THERE ARE MANY CHALLENGES IN LIFE. WE ARE LIVING IN A TIME WHEN IT SEEMS THAT AS SOON AS YOU OVERCOME ONE CHALLENGE, THERE IS ANOTHER ONE JUST WAITING ON YOU.
Satan is constantly searching for ways to get us to trust in anything more than God. No matter whether our problems are physical, emotional, financial, or our problems are in our homes or church, Satan seeks to have us trust in ourselves, in each other, or in a friend or family member first and then remember God, if we must. We can see this practically in how we react to problems: Who do you go to when you have a problem? Do you keep it inside and try to work it out yourself? Do you go to your spouse first for advice? Do you seek the counsel of a neighbor or friend as the first source of wisdom? Do you commiserate with other people as if God does not know or care?
WE CANNOT TRUST GOD TOO MUCH AND OURSELVES TOO LITTLE!
Too often, we do not trust God. This is why God allows so many difficulties into our lives. This is why there is so much trouble throughout our land, why cities live in fear of crime and violence. This is why there is unrest among families, and among the people of God. We have all been guilty of misplaced trust! I truly believe that in this season, God is calling on us to remember who is still over all and in control of all. He is calling on us to repent and return to him. He drives us to our knees to pray to Him for the help that we need. We dare not rely on ourselves. If we reject God’s direction, we will receive our due reward – shame, defeat, and destruction. We need to learn that we cannot trust God TOO MUCH and ourselves TOO LITTLE.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalms 34:8 (New International Version)
Psalm 34 is attributed to the psalmist David and is both a thanksgiving psalm and an acrostic poem. An acrostic poem is a poem where the lines start with consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The psalmist opens by praising Yahweh and encouraging others to join him (vv. 1–3). He then praises Yahweh’s faithfulness, describing a time when Yahweh delivered him (vv. 4–7). He continues with the benefits and demands of fearing Yahweh (vv. 8–14). Finally, the psalmist contrasts the protection that Yahweh gives those who fear (revere) Him with the destruction that will ultimately come to the unrepentant wicked (vv. 15–22).
We find in this Psalm a challenge from David, the man who has found God faithful, the man with a heart filled with praise. David challenges us to try God! When you and I put our trust in the Lord and know by faith that He is good, then we will see so much in life for which to be thankful. We will be disappointed when we rely on friends, neighbors, ourselves, or fellow congregation members.
I believe that in Psalm 34, David gives us three points about trying God:
1) PERSONAL: In the first four verses of Psalm 34, David says, “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” The first thing that you must understand is that trying God is personal. David did not use the second-person pronoun you he used the first-person pronoun I! We must have our own personal experience with God. David wrote Psalm 34 at a very difficult time in his life. He was on the run from the jealous King Saul. David fled to the land of the Philistines. He was soon discovered and brought before the Philistine king. David pretended to be a mad-man because he felt for sure he was going to die, and the king sent him away. God made a way of escape. Imagine David saying to you and me, “If you only knew the mess I have been through and how God’s brought me out. If you only knew how I was literally between a rock and hard place, but God opened the doors. If you only knew what the Lord has done for me. Because of what He has done for me, I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth my soul shall make its boast in the Lord the humble shall hear thereof and be glad.” David praises God because of answered prayer!
WHEN YOU PERSONALLY KNOW WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU, YOU DO NOT MIND TELLING SOMEONE ELSE!
2) PROTECTOR: David found the Lord to be his protector. In verse 6, David tells us that he cried out to the Lord, the Lord heard him, and the Lord saved him out of his troubles. Sometimes all we can do is cry out to God! Most Christians will agree that these are fearful and faith-building times. Let me However, always remember that man’s extremity often becomes God’s opportunity. This is true when it comes to salvation. We are not able to save ourselves. When we cry out to Jesus, He will save us. Just as God saved David out of his troubles (complete deliverance), He can do the same for you and me.
When I fail, He forgives. When I am weak, He is strong. When I am lost, He is the way. When I am afraid, He is my courage. When I stumble, He steadies me. When I am broken, He mends me. When I face persecution, He shields me. When I face loss, He provides for me. When I face death, He carries me home. He said it and that settles it. He is on my side. God is in control. Therefore, I can confidently say that it is well with my soul!
He is the first, the last, the beginning and the end. Keeper of creation, Creator of the universe, Manager of all time. He always was, always is, and always will be. The world cannot understand Him; its armies cannot defeat Him; its schools cannot explain Him; its leaders cannot ignore Him. Herod could not kill Him; the Pharisees could not confuse Him. Nero could not crush Him. Hitler could not silence Him. He is the Power of the powerful, the Ancient of days, the Ruler of rulers, the Leader of leaders. He is Holy, Mighty, and True. His ways are right, His word eternal, and His will unchanging. He is my Redeemer, Savior, Lord, Guide and Protector.
3) PROVIDER: “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” In verse 10 David tells us that God is a provider. God provided for David all throughout David’s life, and if you would take a few minutes to think about it, I am sure you would say that God has provided for you down through the years. We serve a good God!
HIS GOODNESS NEVER GROWS OLD AND IS NEVER OUTDATED. THE MORE YOU RELY UPON IT, THE MORE RELIABLE YOU DISCOVER IT TO BE. THE MORE YOU TRUST HIS GOODNESS, THE MORE TRUSTWORTHY YOU’LL FIND HIS GOODNESS TO BE. THE MORE YOU DEPEND ON HIS GOODNESS, THE MORE DEPENDABLE YOU’LL REALIZE IT TO BE!
I encourage you to Try God! Once you try Him, you will say like David, I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
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