Back in the 60s and 70s a TV show called “Hee Haw” hit the airwaves. It was one of the funniest series I have ever seen. One of the funniest re-occurring features involved a group of “good old country boys” that were feeling sorry for themselves. They recounted their misfortunes in a song entitled…”Gloom Despair and Agony On Me”.
If you would like to relive the good ole Hee Haw days, you can watch it on the RFD-TV network, or you can see the skit on youtube… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ5ob9B9yD4
Many times, as Christians, we start to feel sorry for ourselves as we face the trials and difficulties this life has to offer. The Psalmist in Psalm 119: put a different type of “twist” on the trials he faced in during his lifetime… he looked beyond the pain he felt during the trying times and he concentrated on the end results of those trials. His conclusion about those trials can be found in Psa 119:65-72…
Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word. Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart. Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. (Psa 119:65-72)
Why does the Lord allow bad things to happen to good people? As pastor, this is one of the most common questions that hurting, faithful, Christians have asked me. Only the Lord will be able to give us a complete answer as to why we face trials in life, but one thing is certain… TRIALS BRING A CHRISTIAN CLOSER TO THE LORD. In every case, after the trial is over, a true Christian will readily admit, they are closer to the Lord after the trial than when the trial first began.
Trials in life will always bring the true Christian closer to the Lord. This is the point that King David, the author of Psalm 119: clearly proclaims. If you remember, David had faced many trials during his lifetime. His life had been threatened by King Saul following his defeat of Goliath (1 Sam 18:8-9); He had miserably failed the Lord in the incident with Bathsheba, which resulted in the loss of his child (2 Sam 11: and 12:); and later in his life His own son, Absalom, rebelled against his reign seeking to overthrow his kingdom by force. This led to Absalom’s early death. (2 Sam 17: and 18:). In spite of all these problems, and others, David was able to thank the Lord for the trials because they had brought him closer to the Lord.
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
For those of us who are saved….
In Psalm 119:65-72, David clearly reveals to us how to deal with the trials we face in our lives…..
Principle #1 Count the blessings that the Lord gives to us…
“Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.”
“Thou art good, and doest good”
David starts by saying that the Lord had treated him well during his lifetime. In spite of the trials, David recognized the presence of God’s grace throughout his lifetime, and the forgiveness God had given to him.
Principle #2 – Recognize the value of His Word, especially during times of trials
“The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.”
“Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.
David compares the value of the Word to the value of precious metals. His conclusion? The Word is of far greater eternal, spiritual value than all the riches this world has to offer. David also compared the wealth and excess of his enemies with his possession of God’s Word. His conclusion? God’s Word brought him much greater joy than his enemies’ enjoyment of great excess and wealth.
Principle #3 – Always desire to grow in knowledge of Him and His Word; while retaining faith in His Word…
“Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.”
“teach me thy statutes.”
“The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.”
David knew the value of His Word and, therefore, craved to receive more knowledge of His Word. As David trusted in God’s Word, he realized great blessings and peace even in the midst of the trials he faced. Think about what our life would be like without God’s Word… no comfort, no peace, no direction for our life, no counsel, no wisdom…. No wonder David was craving a greater understanding of His Word as he faced the trials of his life!
Principle #4 – Concentrate on the end result of the trials we are facing….
“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.;”
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”
This is the hardest principle indeed… to look beyond the pain and sorrow and to see the end result of the trials we are facing… a closer walk with Him based on a greater knowledge of His Word! What a privilege it is to face trials… Let’s thank Him for the trials we face, knowing they will result in a closer walk with Him.
For those of us who have never trusted in Christ as their Savior….
Please keep in mind, the many precious promises the Lord gives in His Word apply only to those who are saved. Until an individual places his trust in Christ, he cannot claim to be a recipient of God’s gracious intervention in His life during times of trials and heartaches.
Are you tired of facing your trials alone? Do you desire to know without a doubt, that the trials you face are for your good and your ultimate gain? (Roms 8:28) Do you need a friend that sticks closer to you than a brother, someone who will NEVER leave you nor forsake you? (Pro 18:24, Hebs 13:5)
If this is your greatest desire then look to The Lord Jesus Christ and submit your life, and your eternity to Him. Be willing to turn from your sin and begin to serve Jesus as Your Lord. (Ezek 33:14, Acts 17:29-32) He will abundantly pardon you. (Isa 55:7) He will save you form your sin and adopt you into His family. (Gals 4:4-6) You will never be alone again.
If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”