Today we have a standalone sermon coming out of Psalm 42. I’ve entitled it satisfied in you if you have your Bibles or devices. I encourage you to turn to Psalm 42, but let me just set the context and try to access this and setting it in real life a little bit it. Have you noticed that sometimes everything can seem to like fall apart or go wrong all at once? Have you ever experienced that? Uh, I enjoyed, uh, hearing a story from Pastor Rick Warren, who was describing a day just like that for him. He said that first he had to stay up, uh, late all night to meet some deadlines, and so that morning is gonna catch a quick breakfast, you know, put a protein shake together in the blender, but had forgotten to put the top on. So when he hit high Whammo, he gets just, uh, covered in protein shake. So he says after he wiped himself down, he is driving, has to get into LA for an appointment. And while the traffic was completely stopped, he looked in his rear view mirror and here’s a guy driving toward him, texting, maybe going about 30 miles an hour. He thought he’s gonna hit me, he’s gonna hit me, he’s gonna hit me. He hit him. So then while he’s waiting for the highway patrol so they can talk about the accident, he turns on talk radio and happens to catch a guy railing saying that he wished Rick Warren were dead. And so later, as he is in the hospital, they’re assessing him health-wise. You know, he’s, he said, you know, Yeah, in one day he’d been overextended, blended, rear-ended and offended.
I I, you gotta love the way he puts a story like that together. And some of you know that feeling, what that’s like, and maybe some of you’re even today are going through something like that. I mean, life, it is difficult. It’s hard a lot of times, isn’t it? And as Christians, we are not exempt from difficulty or burden, but as Christians, as followers of Jesus, those who know the living God, we do have a resource to help see us through times of trouble. So in Psalm 42, it’s written by the Sons of Cora, but I’m, I’ll just kind of call it the psalmist. But they really paint a picture of what life can feel like when it falls apart. But more than that, this Psalm also shows us as Christians a way forward with hope, renewal, and rest. So I’m going to read the entire Psalm, all 11 verses Psalm 42, as the deer pants for streams of water. So my soul pan for you, my God, my soul. Thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night. While people say to me all day long, where is your God? These things I remember as I pour out my soul, how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the mighty one, with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throne. Why my soul are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet Praise him, my savior and my God, my soul is downcast within me. Therefore, I will remember you from the land of the Jordan and the heights of Herman from Mount Miser. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls. All your waves and breakers have swept over me by day. The Lord directs his love. At night, his song is with me, A Prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock, why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? My bones suffer mortal agony as my fos taunt mes saying to me all day long, where is your God? Why am my soul? Are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior, and my God, the word of the Lord. Praise your God. Join me in prayer, living God. As we look into this psalm, inspired by the Holy Spirit, your word to us, open our hearts that we might hear from you directly. Bring words of encouragement and comfort to those. In need and for all of us, teach us, Lord, how to look to you in all things, maybe especially in the hard times, that you might be glorified even in us. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen. Dear friends, grace to you and peace from God, our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Amen. God was good to give us the Psalms, don’t you think? These prayers and songs can give us words when we are beyond words because of fatigue or confusion, and we’re just numb. But I mean, if I’m honest, I think if we’re honest, some of those Psalms flow very easily from our mouths, don’t they? It isn’t hard to pray by day. The Lord directs his love at night. His song is with me, A Prayer to the God of my life. We like that one. And yet we may hesitate to pray another verse in the same song, Psalm. My tears have been my food day and night. Well, people say to me all day long, where’s your God? Or Why my soul are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? We don’t come clean with God often about what we’re feeling or experiencing, and I think it’s because we’ve lost. Really what’s called a lament, which is what this psalm is a lament. And here’s what I mean. A lament is a prayer expressing sorrow, pain, suffering questions to God directly, not just to complain and about things, but rather to express your heart’s, true heart’s, feelings to God. And a lament should be really almost the chief way that we as Christians can process grief in the presence of God. Quorum Dale life under God, and I don’t know, maybe because I. Some Christians who have grown up in churches that always kinda look bright. You know how I’m happy in Jesus, my say. And then you meet at the door, how you doing?
And you gotta paint the smile on and the face and it’s going great and inside you’re just crushed and crumbling. I want us to be a real church Here at Victory. You can be who you are. And that’s fine. That’s good. And maybe for believers whose lives seem relatively free from tragedy, lament may seem unnecessary or certainly a downer, but, Hmm. Yeah, let’s be real. Life is hard, isn’t it? And a lament is way to express that to God as we get real with him. I mean, the world is broken, right? We. Are broken. I mean, just again, just turn on the news or your social media feed. Reports of wars, stories of poverty and neglect. Floods, fires, loss of life, you know. But of course the brokenness also strikes closer to home, doesn’t it? As. You lose a loved one in the family or a friend or a brother or sister suffer from cancer or neighbors lose their job or friends turn away from the church, or even our own words can cause deep wounds in our families. What’s a Christian to do with all that sorrow? What do you do with it? I invite you to take it to the Lord in lament, you know, almost a third of the Psalms and all of the Book of Lamentations, and then just read Job. These are books of lament and like every other emotion, God is ready and able to hear even your pain. God wants you to be real with him. He will accept your lament. And so in this psalm, the writers describe a poignant scene of deep personal sorrow. My tears have been my food day and night you ever been there? And then to add insult to injury, while people say to me all day long, where’s your God? Some of you know what they mean when they write that not only are the psalmists here feeling hard, pressed and perplexed, but others mock them for their faith in God. And yet, you know what? It’s this very faith that is their salvation. They write this in verse four. These things I remember as I pour out my soul how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the mighty one, with shouts of joy and praise. I. Among the festive throng, do you see from the psalm how to respond to trial? Upon trial in the middle of the mess, turn to God and do so with his people. You don’t have to come in through these doors, plastic face on and everything together. You can come on in. And you know what? When we’re with one another in the presence of God, God can speak to us deeply as we even see others praising him. We are reminded that we can praise him from our own hearts, even when things are hard. So learn to say prayers like this psalm that can give expression to what you feel as you pour your heart out. Heart out to God. I’ve used the Psalm personally this way. Why my soul are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me, put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior, in my God.
Now, I’m not saying praying a single prayer will remove every burden you’re carrying, but. I believe the Bible clearly invites us that whenever we are feeling overwhelmed by what’s going on in life, turn to the Lord God. And in doing so, you will find a peace that surpasses understanding and arrest and recovery and renewal that’s found in God alone. God is for you. God will walk with you through whatever valley, even the shadow of death that you might be going through. In fact, God knows what it’s like to carry our burdens upon himself. So from the psalm, I wish to extract, I think three powerful points that may speak to our hearts and souls. The first is this. Here’s a way to lament, let my size give way to songs of God’s faithfulness. Sometimes what we’re feelings beyond words, isn’t it? All we can do is sigh, or almost just sit in silence. And so we find the PS almost expressing this deep yearning for God. He likens his thirst for God as a dear panting for streams of water. I mean, the imagery is vivid, a thirsty soul yearning for the refreshment of God’s presence. And yet even in his distress, the Psalm almost doesn’t lose sight of God’s faithfulness. He remembers the times when he used to go with the multitudes to the house of God. So here you are today and some of you behind what you present. Know what I’m saying? And it’s okay to be real. And when we are with one another, we can be there to help care the other up when we stumble, or even when we fall or falter. And there’s something that happens even in corporate worship that can renew our souls. And certainly being in a house of worship with song, for some of us listening to Christian music, it is for me, it’s just like God’s got this direct access into my heart and he can renew my spirit. And sometimes I’ve learned that I need to do that and intentionally because I am in a bad place. And in our own lives, when we are faced with challenges and sorrows, let us not forget the faithfulness of God. And one of the ways to do that is in gather time here, in group time, in a life group, in a very meaningful way, in God time, in your devotional Walk with God. And even in go time serving others, God does things when we can turn our focus upon him.
So for all of us recounting the ways that God has shown his faithfulness in our past can refuel our hope for the future and give our souls comfort for the present as our hearts can overflow with praise even in the midst of trials. So let my size give way to songs that sing God’s faithfulness. Second, let My Pain. Reveal God’s glory as my only real rest. Now here’s what I’m trying to get at. It’s this recognition that true rest is found in God alone. We sing in Christ alone. My hope is found. In our Psalm, his soul is downcast within him and he acknowledges the waves of affliction and sorrow that seem to engulf him. And yet, in the midst of his anguish, he affirms that God’s presence is his ultimate rest, declaring by day. The Lord directs his love at night. His song is with me, A Prayer to the God of my life. And just as the Psalmist pain reveals the need for God’s presence, our own struggles can lead us to that same realization, can’t they? In a world that promises satisfaction or rest through MA material possessions or achievements or temporary pleasures, we must remember that our only true rest and satisfaction comes from God. And when we embrace this truth and live into it, are pain and challenges. Actually become opportunities for God’s glory to shine. It’s what the scriptures tell us. Our reliance on God becomes our resilience in life, showing that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. So the apostle Paul can write this in second Corinthians, but he said to me, this is to God saying the pole, my and God now saying to you, but my grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses and insults, and hardships, and persecutions and difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Let my size give way to songs that sing of God’s faithfulness. Let my pain reveal God’s glory as my only real rest. And third, and finally let my losses show me all I truly have as God.
I think Psalm 42 teaches us to see our losses in light. Of our ultimate gain. God himself, the Psalm almost reflects on times of joy and triumph, but also on feelings of being forsaken and oppressed. And in the midst of this, he utters this profound statement. Why are you downcast? Oh my soul, why so disturbed within me? He’s being honest, but he is also questioning himself. And then as a statement of faith, put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my savior. And my God, and for all of us at different times, that’s more of a statement of faith than what we’re really feeling. But when you live by faith, you’ll see God’s strength made perfect in your, even in times of weakness and losses, whether they are relationships or lost opportunities or possessions, can remind us that our ultimate treasure is in God. And perhaps part of God’s purpose in your life when you experience loss is to help you reset your focus on things above and not on things or people or events. Below. There’s a saying that goes, sometimes you don’t know that God is all you need until he’s all you’ve got. Some of you know what that’s like. So like the Psalmist, we can redirect our focus from what we’ve lost to what we’ve gained in God, where all we truly have is from God. And when we make him the foundation of our life, we can find a satisfaction that transcends our circumstance of peace. That transcends understanding. And our losses can actually become avenues for a deeper intimate relationship with our creator as we learn to trust his sovereign plan, even the midst of the confusion, chaos, and trouble. Now, I would be remiss if I left you thinking that this psalm is all about you. It’s not, for those of you who were here last weekend or caught the message from Pastor David Quist, it’s, he entitled it. It’s Still Not about you because I, he’d preached before a message. It’s not about you. And here’s the connection with today’s sermon in this psalm.
And I think it’s an important key to actually reading the book of Psalms, including Psalm 42, to realize that in the end, this Psalm is not about you, it’s about God. Or here at Victory for all of our messages. In the end, it’s all about Jesus Christ and we, when we set our focus on him, other things come into place. Yes, God’s word has a direct bearing and meaning on your your life, day-to-day and long view. God’s love and mercy. Forgiveness and grace has daily meaning for all of us. But this is best seen and experienced by shifting the focus away from your own navel. Gazing and to reset your sights on God, his power and sovereignty, love, grace, and character. And in that finding that even in your weakness, you are strong because God is the one strong. So here’s the secret to reading Psalm 42, to see it as about Jesus Christ. That’ll help you refocus from just you upon God himself. For Jesus knows what it’s like to seek his father in heaven as a deer pants for water. Jesus knows what it’s like to be downcast and disturbed. He knows what it’s like for his tears to be his food, and Jesus knows what it’s like for people to mock him. And ask him, where’s your God? Jesus knows what it’s like to still put his hope in God, his father, and to find refuge, rest and relief in his father’s love and providence. And for Jesus, his pain and suffering led to God’s ultimate victory and our salvation. And so for us so too, as we go through hard times, Know that the best is yet to come. As Paul writes in two Corinthians four, for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. That’s the statement of faith that you can trust in, and as we’ve seen in the Psalm, we may. Be wrestling with feelings of longing or pain and loss, and yet through it all, we can experience the journey towards finding ultimate satisfaction in rest in God and in God alone. So my prayer for you, for, for all of us, that the Holy Spirit will give you the, the courage to be honest with God, to lament.
To get real, not deny what you’re feeling or experiencing during times of struggle. Truly lament and lift up your heart and prayers to the Lord about what you’re feeling. And as you turn to the Lord, you’re gonna find him doing something within you so that you might be able to say, along with the writers of the Psalm, by day, the Lord directs his love at night. His song is with me. A prayer to the God of my life. Let’s pray. Lord God, just as a dear pants for streams of water, indeed our souls thirst for you and for some here today, they know what it’s like for their tears to be their daily food. Living. God, you know what each person is going through. Help us all to look to you as our true hope and source of rest and renewal. And in your presence may we come to know your love and peace that we all need so desperately. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.