Sunday, February 26, 2006

Back To Basics

Intro.: “Back to Basics”

  1. It is a slogan for a toy company, hair care products, a fertilizer, and even science education.

  2. This morning I want to get back to the basics in our spiritual lives. What is the bottom line when it comes to faith.

  3. This morning, I would like to suggest five principles that stand at the core of our Christian faith.


  1. We must never forget that God loves us

    1. If there is one thing that we have heard from the very beginning of our faith walk, it was this: For God so loved the world ...

    2. It was the first verse that most of us memorized. It is the verse that has been translated from the Greek into more languages than any other. If you ever stay at a motel with a Bible placed by the Gideons, you will find right inside the front cover this verse is translated into 20 of these languages.

    3. God not only loves us – he is the embodiment of love. John reminds us that “Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God l and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”i

(Ill.) A certain farmer had an unusual weathervane on his barn. Inscribed on the arrow were these words: “God is love.” A passerby turned in at the gate and asked the farmer, “What do you mean by that? Do you think God’s love is changeable; that it veers about as that arrow turns in the winds?” “Oh, no,” replied the farmer, “I mean that whichever way the wind blows, God is still love.”ii

    1. Life will bring us challenges – Last week has been a perfect example starting with Deb's surgery and then Val's mom's hospitalization. I found out on Thursday morning that I had a headlight burned out. My son's girl friend spent Friday night and Saturday morning in the hospital emergency room. I suspect that you could add items to my list.

    2. Yet the scripture remains true – For God so loved the world.

  1. We must never forget that we are broken people

    1. There are times when I wish my wife would forget this. There are times that I would like to forget it. What is most scarry is that there are times that I begin to act like it weren't true.

    2. I begin to act if I knew everything, there are times that I get this cocky attitude that says, “I'm perfect”

    3. But it doesn't take much to remind everyone around me (though it may take a bit more to get through to me) that I am not perfect.

    4. Sin is universal – Paul, writing in the greatest piece of theology of all time, says “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Herman Melville, author of that classic Moby Dick, wrote, “Evil is unspectacular and always human and shares our bed and eats at our own table.”iii

    5. When we sit back and honestly look at our own lives – we know it is true. We feel the pain of aging, we see the results of sin in our lives.

    6. We are broken people.

  2. We must never forget that Christ died for that sin

    1. The gospel is not merely about the love of God. Nor is it merely the love of God for us broken people.

    2. God did something – he did something in history that cannot be ignored.

    3. Jesus told us about it in John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ...

    4. Paul puts all three of these first three points together in Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

(Ill.) An unknown poet has written

On the mount of crucifixion,

Fountains opened deep and wide,

Through the floodgates of God’s mercy,

Flowed a vast and gracious tide,

Grace and love like mighty rivers,

Flowed incessant from above,

Heaven’s peace and perfect justice,

Kissed a guilty world in love.iv

  1. We must never forget that we must respond to that love

    1. There is a bit more to the text of John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

(Ill.) Occasionally I get hooked on an author. This past year William Willimon was elected to the office of bishop in the United Methodist Church. At the January 2005 Congress on Evangelism, two of his books caught eye. Then he spoke at the 2006 Congress. This winter I have begun to read one of the books that I purchased a year ago. I continue to be impressed by Bishop Willimon. Listen to what he wrote in 2003 -

We are conversionist Christians. Wesleyans have, deep in our bones, the story of a priggish little Oxford don named John who was set aflame for Jesus. We believe that though Jesus takes us singing, “Just As I Am,” he never leaves us just as we are. New Birth is at the heart of a Wesleyan witness to the gospel. The good news is not only that I must change, but that I can, by the grace of God, change. Our logo is the cross and flame. We are a great church for people who want more from their lives, from their worship, and from their discipleship than the same old tired path they have been walking.v   

(Appl.) Has Christ made a difference in your life? Have you been converted – not just on the outside, but on the inside? Have you responded to the love of Jesus?

  1. We must never forget that we are called to share this message

    1. Jesus began his ministry with the words of John 3:16 spoken to Josephus. At the end of His ministry he spoke again. Look at the words of Matthew 28:18-20 'Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."'

    2. Certainly Jesus has called his church to go into the whole world – this verse is part of the church's motivation for sending missionaries around the world.

    3. Matthew 28 also provides another kind of motivation – it provides the motivation for the Garland church to reach out to its own world.

(Ill.) A man traveling along a dark road one stormy night met a man coming from the opposite direction who said to him in a hesitant manner, “I think maybe the bridge is out. At least I heard something to that effect.” The traveler was not impressed and decided to proceed. A little farther on a man came rushing out of the dark to him and said, “Stop! Don’t go any farther. The bridge is out!” So passionately convincing were his tones that the traveler turned back, and his life was saved. That is how we are to witness, with passion and

    1. Last month I asked the church to participate in a number of activities which can serve to reach out to our own community.

    2. If we are going to reach out and proclaim the name of Jesus, we will expect obstacles, we can expect delays.

    3. But God does not ask us to be perfect. God does ask us to be faithful.

Conclusion: Let us be faithful --

I don't know what will happen on Wednesday

  1. But I know that we have a full year that will require all of us to participate, if we are going to grow.

  2. And it will not end with this year. Faithfulness is not a 12 month activity – but it starts this year.

  3. If we are going to grow – then we need to get to work.


iThe Holy Bible : Holman Christian standard version. 2003 (1 Jn 4:8). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.

iiAMG Bible Illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.

iiiW. H. Auden, “Herman Melville” quoted in Merriam-Webster, I. (1992). The Merriam-Webster dictionary of quotations. "A Merriam-Webster."; "Quotables from notables"--Cover.; Includes index. (Page 126). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster.

ivWater, M. (2000). The new encyclopedia of Christian quotations (Page 90). Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishers Ltd.


viAMG Bible Illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Joy-The Christians Fruit

Intro.: As I have mentioned several times over the last few weeks, I set down to create this series of sermons last November.

  1. But over the last two or three weeks, as I have followed the outline I set out it seems to me that we have focused too often on the sad, the downer emotions: Disappointment, doubt, fear, impatience, and depression.

  2. Then I got to thinking, aren't there any up-beat emotions? Any positive emotions?

  3. I had not quite made the decision to change this week's sermon, but then Jonathan began asking me would I ever be discussing any good emotions. I couldn't quite get myself to tell him what I was thinking. Not till this morning.

  4. Jonathan, you need to know that you are partially responsible for today's sermon.

  5. Too often, like we did these past few weeks, we find ourselves living in depths of our feelings.

  6. Yet God has given us what we need, both to hansdle the difficult times, and to enjoy better times as well.

  7. Today, I want to tackle the most difficult of them all – joy.

Read: Galatians 5:19-26
Trans: The last few weeks have been hard.

  1. There have been times that I have preached when I know you have been hurting.

  2. There have been times that I have been afraid that my preaching would set you up for some difficult lessons.

  3. But today, it is not you that am concerned about. But me.

  4. In the last five days I have spent considerable time praying for you. I have visited the hospital four times in the last six days.

  5. So, in the midst of a busy week, I am preaching about joy.

T.S. In the next few minutes we will look at four characteristics of this thing we call joy.

  1. First, joy begins as a natural out growth of our faith.

    1. I have my favorite fruits. For example, I like bananas and oranges; but I do not like apples.

    2. Fruit is the natural output of the plant upon which it grows. Apples grow on apple tree. Oranges come from orange trees.

    3. Humans are spiritual beings – and we bear spiritual fruit.

    4. Joy is the fruit of our walk with Jesus.

(Ill.) A missionary teacher tells of a Japanese woman who asked her if only beautiful girls were accepted by her school. “Why no,” she replied, “We take all the girls who come to us.” “But,” continued the woman, “all your girls seem to be very beautiful.” “That’s because we teach them the value of their souls in God’s sight,” explained the teacher, “and this makes their faces lovely.” “Well,” said the woman, “I don’t want my daughter to become a Christian, but I would like to send her to your school to get that look on her face.”i

    1. Joy is something that God allows you enjoy as a follower of Jesus Christ.

  1. We need to distinguish between joy and happiness

      1. Happiness is the result of things going our way in life. Its being glad that we have received blessings. There will be times that we can be happy. But God never promised us happiness. Things will go our way sometimes – we will be happy. Things will not go our way sometimes – and we will be unhappy.

      2. While happiness is the result of things going our way. Joy is the result of knowing that things are going God's way.

    (Ill.) Oswald Chambers wrote, “The Bible talks plentifully about joy, but it nowhere talks about a “happy Christian.” Happiness depends on what happens; joy does not. Remember, Jesus Christ had joy, and He prays “that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”ii

    (Ill.) To help us understand the difference – remember that dogs can be happy. They like it when you come home, they appreciate the food that is put out for them – or in the case of Val's dogs, that is left out on the counter for them or not. Dogs demonstrate their happiness with a wagging tail, by jumping up, by running around in circles – yep dogs can be happy.

    But joy is something that is reserved for us. I comes at those times when we know that we are following God's way. It is knowing that we have made a decision out of faith, rather than just for ourselves.

    (Ill.) Polycarp, venerable bishop of Smyrna was a personal friend and pupil of John the Apostle. But Polycarp is most widely known for the circumstances of his death. Polycarp was arrested at the age of 86 on the charge of being a Christian -- a member of a politically dangerous cult whose rapid growth needed to be stopped. He was urged by the Roman proconsul to reproach Christ and be set free. The proconsul, who wanted to show some mercy toward the old man, said: “I have respect for your age. Simply say, 'Caesar is Lord' and be set free.” Polycarp solemnly said, “Eighty and six years have I served Him and He never did me any injury. How then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?” In 155 AD, he joyfully went to the stake, burned alive, thanking God for counting him worthy to be numbered among the martyrs.iii

    (Ill.) Aquinas once said, “Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures.”iv

    (Appl.) The secret to experiencing joy, is knowing that you are living with in the way God has laid down for you. It does not come from having fun, it does not come from good food, it does not come from our entertainment – joy comes from living our lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. That is why Polycarp could be joyful even as he was martyred for the sake of his Lord and Savior. Happy? I don't know about that. Joyful, I have no doubt about that.

  1. Finally, joy is connected to our relationships in the church

    1. We spent most of last Fall looking at the book of Philippians. No other book of the Bible has more to say about joy, than the four chapters of this single book.

    2. Turn for a moment to Philippians 2 – Look at the first two verses: If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

    3. For Paul, joy is not only the result of living a life under the Lordship of Christ, but in knowing that others are doing the same.

    4. Joy is not just the result of my living a life of faith, it is also the result of seeing others do the same.

Conclusion: Let me conclude by saying this.

  1. It is not my wish that you be unhappy.

  2. Rather, whether you are happy or unhappy, my prayer is that you will experience the joy of knowing and serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

  3. I do not know what this week will bring – but I do know that if you faithfully are obedient to Jesus, you will experience joy – whether you are happy or not.


iAMG Bible Illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.

iiWater, M. (2000). The new encyclopedia of Christian quotations (Page 538). Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishers Ltd.

iiiTan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : [a treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers]. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

ivWater, M. (2000). The new encyclopedia of Christian quotations (Page 536). Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishers Ltd.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Grief - When the Heart Says Goodbye

Intro.: Have you ever had one of those moments when you realized you finally understood something in a new way. Last night I had one of those experiences.

  1. The theme of today's message, like all of these messages, was chosen last November as I planned my Winter preaching schedule.

  2. The title of today's message, “Grief – When The Heart Says Goodbye”, was something I invented at the beginning of the week. I thought then that it was a powerful title – I still do.

  3. I had spent most of Saturday morning preparing for last nights dinner. I bought two dozen cardboard hearts for decorating the tables. We purchased several packages of sprinkles to spread around the table. We bought a dozen hearts inflated with helium. And I did not see the connection between my title and the upcoming holiday.

  4. And it was not until I found myself in the middle of our Love Banquet last night that I realized that connection. Maybe, grief was an acceptable topic for the Sunday prior to Valentine's Day.


Trans: We say goodbye many times a week.

  1. The end of the workday, at the end of the worship service, after a good dinner out with friends.

  2. Most of the time it really means, “Till we meet again.”

  3. But there are times when we are shaken down to our core.

  4. Saying goodbye is no longer just a common phrase but our whole being is disrupted.

  5. When our hearts have to say “Goodbye” we are going to experience grief.

  6. I want to spend time looking at three times when we experience grief – and conclude with five brief guidelines that can help us through the process.

  1. The lose of a loved one. Luke 11:

    1. I suppose that when I mention grief, the thought that comes to mind most often is the lose we feel of a loved one.

(Ill.) Twice in Jesus' life the four gospel record His tears. On one of those occasions he had just learned that one of his closest friend had died. Lazarus' entire family had been an early follower of Jesus. His sisters, Mary and Martha, could not understand the death of their brother. After all, if Jesus had come, if he had been there, there would be no tears. Jesus did not come. And Lazarus had died. I doubt that anyone is surprised at the tears that are flowing from Mary and Martha. After all their brother had died. But then they go and tell Jesus. And here is where I am confused. Jesus can do something about it. Jesus will be doing something about it. And yet, and here is the surprise, his first response is covered in two words, “He wept.” He was present at creation, he knows you, me, and Lazarus, better than anyone. And he knows that within a very short time He will in Lazarus' life in a way that no one expects. Yet he weeps. Jesus knows the loss. He knows the hurt felt by Mary and Martha – why because He also hurts.

    1. The loss felt when a loved one dies is natural. They've played a key role in our lives – whether for months or for years. And now there is a hole.

    2. I am told that, like other kinds of grief, it is a loss that we have to feel multiple times. It might be on anniversaries, it might be on birthdays. But we will feel it again, and again. And sometimes in the strangest of times it will sneak up on us and we will need to feel it again.

(Ill.) Not many know the origin of the song we just sang (i.e. "What A Friend We Have In Jesus"). This was written by a young man (Joseph M. Scriven) for his mother who was ill. He was in Canada ministering to that nations poorest and his mother lay dying in Ireland. He tried to comfort and encourage her, and intended the poem just for her. No one knew about the words of this beloved hymn until a neighbor was visiting Joseph's home and found a copy laid out on a table. When asked who had written the words, Scriven answered, “The Lord and I did it between us.” i,ii

    1. Even as we lose those we love, God will be there. “What a friend we have in Jesus.”

  1. The lose of our things.

    1. It can be difficult to also lose our things.

    (Ill.) Most of you know how I appreciate the things that are sent by the two companies that I have used to purchase our calendars and pens. Every so often, I hang onto one of those things. One of those things is this key chain – which includes the inscription, “Garland Methodist Church.” It was last week that I almost lost my special key ring. You see the inscription had fallen out of the center. It had lost its value and I wanted to fix it. So I came home that afternoon and quickly found the only glue that I could put my hands on – good, old fashioned Elmer's Glue. Now Elmers is not designed to hold metal to metal, but it was what I had. And I was desperate. So far, it has held the two pieces together. And my lose was minimized.

    1. I suspect that we have all lost something of importance at some point in our lives.

    2. But you know something, I could not find a suitable example from scripture about the loss of things.

    3. Let me suggest one reason for this – A Christian understanding of stewardship suggests that we never really lose anything. In reality, it all belongs to God.

    4. And it is God's to use as He sees fit.

    5. Yet we do feel the lose – not of our, but of God's, things.

  2. A needed change of behavior

    1. But there is another lose, that can be more painful and more difficult to accept.

    2. That is the lose that comes when we realize that we need a change in our behavior.

    3. Paul had as sense of this in Ephesians 4 where he twice reminds his listeners to “put off” their old selves. The image is of one removing his coat and disposing of it. They are being asked to lose something – and it is not a set of keys, or a coat, but lose their old way of living.

  3. (Ill.) Have you ever known somebody in recovery? Somebody who has to struggle with an addiction or a behavior that has its beginning in a family that has been touched by an addiction. It is a painful journey as old, destructive behaviors are let go and new, helpful and healthy behaviors are learned. There will be tears, there will be fits of anger, there will be grief as we let go of that which has been familiar for so long. Making changes to our lives is hard.

    1. And grief is a part of that process.

    2. I don't know what changes God is expecting from you. Maybe its to leave a habit that has dominated your life too long. Maybe its a behavior that might damage your relationship with your spouse. Maybe its an activity that is taking so much of your time that you are avoiding the time needed with your family.

    3. You will experience grief as you begin to “put off”, to use Paul's term, the old behavior and make a new beginning.

Conclusion: Let me conclude with five hints for handling grief:

  1. Don't suffer alone. Share your pain and discomfort with at least one other person. We are the family of God – lets share each others pain as a family.

  2. Find scriptures that can be of help. If you don't have them, ask. I can provide some helpful texts. And if you need more, ask again.

  3. Allow yourself times to cry. If you are in a place that will not allow tears right now, then give yourself time in the future. Jesus cried at the death of his friend – so can we.

  4. Allow yourself to smile – at first they may be few and far between, but these times will become more frequent as you move through grief. Enjoy the feeling when it is there.

  5. If you are stuck, get help.


iTan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : [a treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers]. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

iiOsbeck, K. W. (1990). Amazing grace : 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions. Includes indexes. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Deep, Dark, Depressed

Intro.: It was in September 2000 that I first began to feel a numbness in my left foot.

  1. I went to the doctor and he scheduled an MRI for the following Tuesday. But before I could make that appointment, my other leg started to go numb. The MRI was rescheduled for the Saturday instead, and thus began a five year journey with what was later diagnosed as MS.

  2. It was a tough year. Earlier that year I had begun to explore my return to ministry – but now all the uncertainty about my future, threw that into doubt.

  3. I read stories where people went from diagnosis to invalid in a matter of months. It was scary and uncertain. There were no promises – and I entered some of the darkest days of my life.

  4. It would be a year before I would again explore the ministry

  5. I wish I knew what I am going to share today, then.

  6. – at the time it was a disappointment. But if you think through the timing, I would not be here today if all the pieces had come together a year earlier.

Read: Psalm 142:1-7
Trans: Pray as I preach.

  1. I spent time this week re-listening to some of the messages preached at the Congress on Evangelism held in Atlanta in 2005.

  2. One of the preachers made the point that if I have the church praying for me while I preach, the poorest sermon that I might preach will be more powerful than the greatest sermon I might preach without prayer.

  3. Join me in delivering the morning message, not by preaching, but praying for me as I present it.

T.S. I want to look at what depression looks like and then spend some time looking at how one man responded to it.

  1. What does depression look like?

    1. In one of my first sermons, I quoted one my favorite authors, Dr. Scott Peck. Dr. Peck started his most famous book, The Road Less Traveled, “Life is difficult.”

    2. Though Dr. Peck only became a believer later in his life, there are many Christians who can attest to the truthfulness of his affirmation as they have struggled with depression.

    3. In some ways, one might think that depression is a 20th century malady – but I am not so certain that is entirely true.

    4. There are a number of examples – but probably one of the most well known individuals found in the scriptures that demonstrated depression dates from 1000 BC. David had grown up as a shepherd, the son of a shepherd. Nobody thought much of him, even his dad ignored him when Samuel tried to gather Eliab and his sons. Not only his dad, but King Saul sought to kill David, even after he saved the Israelites from the Philistines after killing Goliath.

    5. Turn with me to Psalm 142 to see what one man's view of depression was.

      1. David was sad (v. 1). He directed his tears to the Lord, but he was sad. If there is any one characteristic of depression it is an overwhelming of sadness.

      2. David felt tired (v. 3). Not every yawn is the result of depression.

(Ill.) A Lieutenant in World War II got so tired he went to sleep while talking on a field telephone—not when he was listening, but in the middle of his sentence! A professor told a class he once got so tired he nodded off while he lectured. Dozing is not uncommon in American courtrooms, among judges, attorneys, lawyers, bailiffs, court clerks, jurors, and clients! Often without windows, poorly lighted and deprived of necessary oxygen, the courtrooms offer tired, tense, and sometimes bored participants an irresistible invitation to nod. A court clerk was surprised to find the judge furiously scribbling on notepads during closing arguments. She laughed later when she looked at the message: “Don’t go to sleep, don’t go to sleep! Don’t go to sleep, do NOT go to sleep!”i

But one of the symptoms of depression is unexplained exhaustion.

    1. David felt lonely and isolated. (v. 4) There is a significance difference between being alone and being lonely. There are times when I want to be alone. Most of you have heard me talk about taking a “Floyd Day”. The last one I took me to a corner of a bookstore, away from other people. I took two books – my Bible and my current reading book. I was alone, but I was not lonely. Yet for the person who is depressed, being in a 10000 seat auditorium filled to capacity, will not remove the feeling of loneliness.

  1. David responds to his depression.

    1. David Jeremiah suggests that David responded to his depression in four ways.ii

    2. David begins by verbalizing his problems

      1. David begins with God – have you ever wondered why we need to tell God our problems, I mean he knows everything already. All I can say is this – we tell God our problems because he has commanded us to do so. Three times David says he will call out to God.

      2. But sometimes we need more. A friend, a pastor, a counselor all can be part of the solution of moving through our down times.

    3. David recognized God's presence.

      1. David traveled a lot of places to be safe from the wrath of King Saul. But he never found a road, he never found a cave, that God was not there to meet him.

      2. Dr. Jeremiah points out that in the same way Jonah could never charter a boat capable of cruising outside the Lord's jurisdiction.

    (Ill.) Peter Marshall once wrote “At times when we feel forsaken, may we know the presence of the Holy Spirit who brings comfort to all human hearts when we are willing to surrender ourselves. May we be convinced that even before we reach up to Thee, Thou art reaching down to us.”iii

    1. God was there, but David also placed himself before God.

      1. Look at verse 5 - I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”iv

      2. God was there, but David placed himself before God.

      3. I cannot escape God, but I can ignore Him. David didn't – neither should we.

(Ill.) Let illustrate it this way – in our cars are seat belts, since the early 70's American cares have been required to have seat belts. They are there. But too many people choose to ignore them, though they have been proven to save more lives than is possible without wearing them. Just as we should not ignore our seat belts, we ought not to ignore God – even the midst of the dark times of our lives.

    1. David continued to praise God

      1. If you look at the very beginning of Psalm 142, you will see that it was written by David while in a cave. It was not the only Psalm written by David while he was trying to survive King Saul's hatred. Turn to Psalm 57 for just a minute.

      2. The first four verses echo his depression, look at verse 5: Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” And then look at verses 7-11:

        My heart is steadfast, O God,
        my heart is steadfast;
        I will sing and make music.
        Awake, my soul!
        Awake, harp and lyre!
        I will awaken the dawn.
        I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
        I will sing of you among the peoples.
        For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
        your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
        Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
        let your glory be over all the earth.

      3. Even while trapped in a cave, David was able to praise God.

Conclusion: Dark times come. Choose now to move through them.

iHurley, V. (2000, c1995). Speaker's sourcebook of new illustrations (electronic ed.) (Page 220). Dallas: Word Publishers.

iiJeremiah, D. (2000). A bend in the road (Page 186). Nashville, Tenn.: Word Pub.

iiiJeremiah, D. (2000). A bend in the road (Page 189). Nashville, Tenn.: Word Pub.

ivThe Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ps 142:5). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.