In the Storm: God is still God!
My Mother always tells me of how scared I was as a kid of loud bangs. Guy fox was pathetic; as my parents would generally have to put up with the embarrassment of having a child who was screaming louder than the explosions that were going off above everybody’s head.
The thing that freaked me out more than anything as a child was highveld storms. supposedly I used to force my mother to shut all the doors to the passage and I would huddle under a blanket screaming as the thunder and lightning crash. I was not a brave kid.
The reality is that storms are terrifying and it is no different when it comes to the storms of life. when things fall apart and life becomes noisy and terrifying. The problem is that storms are inevitable.
In the Psalm we are covering today (Psalm 63) David finds himself in a storm; and it is in the midst of this storm that David finds peace and security.
The events surround this Psalm are events of great tragedy it is widely agreed that this Psalm was written during the revolt of Absalom. This event would have been beyond horrific for David.
This is a storm that no father wishes to ever find himself in.
Not only was the his kingdom and life in danger but it was in danger because his own son, his eldest son was trying to kill him.
How this came about was
Absalom was David’s eldest son, who was handsome and confident; he had everything going for him and as eldest son of the King his future was sealed.
However God had not chosen him to be king and in fact it came to pass that his youngest brother Solomon was to be the next king.
Other events transpired to sour the relationship that David and Absalom had, however it always remained that Absalom was David's first born boy and yet this boy of his conspired against David and revolted against him; ripping the kingdom of Israel away from david and causing David to run for his very life.
I cannot begin to understand the anguish and turmoil that David must have been feeling at this point in his life. I cannot begin to grasp the heartache that must have surged through him as he ran into the desert with his own son’s blade poised to kill.
So how did David Respond in all this? Well he wrote this Psalm
I have Titled the message this morning “In the Storm: God is Still God”
In the midst of his storm David remembered God
1. He Remembered God (his God!)
And He remembered God as his God. there is a great contrast and significance in the way David starts this Psalm.
Firstly David mentions God here as Elohim - Supreme God but he also mentions God as the mighty one who is for him.
This is the first aspect of God helping us through our circumstances: Let us remember God as the mighty God supreme and powerful. The God who is in control. The great and mighty God!
But also the God who is mighty for us His children!
David’s faith is established in the fact that the great and awesome God is his God. He enjoys closeness and intimacy with this Huge God!
This and this alone secures the believer in times of trouble.
It is only as we intimately know this great and awesome God that this knowledge secures our thoughts and emotions.
It is as we know God, And i mean really know Him in relational term, as His Spirit ministers within our Spirit that this knowledge secures us.
I know God will carry me through my storms because I know God; he has shown himself over and over again to be good to me he has proven himself over and over again to me.
David could weather the storm of His life (probably the worst storm a man could face) with joy because He knew his God, and he knew him intimately.
For all of David’s faults He was spoken of in Scripture; “a man after God’s own heart.”
It was this knowing God that secured his heart and his soul.
Not only just remember His God, he remembered what he has seen of God and the power of God
In verse 2 we read:
2I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
David recalls God’s work in His life.
Friends it is as we know God that he proves himself faithful and it is that faithfulness that we can remember in the times of our storms.
In the storms of life it is a good thing to remember and worship God for who He is and what He has done. Remembering His goodness.
It is this simple act of remembering that sets our hearts at rest in the midst of the greatest storms of life.
David Didn’t only remember God he also:
2. He Sought God
David says in the Psalm:
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
David Sought after God. He didn’t; simply seek after him like someone who has misplaced their keys (even though that is a frantic search depending how late you are).
David sought the LORD like someone who is dying of thirst. Thirst has got to be the most desperate of needs when you need it.
I remember when we went to the Namibian Desert looking out over those dunes and realising the only water I have is the water in the bottle in my hand. I became irrationally thirsty. Almost panicked at the lack of water available.
The searching after God that David is talking about here is that frantic exhausting searching as one does when their fundamental needs are at stake.
This seeking is only possible in the storms of our lives it is simply impossible to do all the time. It is a searching after Him and a clinging to Him because we have nothing else.
I want to encourage you today it is perfectly okay to cry out to God in desperation because you have no where else to turn; in fact it is those prayers that are the most honest.
Our problem generally is that we seek after every other thing rather than in utter desperation seeking after God.
We spend our energy trying to patch the problems and pains of our lives together hoping that we can somehow hold this together.
but the reality is that there is only one who can secure our future; there is only one who knows the outcome of our storm; and it is Him we should be seeking: and seeking with desperation.
Sometimes remembering God just doesn’t carry us through the emotions of our storms, sometimes we have to passionately seek after Him. make Him our priority.
It is as we make God our priority and as we seek Him passionately that the storms of our lives gain their true perspective: the storms of life are subject to Him and he will carry us through them.
We have to remember the promises of God; “For we know that God works all things for good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.”
David remember God he sought after him and
3. He Praised God
3Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Just remember the situation that David wrote these words in! Those who know God who seek Him, know his love and nothing can shake that or prevent them from worshiping!
The main focus of David’s praise was God’s love.
The temptation of the storm is for us to doubt the love of God. This is a very human response and not to be underplayed.
But I want to ask you this morning in your storms does God love you less? Do your storms prevent God from sending His only Son to die on a cross for you? Obviously not!
You might not be able to feel the love of God in your storm but I can promise you that His love is upon you!
It is because of God’s love that we can be sustained in any storm.
And as David says; I will be fully satisfied in praising you!
You see you and I were created to worship God, we were created to live in the love of God and in the worship of Him and His love. This is how things were in the garden when things were perfect.
And it is in every storm that we can turn our thoughts again and find his love and our purpose for being.
This might not change our storm, in fact the storm may get even fiercer. however it is here in the place of worship that we find a peace because it is there that we are doing what we were designed to do; Worship and love God.
The reality is that I do not know where you stand today; you could be in peace and security or wracked by storms on every side.
All I know is that storms are inevitable in life; and God is able to carry us through them.
Our reasonable response to the storms of life is to lean on Him who is able to carry us through them.
Nothing in this world can truly carry us safely through the different storms of life. But God who is greater than any storm is able to be with us and to carry us through any storm.
Our response is to turn our minds to Him; to remind our hearts that our God is able, use your storms to seek after Him who is able to carry you and allow the storms of your life to be a point of worship in your life.
It is here that we are strengthened not by a positive mindset or a good world view but by our God who is above all and who loves us dearly.