Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist Church because there's not necessarily a ton of prayer. That, according to the Bible, is the worship leader. There are those that direct in music and, you know, it would be like a person that comes up and opens up in prayer in the service. It would be like saying they're the prayer leader. They're just praying during the service. And a music director, they're just leading the singing and they're doing those things.
They're leading in that. But a worship leader is really the pastor and because worship is more than just singing. Worship is even the offering that I will not forget today. Because folks are good to remind me.
I actually had a good comment. I don't remember who said it. One of our members said they were talking to somebody that was visiting and they said, you know, I really like that church. The pastor even forgets sometimes to take the offering. Usually when we go to churches, that's the biggest priority on their mind and this pastor forgets about it. And it's always a huge priority Monday morning. I promise you.
See if we're going to be able to pay the bills this week. So David was that individual. He was the music director for David basically and Asaph, many of the psalms obviously that we have, they were written by different people. Asaph wrote some psalms. David wrote some psalms. Other people wrote some psalms. And Asaph would lead these psalms to music and he was kind of like you would call it a choir director. He was in ministry but he wasn't really the pastor or even the preacher.
I'm sure he did speak at different things and teach maybe but he wasn't really the pastor. He was the music director. Somebody told me years ago and I have found it to be true that sometimes creative people, those that tend to be creative, a lot of times people that are musical are creative. A lot of times people that are artistic obviously are creative in different things but many times creative people can deal a lot with melancholy. They can deal a lot with depression. They can deal a lot with deep thinking and there's a constant inward turmoil. They can deal with creative people and if you don't believe that, look at some of our modern art.
There is some conflict somewhere. I'm going to tell you that right now. But I have found that to be true and I hate to even call yourself creative but I'm musical and I like to create. I like things.
I like different things and I understand exactly how that goes. And Asaph was this way and in Psalm 77, I have preached quite a bit out of Psalm 77. Over the years, I've not really preached a lot out of Psalm 77 since I've been the pastor here. But I want to deal with this today and on this subject, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. And if I could put it into concise terms, what I want to speak to you specifically about this morning is how you and I have to be very careful how we talk to ourself in times of trouble.
This is where so many people get off track in their life because they said the wrong things to themselves in times of trouble. Now, please, we're going to read the whole chapter. It's just 20 verses but I want you just to really think and give me a few minutes of your time this morning. Look at verse 1.
Here's what we have. I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice, and he gave ear unto me. What is interesting in the first verse, we're told about the conflict and we're told about the consummation of the chapter. We're kind of told before it begins that this is where I was and this is what ended up happening. So everything's okay.
But let me tell you what went on. You find here that he cried unto God and he heard me. So we know that he heard me. We know that God took care of things and we know right now from the beginning, and it's as if Asaph said just in case, as I'm telling you what happened to me, in case you would think that maybe God wasn't there for me like he should have been, he was.
And he did answer. I'm letting you know that right now in the first verse. Look at verse 2. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord. My sore ran in the night and ceased not. My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God and was troubled. I complained. And my spirit was overwhelmed.
Selah. Look at verse 4. Thou holdest mine eyes waking. I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, which is what a melancholy person, oftentimes creative individuals, will do. When they face difficulty in their life, they immediately resort thinking of the past. They'll go through the past. They'll process things that happened before. And a lot of times individuals that are not like that, they'll think that we're just weird.
They'll be like, come on, snap out of it. A lot of times people like Asaph and even sometimes you'll look at us and we're just somewhere else. Just gazing off into the distance. And this is what Asaph's talking about here. Notice if you would, let's go to verse 5.
I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night. Another characteristic, by the way, when you deal with depression or questioning or confusion and creative people, a lot of times it's difficult to sleep. He said, I call to remembrance my song in the night. I notice this most important key phrase in the whole chapter. I commune with mine own heart. Now can I put that in terms that you and I will understand? He's talking to himself.
I commune. I'm having a conversation with my own heart. Have you ever done that? My sons make fun of me. You've heard this before because I talk to myself a lot. I'm ashamed to admit that, but I do because I need somebody that will understand and care about me. Thus the phrase mirror mirror on the wall. Have you ever been in a time in your life where it seemed like nobody understood? The only person you really could talk to and found yourself in a position that you were talking to was the mirror. I'll drive in the car sometimes and Daniel will be like, who you talking to, dad? I'll be like, nothing. I was just snoring. I don't know.
I'll have to make up something. Notice if you would, verse 6. I call to remembrance my song in the night. I commune with my own heart and my spirit made diligent search. Verse 7.
Will the Lord cast off forever? In other words, he said, you know, I'm spending time. I'm thinking. I'm contemplating. I'm going over the past. I'm thinking of all these things.
This problem in my life right now has brought all this on. And he said my spirit made diligent search. We're going to talk about that in just a few minutes.
But what he's saying is this. I just really began to search everything I've been taught, everything I've heard, everything I've read. I just, man, I searched through all that.
And these are some questions he came up with. Look at verse 7. Will the Lord cast off forever?
No more. Is his mercy clean, gone forever? Doth his promise fail forevermore? Have God forgotten to be gracious? Have he in anger shut up his tender mercies?
Selah. Wow, he is searching. He's asking, by the way, a lot of questions that you and I have asked at different times. Look at verse 10.
And I said, this is where everything turns, by the way. And by the way, I believe this chapter is separated in four parts. I don't know that. I haven't read that anywhere. It's just through my reading.
That's what I believe. I believe verses 1 through 3 is in a group. I believe verse 4 through 6 is in a group. I believe verse 7 through 9 is in a group. And then the rest of the chapter, verse 10 through 20. Verse 10. And then the rest of the chapter, verse 11.
The earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the sea. Thy path in the great waters.
And thy footsteps are not known. Thou lettest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. How did that help him? It sure did.
But how? What went on? What does this mean? I hope that this will help you this morning as it has really helped me recently. Lord, we love you. And I ask that you bless, Lord, as we talk about the subject of the things we say to ourselves in times of trouble. Lord, it's a very dangerous time. So, Lord, I pray that you would give us wisdom this morning in Jesus' name. I pray. Amen.
Our key verse here in this chapter, and it's not necessarily the key verse of the chapter, but it's the key verse of what I want to speak to you about today is in verse 6 when David said that he communed with his own heart. Do you know that that is where many people lose their victory? That is where so many people lose their victory. They lose their direction. They have an incident. They have difficulty. They have turmoil. They have an infirmity.
They have sickness, whatever the case might be. And they find themselves a little bit down, a little bit defeated, and they begin to question things, and they get confused about things. And dear friends, I'm here to tell you, a lot of times, at times like that in my life, there are people who want to help, people who want to say, and a lot of times we'll go to others and hear what they have to say. But it really boils down to when we are on our own, and it's just us and God and our own thoughts. What is so important is what we end up saying to ourselves during those times.
Because if you're not careful, that old sinful flesh will come out and will lie to you. And so many times when a person went through difficulty, they began to think things, and they began to process things, and they literally said the wrong things to themselves. They got off track. They got out of church.
They got away from God. And it all started with themselves. Now, I want you to look at this, and I'm not saying it always happens this way, but I'm saying many of the times this is exactly how this happens. Let's look at the stage of progression in Asaph's life. Number one, as in his incident here, as in most of us, number one, there is the complaining stage. The complaining stage. That's where it all begins.
Something happens. Either we were done wrong, either we think we were done wrong, or there's an infirmity, there's a difficulty that has come up in our life. And I look at my wife and I say, you know, my wife and I's life, and we have numerous infirmities and things that come up just like you do in your life.
I would say our biggest is Kaden. I'm sure it is. You know, that's the prevalent thing that's just always on our mind. It was on my mind this morning while the choir was singing and different things. That's the things on our mind.
But oftentimes, as those things come into your life, there is the complaining stage. Now, we do not know if this was a private problem Asaph was having or if it was a public problem. In other words, we don't know if it's something that was just between him and an individual.
Or if this was something that involved a group of people. We don't know. We don't know if it was a church problem. We don't know if it was a family problem. We don't know if it was a personal problem.
We don't know really what went on in Asaph's life. And I'm kind of glad we don't because we might tend to say, well, he got victory because he went through this, but I'm going through something different. Dear friend, it doesn't really matter what you're going through. We all seem to go through these stages. First thing is that complaining stage. Now, in the commentary, Matthew Henry said this, and I thought this was really, really good. I just want to read this to you talking about this specific chapter. Listen to what he says. We have here the portrait of a good man under prevailing melancholy who has fallen into and is sinking in that horrible pit, that miry clay of depression, and he is struggling to get out.
Have you ever been there and you are struggling to get out? Notice what he says, I think, and if I look at verses one, two, and three, look at these things he complained about, and just think of both of me for a minute. Number one, he said this, in the day of my trouble, I sought the Lord. Now let me just start right there, and please look at me.
Get this. Our days of trouble need to be days of prayer. David said, in my trouble, I complained to everyone else. Asaph didn't say that. Excuse me, I think I just said David. Asaph did not say that. Listen to me. Asaph said this, in the day of my trouble, I sought the Lord. What is dangerous is what you're saying to yourself, but I give him credit that he didn't go complaining to everybody else.
He closed the door to his house, or his room, or his closet, or whatever it was, and he got down and complained to God. And I recommend you to do that, by the way. There's enough complaining going on in this world. And let me let you in on a little bit of a secret. I don't care how they fake it. Your friends don't want to hear it. I hate to ruin your world and bust your bubble. Oh, but I got good friends. Yeah, I know, but after a while, it gets old. Every time they call you, well, I just, my wife and I were watching, is it wrong to admit you watch TV? I don't know.
You know, I guess it's too late now, you know, kind of a thing. You've been over to my house, you see a TV, so I guess I watch TV. There are, I'm sure, some that don't, and I commend you for it. I think it's great. And we obviously try to monitor what we watch, but we watch TV, and there's a show on extreme weight loss. I got some closet dwellers, and how many of you honestly can say, you've seen that extreme weight loss change? Okay, how many of you need to watch?
I'm not going to go over there. At least I admit it. I need to watch it, you know. And we're watching this thing, and this lady's going through losing weight, her and her husband, or whatever the case might be, and they're trying to lose weight before they get married, or whatever the case might be, kind of a thing. And we watched that thing for about 30 minutes, and I turned it, because every time that woman talked on that program, she was crying. She was talking, you know, I had a good day yesterday, but I just got up, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And then she's talking to the trainers, and like, yeah, I know, I just used to spend an emotional week, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, man, I can't take it. You know, that's what it's like, and listen to me, a lot of times you and I, we go complain to everybody else.
Can I give you a little bit of a ticket here? Go complain to God. He can take it. He knows that's how you're feeling anyway.
He's not shocked. Just get down in privacy, and let it out to God. Our days of trouble should be days of prayer. Look at me.
I want you to get this. He also says here that he began to seek. His soul made diligent search. Listen to me. When God, it feels to you like God has withdrawn from you, that is when you need to find Him. If you feel like God's away from you, or He's a distance away from you, that's not time to go further away.
That's time for you to seek Him out. Listen to this. Those that are under trouble, you need not think that you can drink it away or laugh it away. You can only pray it away. People find trouble, that's when they turn to the bottle. They'll turn to drugs. They'll turn to medication. They'll turn to things to entertain them, to get their mind off of it, and dear friend, I'm here to tell you, in his day of trouble, he sought the Lord. And let me give you a little bit of a clue like he did in the first verse.
It worked. The complaining stage. Notice here what he says here.
I thought this was interesting. He said, my soul refused to be comforted. The end of verse two. What he is saying there is this, my soul refused to be comforted. That means that there were those that had tried to comfort him. There were people in his life, and efforts were made to try to bring comfort to this man that was going through trouble. And he said, literally, my soul refused to be comforted. And dear friend, I'm here to tell you, sometimes in your life, you're gonna come across people that are going through difficulty, and you're gonna try your best to comfort them, and it might even be your own wife and your own husband, and you're gonna try to comfort them, but dear friend, when their soul refuses it, you can't do anything about it. It's a process they're gonna have to go through with God. You give your best efforts and try and love them, but I'm here to tell you, Asaph said, my soul refused to be comforted. Notice what he says this. He says, I remembered God.
This is horrible. Look at verse three. I remembered God and was troubled. That means that while he was going through this, he said, when I even thought about God and the things of God, it didn't comfort me. It didn't make me feel better.
It didn't put me back on top of the mountain. When I thought about God, it troubled me. It bothered me. In other words, he's saying, God, why'd you let this happen?
Why would you let this take place? In other words, what he's saying is, when I thought about God, all I thought about was the judgment and all these things of God, and I forgot about the mercy and the grace and all these things, and I'm here to tell you, when you go through trouble, you're gonna forget a whole lot of good things about God, and you're gonna tend to concentrate on the things you don't like or the things you and I think's not fair. He said this, I found interesting. I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.
Now listen, what he's saying is this. I complained, and it didn't give me comfort. You know, sometimes you go through something, you just need somebody who's gonna go get it out. Somebody says, well, how you doing? You look like something's bothering you.
You ever ask somebody that, and boy, you regretted it when you said that. You wanna talk about it? And they said, yeah.
Oh, that's too bad. Okay, well. You ever had something on you, and buddy, you just found somebody with a listening ear, and buddy, you just let it all out when you finally got it. It's like, I feel better.
Asaph said, I complained, and it didn't make me feel one bit better. The complaining stage. Number two, you and I normally go through next the contemplation stage.
Our complaining, that's our first immediate reaction, and we kind of are mad at this, upset at this, and all this, and then all of a sudden, then we begin to think. Look at verse four. Thou holdest mine eyes waking. First, there was sleeplessness. Notice that.
On the screen is your outline if you need it. There was sleeplessness. He said, thou holdest mine eyes waking. Notice second, he said, I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
Next, there was silence. He's like, I literally, I can't sleep, and I can't even talk about it. I don't even know what to say. I can't even put my feelings to words. I'm so confused, and as I'm thinking about why this has happened, and how this went down, and all these things that, there's so many things that don't make sense to me that I can't even talk about it.
Notice if you would, verse five, he says, I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. Third, there was searching. And that's usually what happens to us in this stage. We kind of get where we can't sleep, then we begin to kind of silent. We withdraw. We don't really talk.
We don't kind of are distant to people. And then we begin searching. He said, I call to remembrance my song in the night. Remember verse five, he said, I looked at the days of old. I looked at the ancient times. I began to think back. I began to go through everything that's happened in my life, and say, why did this happen, and why am I going through this, and how did this turn out like this, and he said, I got to the point I couldn't sleep, and I really couldn't talk about it. All I could do was think, and I began in my mind to search through all the past, and all those things.
Look at verse six. He said, I call to remembrance my song in the night. He said, I remember the times that I couldn't sleep before, and the difficulties I went through before, and I've rehearsed that that I went through in the night, but even that's not helping me right now. He said, I commune with my own heart, and my spirit made diligent search, and now he's saying, he said, I can't sleep. I can't even talk about it, so now my mind is just going, and I'm trying to process everything, and I'm going over everything in the past, and everything in the present, and even thinking about the future, and I'm trying to make sense of all this, and right here is a dangerous time for you and me, because notice next comes the confusion state.
Verse seven through nine. You and I get confused. Now what did he get confused about? As his spirit made search, these are the questions that he came up with.
In other words, these are the things that were bothering him. Number one, he said this, will the Lord cast off forever? In other words, is the Lord ever going to come near me again? Is he ever going to help me again? Is he ever even going to be close enough where I could even sense that he's here? I've been through some of these things, but I'm going to tell you, there have been times in my life, it seemed like, man, I did everything I could do. I could not get to the point that I felt like I was close to God. I wanted to.
I needed it, but I couldn't feel it. Second, he says, will he be favorable no more? In other words, is he not ever going to show favor on my life again?
Is that history now? He said, is his mercy clean gone forever? What I find interesting is verse seven, he says, will the Lord cast off forever, which means I don't feel like he's here right now, but he used to be. Or he wouldn't have said it that way. Notice second, he says, will he be favorable no more? That means he was at one time. So Asaph is admitting that God was close to me, and he did show favor to me, and he did show me mercy in verse eight, but he's saying, is it gone now forever?
Because I can't find it. I can't find his favor in this situation. I can't seem to find his mercy in this situation. I can't even find him in this situation.
Notice the fourth question. Doth his promise fail forevermore? He said, I'm going through all the promises that I've ever been told, and I don't see where God's keeping any of his promises in my life right now. Notice what he says next, hath God forgotten to be gracious? In other words, I can't see the grace of God. I can't see the graciousness of God in any of this. Have you ever had something in your life where you've been like, man, I know God, I know you're gracious, but I don't see it in this. I'm going to be honest with you, and I try sometimes because people don't come here to hear my life story about our youngin'. But all I can do is relate God's word to me in my life because I'll use me as an illustration because I won't be offended.
If I use one of you, it might hurt your feelings because I know what some of you have been through. And we walked in to see him, and his chest is still open, and he's puffed up like a balloon, and here he is three days old. I'm going to be honest with you, I did not see a whole lot of God's graciousness in that. Notice what he asked last. This is the natural outline in this passage. First, there is the complaining stage, and he says, Selah, think about that. Then he comes to the confusion, and that contemplation turns into confusion.
And then he says, Selah, again, really think about this. The confusion stage. You know, this is when the questions come. This is when we begin to doubt what we once were certain of. Satan will make sure to put questions in your mind, by the way, during this stage.
Listen to me. If Satan can make you doubt one thing about God, he can make you doubt anything about God. If Satan can get you to question God's word, then Satan can get you to question God himself. We talk with people that are going through admittedly very horrible things, and it doesn't seem fair, and it doesn't seem right, and I can't tell you how many times you get to that stage, and they're so confused, and they're questioning everything they've been taught, and we have folks leaving their faith left and right. Why? Because God failed them?
No. But because they were convinced God failed them. Some of you are looking at me this morning. There have been times where you were convinced, and you were convinced, and you might even almost be there right now that God has failed you in some way. The confusion stage, and it is so dangerous what you say to yourself during this time. I want you to notice forth the choice stage.
This is important. Every one of us come to this. When you have a difficulty, when you have turmoil, when you have an infirmity, when you have trouble, whatever the case might be, it always starts with complaining, then it starts with contemplating. You begin to think about things, and then you begin to get confused. Then you question and all these things, and we all kind of get to this point, but look at me, dear friends.
This is the choice stage. Now you have to decide how you are going to go forward from here. You now have questions, all these things you've been taught, that God's great, and God's good, and God's gracious, all these things.
You've questioned all these things, and now there are some people I've talked to, they even question whether God's real or not. They don't even know, and you get to this point. Right here is where you make a choice. You decide right now which direction you are going to go.
Now notice this, the choice stage. Look at verse 10. This is what Asaph says, and I said.
It all breaks right there. In other words, Asaph said, I've done my thinking now, and I've done my complaining, and I've had my confusion, and I've asked my questions. Look at verse 11 of Hermonie. Now there's three things that Asaph did that he determined to do that brought him out of this. Number one, Asaph said, I will submit. Notice what he says.
First, I said. That's personal. That means nobody else can make this decision for me. Nobody else can talk me into this. By the way, remember, he said, my soul refused to be comforted. There are those that had tried to help him, and he refused to help, and it comes down, dear friend, nobody else can make this decision. People can't love you out of this decision.
It's a decision you have to make yourself. I said. He is literally saying, I'm commuting with my own heart. I said to myself, this is my infirmity. I love that. When he said, this is my infirmity, it made it personal. It made it intimate. He is saying this. This is my infirmity. It belongs to me. Thank you for listening to the Kerwin broadcast today. God bless you.
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