The Big Picture
When you praise God, remember how great a God He is, that’s the basis of praise.
Alright thank you very much and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright? Oh, I’m happy in the Lord today, I’m happier than I have any right to be I guess just so glad to know God and glad to be alive and glad to have you as my friend. It’s so great! Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. I want to keep on with you in these next few sessions in the 107th Psalm.
The last time we got together we’ve talked about being at “wits end corner”. There’s a poem that someone wrote about that years ago, “Are you standing at wits end corner?” Well that’s the phrase that’s used here in describing people who have come to the end of themselves, it’s said they stagger and reel to and fro and they are at their wits end. Nothing more I can do, I can’t think of anything else to do. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble and He bringeth them out of their distresses. First of all He’s going to take away your feeling of panic, “He bringeth them out of their distresses.” Distress is something you feel inside and long before the circumstances need to be changed, your feeling about them needs to be changed.
I have a physician friend who said to me one time that he has in his case histories, records of people who were quite literally scared to death. They were so afraid of something or rather that it affected their bodies. Distress is something inside of you that needs to be remedied even before the circumstances change. Try praying about things today beloved, try praying about them. Cry out to God them about tell Him how you feel, Dr. Pettingill used to say, “If you feel grouchy don’t tell God everything’s wonderful, He knows better”, tell God how you feel. They cry on the Lord in their trouble and He bringeth them out of their distresses, He’s going to take care of your inner panic first of all. And then it says, “He maketh the storm, a calm so the waves are still”.
Our Lord Jesus was the living embodiment of that truth, was He not? When in the midst of the storm that occurred on the sea of Galilee, our Savoir came walking on the water to the disciples. They were afraid and panic stricken and He said, “Be of good cheer, be not afraid it is I”, and then He came into the boat with them. “Be of good cheer it is I be not afraid”, Peter of course said, “Lord if it be if that be Thou bid me come to thee on the water”, and He said, “Come on” and when Peter has down out of the ship he walked on the water to go to Jesus but when he saw the wind boisterous he was afraid, as the waves you see and beginning to sink, he cried saying, “Lord save me”, and immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught him and said to him, “Oh little faith where for didst thou doubt”, and when they were coming to the ship the wind ceased and they that where in the ship came and worshiped Him.
Now first, it was to get Peter’s faith straight. Second, it was to calm the wind and the waves. Do you see the order there that God wants to work in your life, beloved? He wants to deal with your own inner tempest, first of all. Then He’s going to change the circumstances to conform to His own wonderful will. Then he says, then they are glad because they’re quiet. What makes you really happy? What makes you really happy, the secession of the storm? Not necessarily. What makes you really glad is quietness of Spirit where things are right with you and your Lord and you really enjoy Him.
Do you enjoy the Lord or do you just sort of make speeches to Him now and again and call for help when you’re in a jam? Evelyn Christianson says in one of her books that it’s suddenly developed in her thinking that she really didn’t feel all that comfortable with God because she had something’s that she disagreed with Him about as so she had to work through those disagreements that had to do with circumstances in her own life and family as I recall. And then when it was all worked through, she had that ineffable sense of peace and well-being, and she said just before she fell asleep one night as she lay in the darkness looking up toward heaven, she felt so good about God, she felt comfortable with Him, she felt so at peace with her Lord, that she just looked up in to the darkness and said, “Hey, God I like you”. Ah, there it is you see, they’re glad they are quiet.
There’s a parallel passage that says the same thing in different language over in John when our Lord Jesus manifested Himself to the disciples after His resurrection, it says “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord”, and Jesus said, “Peace be unto you”. The person of your Lord, the presence of your Lord, the truth and solidity of His promises, feeling comfortable in the presence of God is the essence of gladness.
Happiness tends to depend upon circumstances, joy depends upon a right relationship with the person, there’s the difference. You know the difference or are you still depending upon going to meetings and hearing sermons and doing things and all of that to produce a sense of spiritual happiness and well-being?
Now I’m not against going to church I pastored for 18 years fulltime, and I’ll assure you I believe in going to church, and I believe in going to meetings, and I believe if you’re going to put on a meeting, put a good one on that has some life in it. But having said that, I have to remind all of us including my own heart that real joy that vast deep unspeakable sense of well-being with God that comes from the presence of your blessed Lord. Practicing the presence of God, practice living in His presence moment by moment and I can assure you your heart will be filled with joy.
Now comes this refrain once again, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men. Let him exalt him also in the congregation of the people and praising in the assembly of the elders”. Why this addition also? There is power in united prayer and praise; there is power in united prayer and praise. Pastor, take a few minutes the next time you get your congregation together in a midweek service, to spend the time in doing nothing but just praising the Lord. Everybody that lifts a prayer is not going to ask for a single thing but they’re going thank God and praise him for all that He has done.
You will be amazed at what happens in the hearts of the people of your congregation when they learn to spend time in praising God. Don’t ask Him for a thing just praise Him, the Bible says “Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me” and so God is glorified when you praise Him and there is more power in united praise and united prayer, than there is in a single petition or a single prayer of thanksgiving. That why I said let them exalt Him also in the congregation and in the assembly. Get together with other people to praise the Lord, you’d be amazed at what it will do for your own soul.
Now, what is this stuff of which praise has made, He turneth rivers into wilderness and the watersprings into dry ground, a fruitful land in the barrenness for the wickedness of them that dwell therein” and then on the other hand “He turneth the wilderness in to a standing water and dry ground in the watersprings and there he maketh the hungry to dwell that they prepare city for habitation and sow the fields and plant vineyards. He blesseth them also so that they are multiplied greatly and suffereth not their cattle to decrease”.
Again they are diminished and brought little through oppression, affliction, and sorrow, He pooreth contempt upon princess and causeth them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way yet setteth He the poor on high from affliction and maketh families like a flock, the righteous shall see it and rejoice and all inequity will stop her mouth who so is wise will absorb these things. What’s he talking about? What is this stuff of praise? It is the Almighty sovereign of work of God in stopping wickedness, verse 34, “The fruitful land has turned into barrenness for the wickedness of then that dwell therein” in showing mercy to His people in disciplining His people after He’s blessed, verse 38 “Then again he diminishes them and brings them low and then he shows mercy, verse 41 “He sets the poor on high from affliction and maketh them families like a flock and the righteous shall see it and rejoice”.
The point that is raised here is that you praise God for his sovereign working in the affairs of mankind. Now you and I don’t see the whole pattern. In college and in university I’ve heard the professor say that life is like a jigsaw puzzle and we just don’t understand it and it doesn’t make any sense and the things that happen, the natural tragedies of a flood, earthquake, and drought, and all of that, and the plagues that occur from time to time, and all of the evils that we see around us, this certainly is part of a universal riddle that we can’t solve and it doesn’t make any sense. Amazing how the most learned people will mouth off these clichés, when all you have to do is to turn to the Word of God and find that He still rules. No sinners in the world, the Bible says, “As by one man sin into the world and death by sin as so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned.”
Sin, and war, and evil are in the world and in human nature there’s no doubt about that, you can’t blame God for it. The fact is however that God is great enough, number one, to create a human being capable of saying no to Him, which Adam and Eve did. Number two, to plan even before creation the redemption of that human race by paying their debt Himself which Jesus our blessed Lord did on Calvary. And number three, great enough to rule in spite of all that is happening in this world for ill. He maketh the wrath of man to praise him. When you praise God remember how great a God he is, that’s the basis of praise.
Dear Father today grant to us to praise Thee from our hearts as we go through the day in Jesus name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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