Sunday, January 28, 2018

Psalm 34--Trials and Suffering

Psalm 34
I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

        This blog is a little different in that I'm not going to share my trials but rather give you a guide towards handling your own trials with a Biblical perspective.  I hope you see past your suffering and onto a greater purpose in your trial of's not meaningless!                                                                       

“It is doubtful that God can use a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”

I Peter 5:10-11  - "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen."

From, "When trouble strikes, we sometimes forget our knowledge of God, too. We struggle to recall past answers to prayer, specific guidance provided by the Holy Spirit, and lessons learned in previous crises. Only the present seems real. Our minds spin with future implications, and our troubled emotions inhibit clear thinking.  In our own strength, we lack sufficient resources and abilities to meet life's challenges. So God provides what we need. Our suffering is never a surprise to the Lord. He knows everything we are going through. More than that, He’s orchestrating our circumstances for His glory and our benefit, according to His good will."

Psalms 34  -  Three Points that Comfort Us in a Trial of Suffering

1.        God is always near (vs. 7, 15, 18). Drawing near to God is the first step in handling trials.
2.        God always hears (vs. 4, 6, 15, 17).  God wants to hear from us, even in our  despair.
3.        God always delivers (vs. 4, 6, 7, 17, 18, 19, 20).  God delivers us from fear, shame, and trials.  He does not  always  do it our way, but He does guide us towards the right path.

Nine Points of Trials and Suffering: [by Lisa Jones]

1.    Pain of suffering pierces every heart (James 1:2)  We all face trials, no one is immune.

2.   God’s timing and our timing are very different.  We are not in control.  God says, ‘stop, you are not in control, I am, so stop fighting and enjoy the ride.’  We don’t know how long our trials and suffering will last, we just have to take it ‘one day at a time’; and leave it to God.

3.   Suffering is an issue of faith and obedience.  Hebrews 5:8 says we are to learn by suffering.  II Cor.  says  “walk not by sight, but by faith”.  Life is not to be lived by feelings.  We start by faith, live in faith, and end in faith.  “I have no purpose, why go on?” starts a downward spiral of feelings.  If we trust ourselves, our souls will atrophy.  Remember that no trial gets to us without going through Christ first, so there is always purpose in our suffering.

4.   We will always try to understand, but no one will ever grasp all of what God is doing (Proverbs 3:5-6).  Our weakness is sometimes created by suffering, and it may be the very weakness that saves our life.  Trust in God!

5.   Trouble was never meant to be faced alone.  Psalms 1:1-3 and 6, says 'wicked' means to live by one’s own understanding.  Satan wants us to either go to the “wrong” people, or isolate ourselves.

6.   Humility and Integrity are non-negotiable in the midst of trials.  Let God be God and trust Him!  (am I teachable or do I isolate myself or become defensive?)

7.   Forgive those who harm you.  Forgiveness is a command, not an option.  We  must forgive!  Not forgiving causes a burden of bitterness and suffering on others, and ourselves.

8.   God wants to create “Holy Scars”.  God can heal the scars on our hearts.  God gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.

9.    It is all about God and glorifying Him.  Psalms 119:67, 71, and 75.  Job 42:1-6 . . .but now I see You (God).  Adversity is God’s university.  Declare who God is.  Don’t talk about God, talk with God.  God has a purpose in everything.