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Living With Fear & Winning

Moody Church Hour / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
February 20, 2022 1:00 am

Living With Fear & Winning

Moody Church Hour / Erwin Lutzer

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February 20, 2022 1:00 am

It seems the world is reeling from crisis to crisis in a climate of fear. Fear consumes many of us, and for the rest, it lurks in the back of our minds. But as God’s people, if we truly understand God and His promises, what can trouble us? In this message on Psalm 27, we’ll explore four blessings David held onto even though he faced difficult circumstances. He set his sight on God who is our protector, who satisfies, accepts, teaches, and guides us. When we encounter trials, we know that we are still in the hands of our sovereign God.

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It seems the world is reeling from crisis to crisis turmoil in the Middle East. Rising prices declining supplies and nation after nation facing an unpayable debt all over the earth. Civil unrest is just beneath the surface. Meanwhile, politicians make promises they can never keep all of this creates a climate of fear as foreclosures.every block and jobs grow more scarce. Americans feel that fear more every day. How should a Christian face the uncertain days ahead. Today a ringing call to rely on God no matter what comes our way. Stay with us from Chicago. This is The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching with pastor Erwin Blitzer today. Join us for a word of hope from Psalm 27 as we hear a message on living with fear and winning our service today opens with singing and passage is Psalm 27 longer him you number 697. The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear the Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid when evil men a chance against me to devour my flesh when my enemies and my foes attacked me, they will stumble and fall. When Army beseeched me, my heart will not fear the war break out against me. Even then, I will be confident. One thing I ask of the Lord. This is what I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple for the day of trouble. He will keep me safe in his dwelling. He will hide in the shelter of his tabernacle, and set on a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies surrounding his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy. I will sing and make music to the Lord, hear my voice when I call the Lord, be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says if you seek his face your face, Lord, I will seek do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger. You have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me. Oh God my Savior.

Though my father and mother forsake me. The Lord will receive me, teach me your way overboard leave me in a straight path because of your oppressors do not turn me over to the desire of my foes for false witnesses rise up against me breathing out violence. I am still confident of this. I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living wait for the Lord strong and take heart and wait for the I don't really need him today because things are going so well want you to know today what is just been expressed by the choir is so important. I encourage you to take these words with you for the rest of your life when you don't understand and most assuredly, we often don't understand we file the knee and we let God be God.

See like go sure and will all will so much Joe and Abby, God is in control were told today that there are five or six fears and actually I have to say that probably every one of us has at least one theater and maybe two or 30.

The list could include such things as fear of rejection is amazing what people will do to be accepted because we fear rejection from friends. Maybe even from a spouse young women sometimes marry unwisely because they fear that they may go through life without a husband, and that kind of rejection sometimes brings about unwise decisions. I know it's been said a thousand times, but I'll say the thousand and one. It is always better to want what you don't have been to have what you don't want to remember that and we have some testimonies of that right over here.

We could open the mic and we could hear it directly.

Secondly, there is fear of poverty, economic uncertainty here that we won't have enough to live. It will be thrown out on the street that will lose our houses or our condos because we're losing our jobs, fear of loneliness. Imagine being in a nursing home and nobody visits you and you're just there alone. Just you and Jesus. Imagine the loneliness in the sense of reject fear of sickness. I know someone whose wife would not go to the doctor because she feared that the test would reveal something and so she didn't go, and so she died from something that humanly speaking was quite preventable, but the very idea of having a test. She prefer not to know what was wrong with her body. Fear of violence.

We can now add terrorism terrorism biological weapons chemical weapons we hear about the possibilities that are so horrendous that if that happens, I think we'll just want to just say, Lord, here we come. Let's not try to figure all this out about fear of death. That's a biggie. Fear of death. Martin Luther like to tell the story about a Turkish army officer who promised his soldiers that if they died in a war that day if they died in a war they would go directly to sup with Christ in heaven. By evening, so many of them went and some of them died and some of them lived came back and said to the officer both. Why didn't you go into the battle and get killed so that you could stop with Christ this evening so I can't do that because I'm fasting today. Fear of death. I want us to know that the answer to the problem of fear is a new understanding and a fresh understanding of God.

That's where lies in its because of some misconceptions of God. We sometimes find fears that are coming into our lives that would not have to be there if we just understood God a little better. King David before he was the king was founded by King Saul. He was running from cave to cave 10 long years.

This harassment continued and Saul intended to kill David and David was running and actually he not only ran but it still destabilized him mentally. This is King David that he actually ended up joining the Philistine army, the Army of the enemy for a piece. It's amazing what harassment and fear can do and and you continue to run and that's what was happening to David and it can happen to us, but the song that I chosen today is one in which David got his sights draped it's one in which he offers up hope because he's he's thinking biblically about God put it that way. Psalm 27 Psalm 27 is the Psalm and it was written when David was fleeing from King Saul. That's where most scholars place it as a result of that, you find that David here is rejoicing in God and he mentions at different blessings that come to those who are in distress. Are you in distress today. You got for blessings coming your way and I want you to grab hold of all of them and walk out here today with all of these blessings safely tucked in your mind and heart. That's the agenda. First of all what David says is he says the Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear the Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid you notice stronghold is given to Israel. You go to Masada. That's a stronghold huge mountain. The steep cliffs. There is no way that you can scale those heights and what happened is, the Jews were able to hold out there as long as they had food and water for years and nobody could get to them. That's the stronghold. God is our stronghold and we are in God. David goes on and he says some things that you and I can't say in this Psalm he mentioned some promises that that you and I can't claim notice what he says when evil men. Verse two advanced against me to devour my flesh when my enemies and my foes attack they will stumble and fall going Army besiege me. My heart will not fear the war break out against me. Even then will I be confident. Part that doesn't apply to us is when he says when the evil people come against me. They're gonna stumble and fall and are going to vanish away.

That may not be true of us. When we preach the Psalms we have to point things like this out and the reason is because David could say this because God gave him a promise that he would be king, and so he had this in his heart that no matter what happened, he would live through it. But you and I don't have that promise duly not even Jesus, who always did the father's will not even Jesus discovered that as armies came against him. They all stumbled and fell know they nailed him violently to a tree. They crucified him. So how does this apply to us. To say that God is our protector, which incidentally is the first blessing the first blessing is that God is our protector.

It simply applies in this sense that there is no way that an enemy can get to us unless God permits it, unless God lets down the drawbridge and allows the enemy to attack us know enemy can attack us without the permission, the express permission of God. That's how it applies you say will why does God allow that.

Why does he not just simply wall us all why don't we just go through life without any enemies without any attacks. Why don't we just when we just be secure in him, and sing all the songs of praises all the way to heaven without any care or concern when you know that God has a different agenda, don't you, it was Elizabeth Elliott's who said we cannot explain why God allows some people to suffer in many different ways we can't explain that, but we do know for sure that he loves us with an everlasting love. He asks us to trust him until that time, when the mystery of pain and his sovereignty will be unfolded. So God has his purpose and part of that is going to become clearer as this message continues, but you and I don't have the right to tell God we do not have the right to tell God how deep the knife might go into our soul. God is accomplishing something. But God shields us from so many different enemies that we don't even know about any shields us from satanic attack. God is our stronghold. He is our protection is all that but he allows the enemies through from time to time to teach us to trust in in ways that we would never get to know him.

Were it not that we walk through the valley of those years second blessing David says God satisfies us.

Verse 41 thing I ask of the Lord. This is what I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple, or in the day of trouble. He will keep me safe in his dwelling. He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle, and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above mine enemies who surround at his tabernacle. I will sacrifice with shouts of joy.

I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Now this indeed was written when David was fleeing from King Saul. Think of what David is saying is not only does God protect me and shield me, but God satisfies me. I get to go into the temple of the Lord as it were and I and I behold the beauty of the Lord and the Lord hides me in his tabernacle, the imagery is this that in the Middle East.

If you had a friend or someone who is even fleeing from an enemy you could take that friend and you could hide them in your tent and the enemy could not get to him, unless the enemy got to you first.

It was a sign of security, a sign of acceptance. It was guest rights, if you please, and David is saying, you know that's what God does in the midst of my enemies in the midst of my fears.

There is a sense in which I get to worship him and to enjoy his beauty in his tabernacle and he surrounds me about in the hollow of his hand and his heart David says in the midst of my fears God actually satisfies me. It's not just that he protects me on the outside but he gives me something with him.

That is so fulfilling. Thirdly, he says, God accepts me he accepts me notice as he continues on he speaks about seeking the face of the Lord. That is so beautiful that that really needs a separate message. I will not comment on it, although perhaps at the end all say a word about it but he says, Lord, I want to you that you're saying seek my face, your face, Lord, I will seek do not hide your face from the do not turn your servant away in anger because you been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me. Oh God my Savior and then he says, though my father and mother forsake me. The Lord will receive me. I have to understand, David.

David was the last born in his family and he always struggled with this sense of rejection.

We see this right from the beginning when Samuel was supposed to get a king from Israel from the sons of Jesse and you member what happened. All of the sons of Jesse marched before Samuel and Samuel says I can't figure this out. Lord, because you've not designated any one of these to be king and and I apparently I've seen all the sun and said no, no, you haven't seen them all. Actually, there's it is a young one just tending to the lands and the sheep. You haven't seen him, but there's no way that this boy of 17 could be the right one. So so David has this this problem with wondering where he fit within the family, perhaps rejected by his older brothers and also maybe rejected by his parents. So he says even if my father and mother forsake me.

I'm talking about abandonment issues. Those who do counseling like Pastor Milko and others they know all about abandonment issues. If a child's been abandoned is very difficult sometimes to establish comfortable and wholesome relationships because there is this fear they're going to abandon me again, that's why. By the way the church of Jesus Christ must become surrogate families for all the children who feel this sense of rejection and abandonment that is our responsibility to be mother and father and cousins and aunts to those children. That's what the body of Jesus Christ is for, but in the process. What we do is we keep drawing them to God and to say that even though your father and mother have forsaken you and some of you who are adopted feel that way don't you. The Bible says that the Lord will take you up God accepts you and receives you and you'll never be caught in a child custody battle so far as God is concerned, you'll belong to him forever. So David says my major fear, which is the fear of abandonment, God is taking care of that. Because because even if my parents reject me, God will be there for me that's comforting is you may fear the rejection of a spouse. You may fear the rejection of your parents and relatives, and you may feel the sting on the her to the trail but God will be there for his people. The third blessing is he accepts us. The fourth blessing is that he will teach and lead us. You'll notice now I am actually in verse 11, teach me your way, old Lord lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors do not turn me over to the desire of my foes for false witnesses rise against me breathing out violence. We could read today, terrorism. I am still confident of this. I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living wait for the Lord be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

He says God will teach me and God will lead me. Yes, through our fears God teaches us. God oftentimes takes all of those support systems that we think are so important and those are taken from us and in all that we have left is God you've heard me quote the Puritans before, haven't you went all that we have is God.

We discover that God is enough. There is such a thing as comfort and rest and security in God. And David says that actually is the answer ultimately to those whom we fear the whole theater issues that are so important to us and he says lead may Lord keep me from the desire of my enemies. They lay traps for me. There are some of you who tomorrow morning are going to be in a work in government where there are people whose sole desire is to get you to fail they want to see you fail.

They want to set traps for you. They want to work it in such a way that that that you fail because it's so important to them either to get your position or else to feel better in relationship to you full of envy, and then there are others of you who may be harassed and who may be in difficult situations and David is saying keep me from the desire of my enemies. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, even though false witnesses have been raised against and we find today that there are people all over the place were willing to be false witnesses. If you get money if you get prestige if it helps you false witnesses abound in our culture, sometimes even in Christian circles, there are false witnesses that rise against us.

So what David is saying is that the Lord your giving me these blessings, not when everything is going well. You'll notice he says he hides me in his tabernacle as I mentioned a moment ago in the day of trouble. Not when you're healthy and well and when you get a windfall. And when everything seems to be going in your direction is very much in the day of trouble God protects us, satisfies us, receives us, leads us and that we can be confident. Now I began this message by saying that the answer to. Fear is for us to understand God and his relationship to what's happening in the world and what I need to tell you is this, that obviously from this Psalm we can see first of all that, the bigger our God, the bigger our God, the smaller our fears and are enemies bigger, our God, because you see when when David began to understand that the Lord was was omnipotent and that he was God and that's what instills confidence in us member the early church. They were persecuted they were whipped. They were taken and they were put in jail and when they came together for a prayer meeting on marvelous prayer that was prayed in acts chapter 4. What did they say old sovereign Lord, we know that you are the creator of the ends of the earth.

That's the way their prayer began. Why did they begin that way they needed to remind themselves that their enemies were persecuting them that even those enemies were created by God, and they were dependent upon God for their very breath. Listen to the person who has you in his sites. The person who would like to destroy you.

I want to tell you today that that person lives and breathes by the mercy of a sovereign God who could snuff out his breath in his life. In one second until the early church, said Lord you're the creator and because you're the creator you really do have the whole world in your hand and you are in control in control is a second lesson and now we get to the biggie that I think is going to be very helpful for all of us, even when we are in the hands of the wicked man we are still in the hands of God, even when we're in the hands of wicked men. As believers we are still in the hands of God who is at the crucified Jesus, Peter, when he was preaching to the people said that you you crucified Jesus wicked hand crucified him and nailed him to a cross wicked hands did yet when Jesus dies on the cross and gives us those marvelous seven sayings from the cross. What is the last one that he gives. He says father, into thy hands I commit my spirit. Wicked hands can only do so much wicked hands can only snuff out your life for nail you to a cross or cause an explosion or cause a plane to go down.

That's all that wicked hands can do. But when wicked hands have done. The worst that they can possibly do. Underneath are the everlasting hands of God and those hands sustained God's people, even when wicked hand.

Always remember that. Remember Jesus said some things about his hands. He says that as far as my people are concerned, you said no one pluck them out of my hand. He says, speaking of his people, and then he says in the very same context. My father, who gave them to me is greater than everybody and nobody can pluck them out of my father's hand, you've hands in harmony. You have the hands of the sun and you have the hands of the father, and both of them are holding onto God's people and they hold onto God's people, even when God's people are thrown to the lions even when they are massacred. Even when they die in airplanes. They hold on to God's people, those hands do not let go. Let's take Todd Beamer of let's roll fame did he is a believer die under the hands of wicked men for the hands of God. Lance is of course that he died under both hands. He was in the hands of wicked people that airplanes remember that when down in Pennsylvania wicked hands were hijacking at intending to take it. Perhaps to Washington hit one of the buildings there wicked hands were doing that but but he dies under the hands of God and even those hijackers were in God's hands and the Bible says regarding the wicked. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God may also fall into God's hands, but believers fall into God's hands and they are taken to heaven along with the Jesus who said, into thy hands I commit my spirit.

I hope I'm making myself clear today. What I'm trying to say to you is that the providence of God does not leave you.

Just because somebody who is wicked attacks you or even kills you. You're still in the hands of God. I helped a woman understand this, whose husband was murdered in a random murder. She was a believer.

He was to she.

She struggled a great deal with this. She could never accept the death of her husband as being part of God's plan because to her God's plan had only good things over here it would never include evil things over here needless to say God does not do. God did not murder her husband wicked hands murdered her husband. But even those wicked hands as I have mentioned are still in the hands of God and the believer. Her husband died in God's hands. That's why David said just a couple of Psalms later the Bible is like mine, you can turn to Psalm 31 Psalm 31 and I love to hear the turn of the leaves of your Bible. Psalm 31 verse 14 but I trust in you, oh Lord, I say you are my God, my times are in your hand your hands now.

He says deliver me from mine enemies and those who persecute me, but my times are in God's hands this evening. God willing, I would be flying to Canada you know that there is a big country to the north of us old Canada, God willing tonight if he wills at time going to be in Regina, Saskatchewan now want to tell you in advance. I believe that the plane that I'm going to be flying on is going to make it okay. Let's just get that straight. But if it doesn't I don't want you to think to yourself what you know he died because this plane had mechanical failure or because it was hijacked or because of this and that. Whatever the reason may be, I want you to know that ultimately, despite all of these contingencies. I have the deep satisfaction that I will have died in the hands of all mighty God.

I want you to have that satisfaction to because when you begin to believe that then feared begins to dissipate because you begin to say that there is no fear that will come to me that it is a part of the divine plan. Of course we don't do foolish things we make wise decisions just like David was running from saltiness.

I will, God, you know you're gonna protect me. So here I am. Let's all kill me know. David was running because you have human responsibility connected with Providence but at the end of the day.

I want you to know today that we are in God's hand. That's why Jesus said do not fear those who are able to kill the body, that's all the terrorists can do all that they can do is to kill the body, and after that they run out of ideas. Jesus said, fear him, rather who is able to destroy both soul and body all is 1/3 lesson and with this, we will conclude that it's not possible to simultaneously focus on God and focus on our fears and factors averse in the Psalms that actually says that if you fear God, you need fear nothing else. You don't even have to fear news from afar country. The Bible says as long as you fear God, because there's nothing that comes into your life, but that is a part of his permissive will at least part of his permissive will. Someone has said that fear and here we have an acrostic now FEAR fear is false evidence appearing real. There tons of fears out there that you and I have that will never come to us British Columbia. I'm reminded of that prison made of wallboard, but any prisoner could've pushed down but it looks like concrete so they never tried to touch it very same way. Many of our fears.

If you push on find that they are a puff of smoke, especially in the presence of a sovereign God. That's the way our fears are. But as long as we think that they are formidable. They are as formidable as we think they are.

But if we are willing to trust God. The fear dissipates. Let not your heart be troubled.

There was a little girl who was riding on a train playing with her dolls and toys on one side of the train and when it went into a tunnel. The people who were around thought that the little one would cry that suddenly this train which was in sunlight was engulfed in dark, but she didn't cry, and when the train came out on the other side of the tunnel.

Everybody realized why she didn't. She had left her dolls and her toys and had rushed across the aisle was securely being held in the arms of her mother, that's what fear does to us. Fear makes us leave all the things that we are important in life and we we run to God and we say I want you to envelop me. I want you to be all that I am at this moment in God, figuratively speaking, puts his arms around disc look at what David says here in the last verse of Psalm 27.

Wait for the Lord be strong and take heart way for the Lord. Some of you are bearing burdens and fears that God never, never intended you to bear in your bearing and it hurts and it's destructive when we just give it all to God today just let go and say God, you're stronger than I am. You know more than I do you have a providential plan. You can hurt me as deeply as you think I need to be hurt, but at this moment I transfer my fears to you and we do that, let's pray together father before I came here today.

I prayed for the deliverance of your people from fear of illness, fear of terrorism, fear of rejection, fear of war.

Today we pray father that in a new way will help us to see that we are in your hand, may we transfer those fears to you. Would you begin to do that right now and I'm speaking to the congregation and those who are listening by other means may be the Internet radio would you transfer those fears to the Lord. Right now. Father, we know that these things take time they can't be done in just a moment, but I wanted the opportunity to be given for everyone to say Lord by your grace all bear these fears no longer the Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear who's out there. No one is out there who's as great as the one who loves me and cares for me and hides me in his tent over Grand Theft Auto. We pray in Jesus name, amen.

But sing together him number 348, 348 will sing only the first and the last stanzas of 348. Let's all stand to sing.

As Jerry comes to leave on today's Moody Church. Our pastor loads are rougher message on living with fear and winning a word of assurance in a time of increasing uncertainty. Today's message can be yours on CD is our thank you for the gift of any amount. The Moody Church. Our just call 1-800-215-5801. Let us know you'd like to support Moody Churches ministry when you call.

Mention the message on living with fear and winning, call 1-800-215-5001 or you can write to us at Moody Church media 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online go to that's join us next time for another Moody Church. Our with pastor Erwin lutes are in the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago. This broadcast is a ministry of the moody nature

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