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June 13, 2022 8:00 am
Christians are meant to live courageously.
Christians are meant to be men and women of courage men and women who do not flinch at adversity who do not flinch at danger because there was always this settled confident that God as our shepherd is with us. We live in a dangerous world and life can present great challenges, it's easy to give in to fear and anxiety is but God sure word tells us we should not fear this addition of the truthful pastor Don Greene will show why we can and must live a life without the LOI bill right and done you have a powerful song for us to savor today don't you well that's very true Bill. My friend were going to turn to Psalm 46 today. It's a fairly familiar song, but it does wonderful things and helping us to live life without fear.
Indeed, it transcends our individual lives and tells us about the grandeur and majesty of God.
His sovereignty is the grounds for our security and our comfort throughout all of life.
Stay with us as we open the Bible today here on the truthful. Thanks Don and Fred have your Bible open as we join Don now as he continues in his ministry of teaching God's people. God's word in the truthful. I invited her to Psalm 46 I'm going to read it in its entirety and then will go through it today. Psalm 46 beginning in verse one. God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake in its swelling, pride, Salah.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the most high God is in the midst of her.
She will not be moved. God will help her when morning dawns the nations made an uproar. The kingdoms tottered. He raised his voice, the earth melted the Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Salah, behold the works of the Lord, who has wrought desolation's in the earth.
He makes wars to seize to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and cuts the spear into he burns the chariots with fire.
Cease striving, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth the Lord of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. I want you to notice something as we begin just to give you sense I like to give you a sense of the structure of a passage so that you can kinda go back and read it later on your own will notice that after verse three verse seven in verse 11 there is that familiar words sell law word indicating to pause here. Meditate.
Perhaps if this was being played musically, it was a it was a notation to for a musical interlude, but whatever it is it's designed to help you to pause to reflect back on the section that was just finished and to let that sink in a little bit deeper so there are three sections to this all all designed to do this, all designed to reinforce the primary statement found in verse two. Therefore, look at verse two with me.
Therefore we will not fear. We will not fear the people of God, the church of Jesus Christ in the New Testament era are meant to be a people who live life without fear now let me step back to Lebanon. Just as a little pastoral matter acknowledge the fact I understand that that many of you are prone to anxiety.
You are prone to fear your prone to worry you. You choose your nails over what's about to happen in life for your concern over what might happen to you or to your loved ones. I understand that God's word comes to you in two different ways we might say one it comes not to condemn you so much in that and to discourage you by holding up an unattainable standard, God comes to his people to bless us and help us but also God's word comes to you today not to affirm you and leave you in that condition of life and that approach to life, as if that were an acceptable way for Christian to live.
If that prevailing biting concerning anxiety is a mark of the way that you live your life, what you need to do is you need to come to God's word and let it and let it sift you and let it change you, and let God's word show you why that condition of fear and anxiety is utterly unnecessary for you to live. You see, God has designed life. God is given us Christ. God is given us the indwelling spirit God has given his infallible word to us all, in part, to strengthen us so that we would be people of courage as we live our lives. It doesn't do much good does it doesn't really glorify and honor God does it to say that you believe in this God that you believe in this Christ that you're trusting him for your eternal salvation. And yet, to live life in such a way that you present to everyone who knows you this fragile breaking, concerned, overwhelmed Prasanna that says I don't know what's going to happen next wall realize that there is a severe disconnect between that manner of living in the God that you claim that you know what you need to see is God's word comes to you today and says you cannot continue on living that way and gives us understanding to help us see why that is totally unnecessary.
The question becomes if we know God like we say we do, and that has a powerful corrective has a powerful influence on the way that we approach all of life.
God's word comes with authority to us today to lay these things out before us and it is our responsibility as the people of God to recognize his exalted nature, his power, his promises, his presence with us and say that's going to influence the way that I live life from now on. And so God comes to us today in his word to address us in our anxieties and say it's time for that change, and here's why.
It can change the three sections of the Psalm all help us to understand and reinforce the reality that a Christian can live with no fear. I realize that that's a high and lofty challenge, but in response to the nature of God.
It is the only appropriate response. Why can we live this way.
How can we be certain that this is all right. Point number one we can have this certainty, we have this confidence because point number one God prevails over nature, God prevails, God rules over all of nature and we see a theme verse as the Psalm opens up verse number one God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble. The verse presupposes that you're going to have trouble Christian you know this from your own personal experience that trouble comes the courage and the absence of fear is not from an absence of trouble, but the presence of God in the midst of it and that's what the Scripture is calling you to to recognize calling you to respond to this is a theme verse, verse number one lays out the theme and then everything else is just an unfolding of what the significance of that is for you as a believer. God is a refuge. The psalmist says.
In other words God to his people is like a shelter that you can go into that protects you from the storm, a refuge in a time of danger. The whole idea is this is that the reality of your salvation. The reality of God being your God means that you are meant to go to him in trust, you are to appeal to him to seek him as your help in the midst of the danger that assault you Christian in your times of threat in your times of helplessness. God is present with you in order to assist you to aid you to help you. That's the whole point of that verse in the sense of protection is reinforce. Look at verse one with me again is reinforce by saying that he is a strength Christian, your confidence, your power in your time of trouble is not found again by manipulating people and circumstances, it is found by remembering that you serve, you belong to a God of might and power.
Your ability to walk through danger without fear is found not in your personal resources your personal cleverness or your ability to manage things in a particular way. The arm of flesh will fail you without fail your my powers found in the God in whom you know the God in whom you trust and so beloved the strengthen the power of God comes to you like a like a mighty wind like a mighty wave over your soul and says this is designed to define your worldview.
This is designed to determine the way that you think about everything else. And until you come to realize that this is the cornerstone. This is the foundation upon all of the rest of your life is built, you're going to struggle with fear and anxiety.
You see, whenever we talk about the character of God, there is always real-life implication to it. Sometimes I'm afraid that we missed that that we've we've been condition perhaps to think about God in the abstract to think about God and your belief in Christ as a a compartment of life that the spiritual stuff is stuck over here and I think about that and that's okay. But then there's real-life over here and you missed the fact that those two are interrelated and so when you are fear experiencing fear and anxiety. Beloved, I can promise you that you are not thinking about life through the prism of the strengthen refuge. That is your God, because if you were thinking about it from that perspective, these other things would not overwhelm you in such a way as they are tend to do and so I emphasize that simply to say this, that if you are prone to anxiety and you hear these things about the power and strength of God's have heard this before. I know this before. Well understand beloved that if you those two things are coexisting in your life. I've heard this before, and boy am I worried about what comes next, then you've never really understood it in the first place C becomes a spiritual issue that you say maybe I'm not as far advanced in the Christian life is.
I think I am. If anxiety controls me to such an extent, see anxiety is like a physical disease at the spiritual symptom. The points out that something is wrong. You have pain in your size something wrong here got to see a doctor if you're plagued by consuming ongoing anxiety, you should realize that that's telling you that there is a spiritual problem that there are there are aspects of spiritual life that you have not yet access that are designed to change the way that you think and live see the sphere is is not something that is an expected tolerated part of genuine Christian living.
Verse two verse two. Therefore, therefore, being a connection with what we just saw, because God is our refuge and strength, because God is a present help.
He is ever ready to assist his people in their difficulty. Therefore, based on that this follows. This is connected like an engine to the rest of the train. They are linked together. Therefore, what therefore we will not fear because our God is like this because he is a strength and a help.
Therefore we will not fear. We will not tremble at circumstances, we will not be afraid of the future, no matter what happens in the next election. No matter what happens in the world no matter what happens in life. We look forward to the future without fear.
Why not because we know what's going to happen. Not because were necessarily going to experience earthly prosperity and success has nothing to do with that has nothing to do with that shifting sand has nothing to do with that collapsible house of cards when we don't know what our lives would be like tomorrow know we live without fear because this God is our refuge and strength, let me state this in a positive way. Beloved, the power, the promises of God call forth a responsive worship we worship God, we recognize his greatness and be in the presence of someone infinitely superior to us. We bow in worship to him worship his response to the character of God. What I want you to see is this is that in the language of Psalm 46 trust then becomes a responsive worship to him trust a confidence trust and an absence of fear is the only appropriate response to making this declaration of faith that this God of the Bible is our refuge and strength, is the only appropriate way to respond to him the nature of your God should inform the way that your heart responds to the inevitable challenges of life see when the when the trials come when the sorrows flood over your soul. When the uncertainty starts to overwhelm you. You have to step back and say that where's my help in this. Who is my help in this. My help is in my God, and the question then becomes okay. You just kind of walk through this and what is this godlike is this God that I say is my strength and refuge.
What you find as you go through the rest of Psalm 46 is that this song calls you to unlimited confidence, unqualified trust in him because of who he is, to the point that even if the earth collapses still go forward without fear. Look at verse two. Therefore we will not fear, then perhaps with a measure of hyperbole. The psalmist says will not fear even if this and this and this and this happens we won't give in to controlling anxiety, even if verse two, the earth should change, while Psalm 46 verse two just did away with the whole climate change hysteria in one little bit of word we won't fear if the earth should change the mountain slip into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at swelling, pride, there should be a settled confidence in your God no matter what is happening in nature around you.
You are confident why because God rules even over the over nature.
He prevails over that is the God of the storm. He's the God of the quake is the God of the flood and if you know him than you know the one who is directing all of that to accomplish is in, and therefore there is no reason to fear because God our strength does not change.
And when you belong to him. Beloved it doesn't matter if there's a tornado roaring down on you. It doesn't matter if the floodwaters are rising. It doesn't matter if the earth is shaking it doesn't matter if the earth is is collapsing before your eyes, and melting into some unrecognizable mass and everything that defines your life is fluid and changing without warning.
Scripture says even in that no fear because there is a transcendent God that you know that is your strength and refuge even in a time like that, God prevails over nature.
Now here's the thing. The time to find that strength and that courage is not found in the middle of the collapsing of the elements what you are designed to do is to develop your convictions now to develop them when there is stability in your life when you do have time to think about these things. You reflect on the character of God, the nature of God and you say yes I do believe that yes this is true. Yes, this is the heart conviction that will define my approach to life, and therefore, even if these things happen in the future I will remain unmoved for my position of confidence and that's why beloved.
It is so vital for you to be here that I think God that you're here it is so vital for you to be a persistent reader and student of God's word because it is only in the midst of times of relative calm where you're developing these heart convictions that prepare you for those times to come. If you are spiritually careless now indifferent to the claims of God in different to to a love for God's word.
Your vulnerable Windows times so you are meant to develop these convictions and as you go through a song like Psalm 46 you say to yourself in the quiet of your heart.
That is what I believe in you say, by the grace of God. That's where I'm going to stand and I'm not going to move off of it and then when you're tested when the ground starts to shake when life starts to collapse, then you fall back on the convictions that you developed before rather than falling down in the midst of the trial so beloved. Here's what you have to answer for yourself here today. Do you believe that God prevails over nature. Do you believe that he is God over all, is that the conviction of your heart will if it is, then you're in a position of stability and you say, therefore we will not fear no matter what comes with verse three there at the end with me so it causes you to pause and meditate beloved.
What, that's a lot. Is telling you to do is to clear your mind of the distractions and meditate on this God you say to yourself is my refuge and strength, he is my shelter he is my stronghold.
He is where I go, and he rules and he prevails overall and he knows my name and he carries me and I trust him no matter what happens, nothing can alter that fundamental relationship with him that defines the very nature of my existence and guarantees the future outcome to me.
You say therefore my commitment is no fear because I will trust him as a worshipful response to who he is God, then, is a transcendent source of stability transcendent in the sense that it is not.
He is not defined by or controlled by the changes in your circumstances, even the changes in the ground in which you walk is not threatened by that. It does not change him. He still rules overall evidence so you go to him and you rest in him and you receive that certain confidence that comes from believing that what you believe in your heart defines what the way that you respond to life beloved that answers fear you trust this God even when upheaval threatens you at the core, not just nature life. We know from the New Testament. Don't with our Lord Jesus manifested that control over nature. You remember him walking on the waves. You remember that that the raging sea and he just looks at him and says hushpuppy still and a hurricane as it were, turns to class in response to the powerful demonstration of our Lord Jesus power over nature. Let me ask you, do you know him. Do you know Christ and you say yes I do. I have received him, I do believe in him will do you realize what that means, then it means that you belong to the Lord, the Lord, who is over nature like that is the one who said you belong to me and I'll keep you for which you say that I can rest without fear because my board prevails over nature, sometimes for those of you that don't know Christ.
Sometimes the threats of life.
Sometimes the, the, the threats of nature and you say on your really gripped by the fear that may simply be a manifestation of fact that you don't know Christ all that you don't have any solace in Christ is an indication that you are separate from him and you need to come to him for salvation.
In the first that's that's to be born again to be saved at all because you truly redeem heart response to the truth of God's word says I do know I fall short.
Yes I've forgotten that that is true of me. I do believe that about Christ, he is my strength. He is my refuge. Therefore I will not fear no matter what happens, just as the disciples need not have feared the storm with Christ in the boat, so we too need not fear the storms of life pastor Don Greene will present to more compelling reasons. You need not fear.
Next time here on the truth.
Pulpit tuning for the conclusion of his message titled no fear right now though Don's back here in studio with some closing words.
You know, friend. We realize that you may not be close enough to our church to be able to join us as you would like to. On any given Sunday.
So let me invite you to join us on our lifestream that you can find our website Sundays at 9 AM Eastern time and also we have a midweek service on Tuesdays at 7 PM. We would love to have you join us in that way. A lot of people do.
You might as well be one more than join us for those special studies of God's word in our church services on Sundays and Tuesdays are still some final information to help you find thanks Don. Just visit us at the truth. Pulpit.com that's the truth. Pulpit.com.
I'm Bill Wright will see you next time on the truth pulpit as Don Greene continues teaching God's people were