*CHURCH – Hang On In There*
New Mount Carmel 11~/9~/2008
Pray with me if you would this afternoon as we talk about “*Hang On In there.”*
This/ /afternoon/ /I believe many of us are going through the getting through stage, and we’re simply hanging on by a thread.
With all of the chaos and drama in the world and in our lives sometimes it appears as though our faith is on the verge of becoming unraveled.
At times it’s all we can do to just *hang it there*.
As we are blessed by the study of this Psalm and the preaching of God’s word, I pray we may borrow light from David’s candle.
I also pray this message would both sing and sting in our hearts and minds.
I’m asking and petitioning God that the seed of this word would find fertile soil in our hearts and help us to hang on and hang in there just a little while longer.
Psalm eighteen is a thanksgiving song.
It follows naturally upon Psalm seventeen which is a lament.
Lament is just simply praise in a minor key.
Thanksgiving and lament go together.
“If I never had a problem I wouldn’t know that God could solve it, I wouldn’t know what a little faith in his word can do.
But this afternoon I can shout in my spirit that through it all I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God.
I’ve learned to depend upon his word.
-The greater the difficulty or danger.
-The more perplexed the problem out of which we were delivered;
The greater our praise ought to be.
The greater the trial means the greater the triumph.
There is an interesting feature of Psalm eighteen which we see as soon as we turn to it.
Familiarity with God’s word leads us to II Samuel which is the psalm’s historical setting.
When we go to II Samuel, we find that Psalm 18 is duplicated almost exactly in chapter twenty two.
In the Psalm before us we find David looking back over a lifetime of saving interventions by God and praising him for them.
Spurgeon says this Psalm is the song of a grateful heart overwhelmed by the manifold and marvelous mercies of God.
I think we too should pause and look back over God’s saving interventions in our own lives.
Let me ask you have you looked back lately and found anything to praise God for?
Allow me to help you.
Praise him for waking you up this morning.
Don’t worry about tomorrow*; *just thank him for this morning.
We have to learn to take life one day at a time.
Praise him for having the activity of all of your limbs.
I tell you it is a blessing to be able to wave your hands and pat your feet to the rhythm of the music.
Praise him for another day.
You do know that this is the day that the Lord has made and all of us ought to rejoice and be glad about it.
There is nothing wrong with looking on the bright side as we go through this life.
Let me tell you a story about a man with an extremely positive attitude.
Frank constantly irritated his friends with his optimism.
No matter how horrible the circumstance, he would remark, “It could have been worse,” To cure him of this annoying habit, his friends decided to invent a situation so bad, so terrible, that even Frank could find no hope in it.
On the golf course one day, a friend said, “Frank, did you hear about Tom? Tom came home last night, and found his wife in bed with another man, he shot them both, and then turned the gun on himself.”
“That’s horrible,” Frank said.
“But it could have been worse.”
“How could it possibly be any worse?” the friend asked.
“Well,” Frank answered, “If it had happened the night before, I’d be dead.”
Frank looked on the bright side of every situation.
One writer stated, “There was never a night or a problem that could defeat the sunrise of hope.”
I came to encourage someone to hang on in there.
In verse 2 David says,/ The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
/God is his rock.
Notice how personal it was with David.
David uses these metaphors to describe what God means to him.
He lets us know what God had been to him and how he had always been there for him.
In other words David is saying God is worthy of his praise.
He is also worthy of our praise.
Have I got a witness?
A rock during David’s time could be used for protection as well as shade.
As they faced the hot sandy lands of Bible times, the people struggled against the merciless elements.
It was hot and sometimes hotter than hot.
In the shadows of the rocks, a traveler could find comfort and shelter.
That’s what God was to David and that’s what he has been to me.
A little boy prayed: God please take care of yourself because if anything happens to you we're in a world of trouble!
Can I share with you this afternoon we are in a world of trouble, but God is in the trouble.
-Trouble we are in, God is in it with us.
-Trial we face, God is in it with us.
-Storm we encounter, God is in it with us.
If we just hang on in there, God will see us through and bring us out.
Can’t you envision David standing on some towering rock, standing on a sure foundation, looking down on his enemies who were in helpless and hopeless pursuit?
Because of that rock, David was able to hang on in there.
Listen to /Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
/ The Psalmist says he waited patiently.
Think about a man who waited patiently as illustrated by the following story;
An elderly man lay dying in his bed.
Near death, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed.
Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands, he looked into the kitchen.
Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven.
There, spread out on the kitchen table was literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
Was it heaven or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife.
Mustering one great final effort, he reached for a cookie at the edge of the table, when his wife suddenly smacked his hand with a spatula.
“Stay out of those cookies”, she said.
“They’re for the funeral”.
This old man was hanging on in there.
/2 //The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower./
Not only does David say the Lord is his rock, and fortress; but he presents God as his deliverer.
Oh David ought to have some support here this morning who can say the Lord is their deliverer.