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When God Seems Far Away #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
December 9, 2021 7:00 am

When God Seems Far Away #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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December 9, 2021 7:00 am

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What determines my ultimate future is not what happens in the midst of this very serious and heavy trial that I am in the hand of Christ, and no one can plug me out of his hand and that is why confident even God seems far away. Maybe there's a call from a doctor saying cancer, maybe it's a boss telling you, letting you go. Tragic loss of a loved one, your spouse, asking for a divorce.

All of those are painful reminders that we are not in control of our own lives and circumstances hello and welcome to the truth pulpit with John Green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. I built right today. Don brings us the second half of the message called when God seems far away will show us that when the worst happens in life. We need only to return to a simple trust in God and the precious promises found only in his holy word. Let's join Donell for part two of the message called when God seems far away you're on the truthful look over and second Samuel with me for a moment. Second Samuel chapter 7. One of the truly key chapters in all of the Bible. Second Samuel chapter 7 you'll find in verse 16 we won't go through all that we could say about this chapter, just a representative text from this chapter and verse 16. God is speaking to David and says your house and your kingdom shall endure before me forever. Your throne shall be established forever, and David goes on David responds in verse 18 says David, the king went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, who a mile Lord God and what is my house that you've brought me this far and yet this was insignificant in your eyes.

Oh Lord God, for you have spoken. Also the house of your servant concerning the distant future.

David realize these promises. In this covenant that God made with him and second Samuel seven is not simply about David but it was about his descendents in this would extend long into the future. This was to be an enduring covenant and it's that promise, that is the basis of David's appeal as we turn back to Psalm 61 Psalm 61 go back to verse five with me.

He says you have heard my vows, oh God, you have given me the inheritance of those who fear your name. He says God you have made promises to me.

You made promises to the nation Israel.

You've promised us a land and you promised us a blessing and you've promised spiritual prosperity in this land, and when we are faithful to you and it is that promise, that is the basis of David's appeal. Here's the key. Here's the key for you and me is reprocessing how we apply this to our lives noticed that he says God you've given this to me. He's appealing to God. Based on things that God has done and things that God has said and he says God I know that you have heard my vows, you know of my commitment to serve and follow you well what he is saying here is, is God. I'm not appealing to my own merit. I'm appealing to what you have done. I'm appealing to what you have given you've given us this inheritance.

You have given us that in order to bless us and you've given that to me and so he's not appealing to any sense of self-righteousness as he prays this way, his confidence is rooted in anything in himself, as though he somehow deserve God's protection rather he is confident watch this he is confident that God will align David's life and David circumstances so that they will ultimately be consistent with the promises that is made in the past. Now how do you take that and think through that and apply it in your own thinking.

When and it's it's so easy to fall into self-pity and self-justification. Isn't it God I don't deserve this and why me and why am I suffering this way, which embedded and implied in statements like this is is that I'm good enough that I should be suffering like that at the wrong way for us to think it's a wrong way for us to to respond to God and it's not the basis on which we we approach him.

Rather, rather, all this is so important. It is so important for you to come back into premise your appeals to God in your prayers to God. Based on what he has promised and what he has what he is said about himself and the mercy that is shown to you in Christ and to premise it in that rather than simply saying God get me out of this trouble because I don't like it, so that your mind is thinking in your your words are rehearsing promises of God. For example, turn to Romans chapter 8 Romans chapter 8 when God seems far away will let your mind go to Romans chapter 8 and and speak truth to yourself rehearsed Scripture to yourself, and rebuke your weekend and believing heart with Scripture's and your heart will respond to the word of God. The apostle Paul said in verse 38 of Romans chapter 8.

I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. So you reason like this you pray like this you think like this. What I'm about to say, God, God, you sent Christ to save me and you have in fact saved me and that means that you have saved me forever and the love of Christ is eternal.

The love of Christ is permanent.

It has to be that way because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever the way that you have blessed me in the past, oh God is the way that you will bless me in the future and not based on any merit of my own, but based on what you have done for me in Christ, oh God, there is nothing that could possibly separate me from you and so God I pray that in this time of weakness in this time were you seem far away, I pray that you would gather me up and lead me back into the state of mind where my mind rests in the eternal security that belongs to the believer in Christ God, keep me there strength in my heart that I might live and believe in light of what you've actually done for me that is the way that we respond when God seems distant, you go back to the word you go back to the promises you go back to what God is actually accomplished for you in Christ and you return to first principles and say I'm going to reevaluate everything and when I turned my attention back to these first things that that that are true about Christians and let my heart rest and those in and trust God and ask God to bring me back into the spiritual reality of these things, which is much different than saying I don't like this. I don't want to be here.

I don't deserve this. Don't reason that way. As believers we go straight to the promises of God and reason from them and let those shape the way that we think and respond well with those things in mind.

Go back to Psalm 61 now Psalm 61 and David in verse six switches to the third person as he continues to pray. Remember that as a king. He had a representative capacity for the nation wasn't simply about David is an individual. David is a is an individual man. But as the Kings the well-being of the nation was tied up in his own well-being as well because that representative capacity has and so he prays in the third person from that perspective. And he says in verse six making statements of confidence.

He says you will prolong the king's life, his years will be as many generations, he will abide before God forever.

You hear the echoes of the Davidic covenant there don't you you he will abide before God forever appoint lovingkindness and truth, that they may preserve him.

Now there are two aspects to David's prayer here in the immediate situation. He is expressing confidence that God will preserve his own life as the king of Israel what you want to see and what we need to see and draw out of this is that David is looking further than his own well-being. He's looking further than his own deliverance he is expressing confidence that God will will preserve his line preserve his dynasty for many generations. This is no superficial prayer that says God get me out of my immediate problem. David has in mind the fact that God had promised a dynasty to come through and come from his loins that would endure forever. Ultimately, then David's prayer here in verses six and seven are answered and no one less than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because Christ is the one who will abide before God forever. Christ is the one who is the ultimate David Christ is the one who will dwell and sit on the throne of David in his millennial kingdom. So David is expressing confidence not only for the immediate situation before the long-distance future as he prays here is praying that God would preserve that dynasty that would ultimately culminate in the Lord Jesus Christ. So David says there at the end of verse seven. Look at it with me appoint lovingkindness and truth, that they may preserve him. David is certain now. Notice how he is gone from a a call, a cry for help to the statements of confidence. Now he sure that God will do this because God is a God of loyal love and truth, and he's made promises, and he will keep them beloved that is what frames your entire approach to life is a Christian. This frames everything else. This is the first principle that determines the way that you process everything about life you think this way Christ has come to save me. He accomplished my redemption on the cross. I now belong to him.

The Holy Spirit dwells within me and the Holy Spirit is is the guarantee of future things yet to come.

The guarantee the down payment that assures us that there is more to come. Therefore, you say therefore you reason with yourself because these things are true, then therefore I cannot possibly be meeting my end. In these present circumstances, no matter how stark, no matter how desperate, no matter how hopeless it appears from a human perspective, that's not the perspective that governs my heart that is not the perspective that governs the way I interpret what happens to me you step back from the circumstances. You remember the things revealed to us in God's precious word about your salvation and you say that is what determines my ultimate future. What determines my ultimate future is not the next doctor's report is not what happens in the in the midst of this very serious and heavy trial know there is something transcendent that his work in my life and that is what I draw my confidence from it's not that the circumstances will necessarily change but that I am in the hand of Christ, and no one can plug me out of his hand and that is why were confident even when God seems far away, even when the circumstances are difficult.

See, as Christians, we are in a blessed position that would be the envy of non-Christians if they only understood we are not at the mercy of our circumstances like they are our happiness, our security, our well-being is not rooted in what happens around us is rooted in things that are eternal and unchanging is rooted in a God who loves us and is given himself up for us, it's rooted in its rooted in the certainty of his promises that he will finish what he's begun in us and so that leaves us in a blessed position of peace that David expresses in verse eight with renewed faith. David pledges his future obedience and worship. He says in verse eight, so from this position of confidence. I will sing praise to your name forever that I may pay my vows day by day the vowels showed that David was praying with a conscious commitment to obedience.

The praise shows that David's prayers were not rooted in selfishness he desired deliverance. Watch this he desired deliverance so they could serve God according to God's desires. The David would have the desire of his heart by being able to praise and to serve God with the life. The God given him adversity.

The adversity of this time in his life did not kill David. It was not the end of him.

Rather, it brought forth a greater sense of perspective on the love for God a deeper awareness of his promises and renewed commitment to trust him and you know what beloved your present adversity by the grace of God is not to kill you either.

It's not going to be the end of you. Nothing is going to be the end of you when you belong to Christ, nothing is going to separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus your Lord. Nothing is going to somehow put you in a position where your soul is lost in all that you held precious will somehow slip through your fingers. In the end that is just not the way that God deals with us get that is not the way that God deals with you. God deals with you in perfect faithfulness. God deals with you in in a selfless generosity that was shown at the cross, God deals with you and in a perfect faithfulness and though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death in the language of David elsewhere in Psalm 23 you say to yourself I fear no evil for you are with me that is the confidence that we have is those who belong to this great God now with those things said, let let me just give you four quick takeaways from Psalm 61 to 2 applied to your own heart and life notice kinda be an echo of things that I've already said that sometimes you know the truth of the matter is, the longer that I preach, the simpler I want things to be that the simpler I try to be the more direct and clear.

I try to be because sometimes it's just the simplest things we need to hear to to strengthen us and help us all these things are very simple, but perhaps of the point. The very point at which we often fail first take away and in times of weakness: God call on God, hear my prayer, hear my cry will God give heed to my prayer and and especially all beloved.

Remember this song in particular, remember Psalm 61 the means of support. You have always relied on her suddenly taken away from you a new job entering into college moving away into a new city and extended illness where your strength is gone. The death of the spouse death of the child sickness of the child that you can't fix in all of those things beloved come back to Psalm 61, and in the midst of what seems to be a crisis and and the circumstances are spinning out of control go back to Psalm 61 and call on God and say God I am calling to you. It's like I'm at the ends of the earth. Use it seem so far away and I am alone in my heart is fainting here.

My heart is weak here.

Oh God, God in light of that, in light of what you've done in Psalm 61, in light of what you've done in Christ God please come and take my hand and lead me closer to yourself. All of my human friends. All of my human loved ones may be gone but God you're not, you're still here and therefore I rest my hope in an beloved, even in those times of isolation, you can turn to God in confidence that he will respond to you with his love, wisdom and power that he won't abandon you in perpetuity to the present isolation that you're feeling this is a wonderful truth to lay hold of. Secondly, as you call on God, remember his promises.

Remember his promises and weakness say okay I'm feeling weak hear what I gotta do: cut is what I want to do is you call on God say I'm gonna remember his promises him and remember what he said to me. David prayed with confidence as he remember the promises of God to it as remember the past times a God had delivered him well then you do the same thing as your praying in the midst of your weakness. You say no. I remember Philippians 16, God said that he who began a good work and you will perfected until the day of Christ Jesus, we know what that means and I know that I belong to Christ. That means that he's going to perfect me over the long term, even though today is a bad day. Even though this period of life is very difficult. God is at work perfecting me in accomplishing the fullness of the reason for which he saved me and therefore I'm not alone. Therefore, this isn't the end of me. So you remember promises like that beloved in those times of weakness. Your dependence and your vulnerability is real, but you do not need to panic.

In fact, you should not panic.

You should not let yourself panic because your God reigns your God has offered his son on the cross to save your soul, your God has promised to bring you safe into heaven in the end, there is no need for panic here in one of the ways that you manifest spiritual growth. Spiritual maturity. One of the surest ways that you can be an effective witness for Christ is to be calm in a crisis that would make others collapse. Thirdly, as you call on God renew your commitment, faithfulness is what David did. David said, and in verse eight of all pay my vows day by day. He not only can you not only was asking for help. He committed himself to obedience and so you're mindful of so many things you say I am weak, therefore Mona: my God, I'm not going to call on him in an ignorance. I'm going to inform my prayers by the promises that he's given to me and as I think about the goodness of God in my life. What I'm going to do is is I'm going to let this time of isolation strengthen my commitment to be faithful to my God, rather than letting it become a source of disobedience or distrust not be save yourself and become all the more committed to faithfulness in this time of isolation, beloved a willing and trusting heart like that is positioned for God's future blessing and finally if you're not a Christian Psalm 61 applies to you to. In the simplest of ways. So keep coming back to the simple things just come back to the simplest of things. If you're not a Christian, you need to become one but you can't do it in your own strength. What Psalm 61 teaches you is this. It said it teaches you to pray God. I know I am not say I know I am still a center separated from you, God, I just pray that you would take me and lead me to Christ by the power of your Holy Spirit lead me to him. God as I as I open your word. I pray that you would you would lead me to the Scriptures. It would awaken my dead heart and open and illumine my darkened mind so that I could understand and come to Christ. God do that for me.

Seek the rock that is higher than you are. Don't be content to live in your sin, don't be content to to live in the and the obvious depravity of your own heart, but Psalm 61 awaken you to the senses. I need out here and I can't do it on my own.

I'm lost. I can't find my way over God lead me to the rock that is higher than I am.

Oh God lead me to the rock who is Jesus Christ.

And as you do that God will be faithful to God answered that prayer why because that's the kind of God's that's stolen green with the second half of the lesson called when God seems far away your other truth pulpit. If you'd like to find out more about this ministry. We like to share this broadcast with a friend or loved one. We invite you to go to the truth. While you're there, you'll find many other great teaching resources.

That's all it the truth. will done as we conclude today's time in the Scriptures. There may be someone listening who because of their circumstances is desperate to hear from God, but just can't seem to hear his voice will bill. I think the people go astray when they're looking to hear some kind of voice in their harder in their head from God, apart from Scripture that's not the kind of voice of God that we are to listen to because that is just the imaginations of our own heart. I know that may be surprising for some of our friends as they listen to us. But my friend let me just put it to you this way if you want to know what God has to say for you and your circumstances open the Bible and read it in the Scriptures. You always have the voice of God when you are reading what he has said in his holy word so don't rely on your feelings or listen for some kind of inner voice, as if God would speak to you in that way, God speaks in his word. God's word is true in God's word is sufficient for you. Scripture says that it is enough to make every Christian adequate, equipped for every good work. And so, just as you've done today by studying God's word with us here on today's broadcast stay in the word, it will lead you to Christ where all comfort and all sufficiency is found. Thanks, Don and friends that's all the time we have for today will see you next time here on the truth pulpit teaching God's people. God's word

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