He said stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a very loud voice. Notice that there is darkness of dark can be Jehoshaphat takes what he knows about God and what does he do worships. Let me ask you something if you been in dark days. Did you worship you see is that upfront to you.
I'm worshiping you see what we want to do as often as this Lord just get me through these dark days and then I'm going to worship you know that I'll really ball be grateful and I'll thank you and thank you so much and then I'll worship you right now I just rather be afraid full of anxiety draws offensive no I know something I know Lord and I know that I can worship him that that's exactly what he does best.
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