Faithlife Sermons

The One Who Draws Near

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Psalm 34:15–22 CSB
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry for help. The face of the Lord is set against those who do what is evil, to remove all memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit. One who is righteous has many adversities, but the Lord rescues him from them all. He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken. Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished. The Lord redeems the life of his servants, and all who take refuge in him will not be punished.

God Sees and Hears You

One of the greatest truths in this season is that the God of the universe, who formed the earth and all that is in it see you and hears you in the midst of your suffeiring.
When Abram’s concubine Hagar was expelled by Abram at the behest of Sarai she found herself near death in the wilderness with her son Ishmael. God came to her and promised to provide for her.
Genesis 16:13 CSB
So she named the Lord who spoke to her: “You are El-roi,” for she said, “In this place, have I actually seen the one who sees me?”
This is the great promise for those in Christ. God is the one who sees us. We are never out of his sight, no matter how great our suffering, or how helpless our situation.

It is the troubled and crushed and broken that the Lord hears and delivers and keeps. The high and lofty one comes down to the level of our need (Isa. 57:15).

Isaiah 57:15 CSB
For the High and Exalted One, who lives forever, whose name is holy, says this: “I live in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and lowly of spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the oppressed.

God is Drawing Near to You

Today you feel abandoned, and alone because of the loss of a loved one. You feel an emptiness.
But here’s a great truth: You have never been more full than you are right now. Not only does he hear us, which in itself is amazing, but the God of the universe is drawing near to you.
John Calvin notes:

It is a doctrine full of the sweetest consolation, that God departs not from us, even when we are overwhelmed by a succession of miseries, and, as it were, almost deprived of life.

When we are at our most desperate, God sees us, hears us, and draws near to us.

God is Redeeming You

Finally, God is redeeming you and your life in this moment. IN the midst of your suffering you can often think that God is through with you, but he is not. In this moment of great grief we know that God is working. He’s working to strengthen you. He’s working to perfect you. He’s working to mold you.
One of my favorite stories in scripture is the story of Joseph. Beaten, sold into slavery, lied about, thrown into prison, forgotten and ultimately exalted, Joseph had a chance to get revenge on the brothers who treated him so heinously.
Instead, he told his brothers this:
Genesis 50:19–20 CSB
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.
In this moment, you can’t see what God is doing. All we see is the bitterness, anger, questioning, and doubt that death ultimately brings.
But God has a purpose behind it. He had a purpose for Jerry’s life. In a few moment you will all see this as people come to give their love and share in your sorrow.
But I think God has a purpose for Jerry’s death. One we cannot or will not see for years to come.
Romans 8:28 CSB
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Today, is a day of grief, but take courage and comfort: the God of the universe sees you, hears you is drawing near you and has a purpose to redeem and perfect you through all of this.
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