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The Relationship Between Stars & Sorrows

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The Relationship of Stars and Sorrows

Let us pray.  Father, this evening, we incline our spiritual ears to hear Your Word, ... and as we do so ... we ask, Father, that You do what only You can do, ... that You take Your Word and use it to penetrate our hearts, our inner man. We pray that through your Holy Spirit ... that You speak what You would have us hear, ...

     that we might change our lives ...

     that we might fill that hunger in our spirit for the things of God ...

     that we might gain a touch more of your likeness this day.

And most of all, my Father, we pray that may You be glorified, ... in this place... this evening.

We ask you for these and all things in the name of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, ... as I minister under the covering and authority of His name ... and all God's people said, 'Amen'.

If you would, would you open your bibles this evening with me? ... let's read Psalm 147:1-5. 

We're going to examine versus 3 and 4 from this passage this evening.  In these versus, speaking of God, the psalmist tells us:

3 He heals the brokenhearted, And binds up their wounds.

4 He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.

Consider with me these twin attributes of God ... consider what a surprising association they are.

At first, the psalmist speaks to us of God's intimacy with our own personal need ... our own broken heart ... our wounds ... our sorrow ... our pain ... our anguish ... those things which in a way measure or define each person's existence.

And, then, gloriously, practically in the same breath, the psalmist speaks to God's power and intimacy in the infinite and starry realms of the creation. Listen again:

3 He heals the brokenhearted, And binds up their wounds.

4 He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.

I find this truly amazing.  Here is God ... the Creator of the Universe ... Here is God Almighty revealing Himself in the very nearest thing to each of us ... our individual human heart, ... and revealing Himself, too, in the most remote of all things ... the starry heavens.  Here is both the very, very personal ... and the most infinite.

At first, this may seem odd ... it may seem contradictory, even strange, to suggest commonality between these two seemingly diverse objects of God's intimacy.

I mean ...         can there be a connection between the vast, starry heavens above ...and the suffering human heart below?

I mean ...         can there be a connection between the heavens, which are so infinitely great, so incredibly immense ... and a human heart which is so inconsequential ... so fleeting ... so personal? ... so temporal?

I mean ...         can there be a connection between the celestial heavens which man understands superficially at best ... and his own heart which man knows with ultimate and with intimate familiarity?

We're going to answer these questions.  And we will learn this evening, that there is an underlying relationship between the numberless stars of the heavens and the sorrows of the human heart ... a relationship, church, that points unerringly ... to the power and to the mercy and to the love of God.

And my proclamation is that if we understand this and ...

1.               if we receive this truth as ours ...we'll have a blueprint to manage the inevitable storms of life;  

2.               if we understand this and if we receive this truth as ours, ... I promise you, it will direct our hearts into the safe harbor of His love ... as nothing else can do.

A.W. Tozer once said ... listen to this ...

He said "Worship is pure or elaborate as one entertains high or low thoughts of God."   Let me quote him again, "Worship is pure or elaborate as one entertains high or low thoughts of God."

Tozer also said

"We tend, by some secret law of the soul, to move toward our mental image of God."

High or low ... we'll move toward our mental image of God.  This means ... what you think about God will directly affect how you live as well as how you worship.

And the sad thing is that too many people have too small a concept of God, ... an inadequate view of God.  A limited, narrow and, thus, erroneous view of God.

And I consider this message I give to you this evening as two bookends on the subject of His character and nature.  Two bookends ...

One bookend is His heavenly majesty in starry space!

The other bookend: His personal mercy in the heart cry and sorrow of every man, woman and child!

And, friends, there is a lifetime of study, revelation and discovery in between these bookends ... and their relationship.  The Relationship of the Stars and Sorrows!

I thank God for everything I know about Him.  But, I also thank God for all the things about Him I don't know.  My knowing or not knowing the mystery of the nature and character of God is irrelevant when it comes to appreciating God.  Do you agree?

Haven't you often felt just plain inadequate ... unable to summon the right word... the right phase when it comes to glorifying God?

How can God manifest these twin attributes?  The answer is as the Bible declares that God is omnipotent ... all‑powerful.

     In Genesis 17:1, God told Abraham, "I am God Almighty; walk before me".

     Matthew 19:26 says, "with God all things are possible".

     Revelation 19:6 tells us, "Hallelujah!  For our Lord God Almighty reigns."

     Later in verse 16 His name is written, "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

Yes, from Genesis to Revelation we are presented with a treasure chest, a treasure chest brimming with the revelation of our God's omnipotence ... and so much more.

Have you ever truly thought about how great God is?  Have you ever imagined what the magnitude of the cosmos really is?  Have you?

Most of us know that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second.  This means in one split second, light can travel around the earth 7 1/2 times!

If you were to go outside on a clear night, you can see a band of light going across the sky. Actually that is the rim of what we earthlings call the Milky Way. What you are seeing, are not clouds but stars, so many billions of stars ... that they appear to be clouds.  Do you know how far away these billions of stars are? Friends, if you were traveling at the speed of light (186,000 miles a second), it would take you 4 1/2 years just to reach the nearest star you can see!

You've heard the term, a light‑year.  A light‑year is simply how far light travels in one year: that is 6 trillion miles.  The Milky Way's nearest star to planet earth is Alpha Centauri, 4 1/2 light‑years away, or some 27 trillion miles away!   And that's just the nearest star.  And friend, incredibly, there are over 100 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy!  This is incredible!

And as incredible ... as huge as this sounds, our Milky Way galaxy is one of the smallest galaxies in the universe!  In fact, astronomers with the 200‑inch telescope at Mount Palomar in California, forget the Hubbell space telescope, estimate that as they look out through the cup of the Big Dipper ... they can see over one million galaxies the size of our Milky Way or bigger!

Think of the magnitude of what we are saying!  The magnitude of the creative power and genius of God!

Do you begin to get the picture?  And the Bible says that the God who created all this holds it together by the power of His hand.  And some people wonder if God is really big enough to solve their problems?  Hello!!


My first point!  I assure you beyond a shadow of a doubt that God wants to know you and relate to you personally?   How can I be so sure?   His Word tells me so.

Listen to what Jesus said in John 14:16 & 17 before He returned to the Father.  He said the Father:

 "will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever ... the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, ... because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."

Yes, God wants to know you and relate to you personally ... so personally that His precious Holy Spirit dwells in you.  You want to ask God something ... you want to relate to Him personally ... look within ... look to the Holy Spirit.   He's there, he wants to comfort you, he wants to teach you, occasionally he wants to admonish ... to caution you.

On the other hand, in the case of the person who rejoices in knowing God's nearness and goodness, but forgets that He is "the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity,"

This individual is inclined to lose sight of God's overseeing care and guidance in the larger, eternal things of life.

As a result, he is apt to panic and succumb to a faithless pessimism when things seem to be going wrong. His understanding of God is incomplete.

And this incompleteness means that this marvelous conjunction that I am speaking about ... this marvelous conjunction of God's personal mercy ... and God's heavenly majesty ... it escapes this person.  They become a Christian yo‑yo; they become unanchored in the storms, and heartbreaks of life.

Remember this relationship!  Remember that "He determines the number of the stars" is "He that heals the broken in heart."

All of us, sooner or later, come to know what it means to be crushed, to be wounded, to be broken, ... to have sorrow.  It is part of the price we pay for living.  It comes with the territory of human existence.                                                

My second point is that both stars and heartbreaks find relationship in that they both bring us to a realization of our own powerlessness ... our own human frailty. Let me ask.

Is there one here this evening who has not gone out in the countryside where the light of the city does not dim the scene and, then, gazed up to the stars?

God's Word tells us in Psalm 8:3-4

                        3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that Thou art mindful of him,  What is man that Thou art mindful of him?

The Life Application Bible puts it this way, "When I look up into the night skies and see the work of your fingers ... the moon and the stars you have made ...I cannot understand how You can bother with mere puny man, to pay attention to him!"

I would ask you to reflect for a moment on the heartbreaks of life, ... the heartbreaks of your own life, ... the heartbreaks in the lives of billions of others.

Now, just try to imagine a billion heartbreaks, two billion, three billion!  And here am I ... here are you ... utterly powerless to escape or diminish them.  I submit to you that these billions of heartbreaks have as much power to teach us our powerlessness ... teach us our limitations as does the enormity of God's creation.

I propose both sources, ... our individual and collective sorrows ... and the stars or the enormity of God's creation ... both ... not only shout to the limitations of our humanity ... but they speak to God's majesty and mercy and omnipotence.

The stars and the sorrows ... in relationship they unite in the revelation of God to us. Yes, they speak to:

     His sufficiency in our insufficiency.

     His adequacy in our inadequacy.

     His strength in our weakness.

     His deliverance in our bondage.

     His comfort in our turmoil.

     His provision in our lack.

     His healing in our infirmity.

     His perfection in our imperfection.

     His wisdom in our ignorance.

     His faithfulness in our faithlessness.

     His patience in our haste.

     His holiness in our sin.  Praise God!

The third point I would make regarding the relationship of the stars and sorrows is this:   Notice, we've seen that most of the stars are hidden from our sight even when we are assisted by the strongest telescopes.  Right?  How like our heartbreaks!   Aren't our heartbreaks so often hidden from others.  Aren't they so often buried beneath the face that we show publicly?  Don't we so often think of our burdens as quote "private"? private matters?

My last point regarding the kinship of the stars and our sorrows has to do with numbers.  Imagine counting the stars!  Well, that is entirely beyond all human capacity, isn't it? They are immeasurable! . ...I ask, "aren't the heartbreaks of mankind correspondingly immeasurable in their number?"  I ask is anyone immune?  Is there?  Of course, not!

The fact is, our needs and desires are the greatest things we have ... our needs and desires are far greater than our possessions or our accomplishments.  I want to repeat that "our needs and desires are the greatest things we have."

Why do I say this?  I say it because it is our needs and desires that testify that our broken hearts cry out for solid comfort and lasting assurance.  Saints, it is our heartbreaks that prove there is something within us ... something within us that refuses to be satisfied by material comforts or, for that matter, with anything temporal or carnal.

To illustrate this and to bring it home to us, think of some of those common causes of heartbreak ... those times in our lives when it is no exaggeration when we cry out, "My heart is broken!"

Let me give you some examples.  For instance,

S                how about the circumstance when the conviction of sin is upon a person, haunting him with the sense of his sin‑created exile from God ... from God's love ... from God's Heaven. Who does not know that kind of broken heartedness?  Haven't we witnessed it at these very altars?

S                Family relationships that are broken asunder. I ask: "Is there a family that you know without heartbreak of this sort?"  Very few I would venture.

S                And next doesn't every one of us share heartbreak over family and friends who don't know the Lord.  Do you ever envision family or friends disappearing into the fiery furnace of hell?   Doesn't your frustration over your inability to reach them cause extreme agony and heartbreak?

S                Another example is the heartbreak of the young person who feels that in his attempt to live an upright and clean life, that he is contending against unequal forces.   He senses that the temptation of the world system is stronger than his strength of resistance, ... and that failure, with all its bitter humiliation, ... is inevitable. He feels in his despair, if you can't fight 'em, join 'em." 

S                The epidemic of suicide amongst the young is a result many times of these feeling of despair and hopelessness. Many young people (I've met them) ... they bravely try to turn a bright face towards others, but they're weeping tears in the secret places ... they're weeping tears at the discovery that they are in the grip of destructive forces, satanic forces in some cases, and feel they cannot free themselves.

S                Then, let me speak to the heartbreak of betrayal, ... betrayal when human love proves unstable ... inadequate ... selfish. When the light of day seems literally to be blotted out of the sky. When divorce separates you from family. When all of life becomes dismal and desolate.  What incredible, empty, desolate heartbreak!

S                Putting one's trust in man almost inevitably leads to heartbreak ...sooner or later we are bound to fail each other.  This means we need to rely on Christ alone to complete us and to fulfill us, ... not on each other.

S                And then, too, all of us, sooner or later, face the heartbreak of earthly separation. Just imagine

S                the heartbreak of those parents that have lost a child.

S                the heartbreak of those who thought their sons died for a just cause ...war.

S                the heartbreak of those lost to AIDS because of our tolerance of sin.

S                the heartbreak of 72 million parents associated with their misguided and often impulsive decision that led to an abortion.

S                the heartbreak of losing a spouse. Face it friends, from an earthly perspective, the grave separates half of us from our spouses.

S                Yes, the heartbreak of separation in death, ...

Yes, the heartbreaks of life are very many ... the heartbreaks of life are very real! Yet our Savior promises,

                "He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,  To proclaim liberty to the captives

                 And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed."

So, friends notice we have seen that both stars and the heartbreaks find relationship in His Kingdom.  The stars, as we know, run their courses and keep their places in the heavens entirely in virtue of their relation to His creative centerpiece.  Thus, it is that He knows their number.  It is no different with these, our many heartbreaks.  They have a distinct and definite relationship to the King.

In fact, doesn't our own personal experience prove this?

     What is it that has helped us in our most trying hours?

     What is it that has helped us when all has seemed lost or not worthy of the struggle?

     What has made it possible to rise above cruel circumstance and seize victory out of defeat?

Whether He has calmed the storm ... whether He has lets the storm rage and calmed us, His child, ...  who is it that has brought joy and peace into sorrow and storm?

You know the answer.  The Very One which "number the stars" is available to the "broken in heart" .... to help ... and to heal whenever it is needed.

Those instincts which can never find comfort anywhere else!  Why can't they?... because we are created by and for Him.  I have a few stanzas of a poem for you.

                    What can it mean? Does it matter to Him?

                  That the nights are long, that the days are dim?

                     Is He truly touched by the grief I bear,

                  That saddens my heart and whitens my hair?

                     And yet I so want Him to care for me,

                    As I live in this world where sorrows be.

                   When the light dies down on the path I take;

                  When strength is feeble, when friends forsake;

                    When love and music that once did bless

                      Have left me to silence and loneliness;

                 When my life‑song changes to sobbing prayers;

                  Then my heart cries out for a God that cares.

Yes, an ever‑present instinct of the soul heart cries out for a God that cares.

But there is more ... there is much more than the instincts of a person=s soul.

I refer to the Father's ultimate act of mercy.

I refer to Jesus Christ stepping into humanity.

I refer to the bread of life.  He said to them,

"I am the bread of life.   He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever."

I'm referring to Jesus!  He told John

"Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.  I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.  And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."

I'm referring to Jesus!  He said to them,

"Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved."

I'm referring to Jesus! He promised,

"I am the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live and shall never die."

I'm referring to Jesus!  I refer to the vine. He said

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."

I'm referring to Jesus! I refer to the light. He explained

 "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness."

I'm referring to Jesus!  I refer to the Good Shepherd.  He comforted,

 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep."  And so He did my friends!

And so, what then is the ultimate significance of this message of the kinship of the stars of heaven with the sorrows of earth?  I pray it's an inspiration to find peace, hope and cheer in the knowledge that He who works a miracle in the skies ... is the very One who cares and stands by to strengthen us, to strengthen the broken in heart.

Isn't it a joy to know that the healing of our heart of sorrow is the will of Our Savior?

Isn't it a joy to know ... to get to the point in your Christian life ... that you finally realize ... realize you have nothing left but God, ...for the first time become aware that God is enough?

Friend, Jesus can do the same for you.

Friend, if your hurting this evening, if your broken hearted broken in spirit Jesus wants to heal that brokenness.

He wants you to share the sorrows of your heart with Him.

He wants you to give you need over to Him.

Maybe for the first time He wants you to become aware that He is enough.

3 He heals the brokenhearted,  And binds up their wounds.

4 He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.

Claim your healing by faith, let Him bind up your wounds.

Claim relief of your sorrow, your broken heart by faith.

I don't care if you need physical healing, emotional healing, or spiritual healing, if you are in right relationship with Him, in willing obedience to His plan for your life, stand up and come forward.

We're not going to believe the report of man, we are going to believe the report of the Lord and He said by My stripes you are healed.  Fix yourself on Him, come forward, we want to pray with you.

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