Monday, August 28, 2006

Worshipping In Times Of Need

Intro.: First Baptist Church always has a coffee hour after the Sunday worship service. One Sunday, after Pastor Ed preached much longer than usual, he was enjoying a homemade cookie and the fellowship of his congregation after the service. He was conversing with the Bowmount family and he happened to ask Alex Bowmount, a seven-year-old, if he knew why they served the coffee. “I think,” said the boy, “it’s to get the people awake before they drive home.”1

  1. Worship serves many purposes: - it draws us near to God - it prepares us for the coming week and its challenges - it is in obedience to God as he calls us to worship

  2. But too often, in the midst of life's difficulties, we forget how to worship.

Read: Psalm 138


Trans: We have come to the end of our study of the Bend In The Road

  1. I would like to leave you able to worship in the midst of the difficulties you will face in the near future.

  2. David has faced difficulties – and yet he writes this Psalm as reminder of the need to praise God what ever the time or place.

  3. The Psalm can be divided into two parts – the first part helps to understand how to worship. The second part lets us know that God does respond to us when we call out to Him.

  1. I must worship

    1. With all I have

      1. When I buy birthday gifts for my sons, I don't give them everything. I set a budget, and they buy gifts within that budget. The same is true for my wife.

      2. But with God it is different. Look at David's words – I will praise you with my whole heart.

      3. This is not the first time that we find this expression in scripture. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter, by far, in the Bible. The focus of this chapter is the word of God – and it is with a whole heart that we are to seek his word:

        1. v2 - Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!

        2. v10 - With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

        3. v34 - Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart

      4. David did not want to hold anything back. He wanted to be totally committed to God.

      5. Anselm was a believer that lived in the late 8th century living in Northern Italy. He understood the nature of living wholeheartedly for God: 0 Lord our God, grant us grace to desire Thee with our whole heart; that, so desiring, we may seek, and seeking find Thee; and so finding Thee may love Thee; and loving Thee, may hate those sins from which Thou hast redeemed us.2

    2. Where ever I may be – even in the most difficult situations.

      1. David uses an unusual expression in the last half of verse 1: Before the gods I will sing praises to You.

      2. David lived in a world in which gods were scattered around the his world. It might be wise when speaking to someone who believed in some other god to keep quiet – I mean you never wanted to offend someone.

      3. But David chose to keep his faith up front – so that neither he nor those around him would ever forget where he put his faith.

      4. Now, we don't live in a world in other gods are as obvious – but there are gods that others turn to. We might call those gods “money” or “nature” or “cars” or “living a good life”. Anything that takes a person's time or energy that keeps them from worshiping the one true God.

      5. And we, like David, live in a world that discourages us from speaking about our faith.

      6. My hope is that each of us learn to praise God where ever and when ever we may find ourselves.

    3. All that God has to offer

      1. When David praised God, he focused on all that God had to offer.

      2. Too often I fall in to the mistake of thinking of God's love when I pray.

      3. But David focus' on so much more – holiness, His name, His truth, and His word. Not to mention his lovingkindness.

      4. God offers all he has to us. He is created us, he maintains us, and he is prepared for whatever the future may hold.

(Ill.) My wife and I both like jigsaw puzzles. Now Sandra will take her 1000 piece puzzle and start putting the edge pieces around and then find similar pieces and begin building the puzzle. Now I use a simple little program on my computer that has lots and lots of pictures and creates puzzles that I can solve at the computer with my mouse. My puzzles are smaller – typically 75 pieces – ant thus easier. But there is one really important way in which my puzzle is better than Sandra's more traditional puzzle – I cannot lose a piece. Somehow the jigsaw puzzle is not as much fun if there is a piece or two missing.

      1. God, too, become much more significant when we give praise for all that God is – not just those parts that we recognize or like.

  1. God answers

    1. When I pray

      1. I may not see it, but David is convinced that God begins to answer the prayer when he prays.

(Ill.) When Sandra and I go to the movie, I will sometimes leave her at the front door of the theater when I go and pick up the car. Now when I get into the car I might start the car and then adjust the seat belt, make sure I am in gear, turn on the lights if needed. Now Sandra is expecting me to come, I will even pull out of the parking space. Though I have started to pick Sandra up, I have not done what I said I would do until I pull up to the door, she really doesn't know that I have done what I promised.

      1. God's answers to prayer may be the same way – he begins to answer them when we ask, but until we see the answer we may consider it not answered.

    1. So all can hear – verse 4-6

      1. The kings and the lowly – they will praise you.

      2. There is a modern worship song that goes like this -

        Come, now is the time to worship

        Come, now is the time to give your heart

        Come, just as you are to worship

        Come, just as you are before your God


        One day every tongue will confess You are God

        One day every knee will bow

        Still, the greatest treasure remains for those

        Who gladly choose You now3

      3. It matters not who you are, you will recognize God as God – the only question that remains is when.

Conclusion: As we come to the end of our study of the bend of the Road, it seems appropriate to conclude with the words of David:

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,

you preserve my life;

you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes,

with your right hand you save me.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;

your love, O Lord, endures forever—

do not abandon the works of your hands.


1Streiker, L. D. (2000). Nelson's big book of laughter : Thousands of smiles from A to Z (electronic ed.) (71). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

2Water, M. (2000). The new encyclopedia of Christian quotations (794). Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishers Ltd.