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Psalm 119 (9)

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Introduction: Read Psalm 119:73-80
While I was in my early 20’s I had a professor encourage me to begin reading good Christian biographies. that advice has proven to be a great encouragement to me over the years. One of the biographies i read early on was of the missionary Jim Elliot. The help and edification from his life story was multi faceted, however, one element that captured my attention was the courage and faithfulness that he demonstrated through adversity. His steadfastness to God’s calling even while single. (I read this while preparing to serve as a single pastor) His steadfastness to reach a people group in south america which ended with him dying at the hands of those he was seeking to share the gospel with, along with 4 other missionaries. Jim Elliot’s hope while faced with adversity is an example for me to trust God’s Word through affliction. Today, the stanza of psalm 119 that we have read will show us… (Big point)

The awe-thentic example of hope filled affliction.

Please notice the repetition found in verses 74 & 79. This repetition helps us to notice that the psalmist is making sense out of his affliction. He is finding sweet significance, or one of the good results of going through adversity.
Transition: When we were covering the stanza entitled Heth one of the truths we learned was that one of the evidences that God has been gracious to us is when we experience awe-thentic fellowship. So we know by Gods grace we can experience genuine comrade with others who fear the Lord, but what does that comrade look like?

What does awe-thentic fellowship look like?

Observing another believer hoping in God’s word wile suffering adversity. Watching the examples of others confidence in the Lord while they go through affliction. And being those examples to others as well.
Examples: We might think of Job when we experience the affliction of tragic loss, or Joseph when afflicted by those lying and plotting against us, of Ether when faced with personal and political chaos, of Daniel, Nehemiah, Ruth, or David. Not to mention Jesus Himself, or all of the apostles who gave their lives for the sake of the gospel. As important as these true examples are and even those all throughout church history we would do well to observe of those among us who exemplify hope through adversity.
We have among our own church family those who are trusting Gods word while afflicted with on going physical illness. We have those who are grieving with hope while feeling the deep separation of the death of a close loved one. We have those in our midst who are hope filled examples of what it means to live out marriage vows. We have those who have proven hopeful after facing the adversity and abandonment of a spouse. We have those who have shown us how to hope through singleness, through job loss, through family crisis, through infertility, through finical brokenness. Jesus has so uniquely fitted this local body of Christ together that I dare say that there isn't any kind of affliction that we may experience that another person among us hasn't shown us the example of how to have hope while even still in the midst of it! That , dear ones, is one of the good results of affliction. But this takes us to another question…

How is awe-thentic affliction possible?

How can we be an authentic example of hope filled affliction to one another??
vs. 73 The Lord’s fashioning hands.
In the same way the the law that comes from the “mouth” of God is better than thousands of pieces of gold and silver, so to are the “hands” of God that have created and fashioned us. God is our creator. We are His creation. Point, that we can hope while faced with affliction because God who created us will give us understanding so we may learn His commands. God hands are fashioning us into the examples of hope through affliction. We should confess our humble place and asking Him to teach us His word.
vs. 75a The Lord’s righteous rules.
We can be an awe-thentic example of hope in affliction by realizing that Gods decisions are righteous. His judgments are the standard of truth. Many times we may be tempted, especially when faced with affliction, that our decision about our lives are best. The one who fears the Lord and will hope in the Lord’s word and not our own judgments. Not only that, but also…
vs. 75b The Lord’s faithfulness.
The Psalmist acknowledges that it was the Lord being faithful to him so that the Lord afflicted him. This great truth helps us to be examples of hope while faced with adversity. Since the Lord is trustworthy we are freed from doubting God or blaming Him for adversity. Sometimes we think the Lord is testing us when we go through major problems, and that may very well be, but in this verse we find that the Lord is proving His own faithfulness by afflicting His servant. Its not so much the servants character that is being proven as much as it is God Himself. The testimonies that we hear about the faithfulness of the Lord rarely are told by a believer who has not faced adversity. When we go through adversity we get a front row seat to the faithfulness of God.
Transition: The Lord’s fashioning hands form our understanding in affliction, the Lord’s righteous rules help us know His faithfulness in affliction, and next we see in verse 76 that His steadfast love brings us comfort in affliction.
vs. 76 The Lord’s steadfast love.
The word used here for steadfast love is Hesed. The same word used in verse 41. It has to do with God’s covenant love. His unconditional promise keeping love. Point, When we are faced with adversity we can prove to be a hope filled example to those around us because the Lord will not break His steadfast love. He will not abandon you. He will not leave you alone. His love will endure forever! And His love can shine thru you in order to illuminate the path for another weary traveler. Which takes us to our next answer to how can we be examples of awe-thentic affliction.
vs. 77 The Lord’s mercy.
The tender affection of the Lord helps us to not just survive affliction but to be revived through affliction. The Lord shows us mercy and the result is that we live. The word live in verse 77 means to get well, to flourish, to be revived! The point is that God is deeply aware of our adversity, and He is mercifully withholding the penalty that we actually deserve and in doing so He brings us life! And the result of the Lord showing us mercy is that we are extremely satisfied in Him. Notice the end of the verse, “for your law is my delight.” This means that the believer who fears the Lord will find their satisfied portion in the whole collection of God’s instruction. Point, when we delight while faced with adversity we become a wonderful example for others to follow and also delight in the Word of God. However, I suppose the same is true. It is quite discouraging when we see those afflicted turn away from Gods word. It is disheartening to witness a person walk away form God’s truth because of adversity. May God show us all His great mercy. And He has certainly done so as we see in our last answer this morning.
Transition: We can be an example of hope filled affliction because of the Lord’s; fashioning hands, righteous rules, faithfulness, steadfast love, mercy.. and finally with some explanation from verses 78 & 80 ....
vs. 78 & 80 The Lord’s affliction.
The shame of the proud is called for. And the blamelessness of heart so that the Psalmist will not be put to shame. To be shamed is to be without hope. To be ashamed is to be guilty and justly deserving of condemnation or critical judgment. However, to be without shame means that the guilt has been removed or sufficiently paid for. How is it possible to be free of true guilt? How is it possible to have a heart that is blameless in the Lord’s statutes? The only way is through faith in the Lord who was afflicted for us. II Corinthians 5:21 tells us… (read) The Lord Himself makes awe-thentic affliction possible. We can be blameless in our example because of blood of Christ that was poured out as the payment for our sin. And because of the resurrection of Christ over the power of our sin. We can be an example of hoping in Christ while suffering affliction because Christ suffered it for us. We can be encouraged by the example of those around us who are hoping and trusting while suffering affliction because Jesus has united us together.
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Closing: One of the good results of affliction is that when we hope in the Word while facing adversity we prove to be an example of Christ to those around us. It could be said that no church family is ever more united than when they walk together through affliction. May we as the body of Christ be able to say along with the Apostle Paul from II Corinthians 1:3-7
2 Corinthians 1:3–7 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

Am I humbling myself before the Lord and proving to be an example of hope through adversity? Am I looking for the examples of hope in those who fear the Lord?

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