Sunday Sermon 11.14.20
1. Feeling tired and afraid, he said, “I’ve had enough!”
2. Overwhelmed with complete exasperation, ready to quit, yet emboldened.
3. Clouded in anger and self-pity.
4. Discouraged by feeling unsafe and gripped with bitterness.
5. Life, livelihood and family threatened.
6. Alone, poor, troubled, weepy and sorrowful.
7. Acquainted with sorrows and grief.
Can you identify with any of these feelings? Could they match anything you have felt lately? If they do, you are not alone.
Those statements are taken from seven different bible characters. Take a look at them again. Can you guess which person each statement identifies? I’ll wait…
Lets briefly examine each one.
- 1 Kings 19:3-5 – Elijah was afraid, said I have had enough and laid down and went to sleep.
- Exodus 32:32 – Moses was exasperated with the people’s sin, ready to quit yet he prayed for them boldly
- Jonah 4:3,9 – Jonah threw a pity party, and was angry with God
- Job 10:1; 30:15-17 -Job was filled with bitterness, hated his life, felt unsafe
- Psalms – David was chased down, his family affected and position lost
- Jeremiah 20:18 – Jeremiah never married, had no kids, was alone, ministered alone, was called the weeping prophet, and experienced trouble and sorrow
- Isaiah 53:3 – Jesus was a man familiar with grief and sorrow
How did you do?
More importantly, check out these men of faith and the truth about their discouragement and feeling overwhelmed. Amazing, right?
These guys are some of the greats. We love their books, and stories. And yet, they were just normal, human beings, filled with emotions, feelings, and personal struggles too. They battled their discouragement. They fought against being pulled under by their circumstances.
They weren’t anything but ordinary. (except Jesus, of course.)
In the fight with their feelings, they were honest with God, and held nothing back. They were real and raw in voicing their complaints, emotions, and prayers.
I remember when I was teaching, I was always amazed that people felt that they could not tell God their real feelings. To a man, (woman or child), through the years, in schools, jails, prisons, church, and family rooms, people felt they could not tell God they were mad, angry or hurt. They weren’t allowed to, He wouldn’t look favorably on them.
That is so wrong. God expects honesty from us. Open communication about everything.
Have you read the Psalms? Geesh, so many different authors venting feelings and fears. The prophets hid nothing in their expressions to God. They all were totally real with God and voicing their situation.
This week I was reading in the Psalms and came to Psalm 102. Here’s how it starts:
“A prayer for those who are overwhelmed and for all the discouraged who come to pour out their hearts before the Lord. “Psalm 102 – the title, The Passion Translation
I was blown away!
Here we have in the very first verse such important information.
Remember, the titles of the Psalms, those italicized words after the chapter number and before our verse 1 are literally verse 1 in the Hebrew bible.
We would call its content the setting of the Psalm, and it is. But it is inspired, given by God, and God breathed.
In the inspired “title” of Psalm 102 we see can understand that the verses that will follow are a prayer specifically for the overwhelmed and discouraged. Written clearly, by someone who was overwhelmed and discouraged.
He was not holding back whatever discouragement, bitterness, anger, frustration, or exasperation that he had. He was sharing it all with God. No holds barred. Just open, honest, heartfelt and teary sharing with his Creator.
Without even reading any more of the verses of Psalm 102, we can find encouragement in the title. Encouragement to pour out our hearts before the Lord, even in the midst of feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we don’t need the twenty-eight verse chapter. That chapter, as you can imagine, is packed with gut wrenching feelings, and emotions, truths and challenges. But that is not to be my focus today.
Today, the focus is to those of us who may be feeling overwhelmed and discouraged – we are not alone.
In fact, the great Charles Spurgeon, writes this about Psalm 102, placing it in what could be a very similar political circumstance
” It is a prayer of a sufferer – it has it’s own bitterness. This is a patriots lament over his country’s distress.”
We are not alone in our discouragement, in being overwhelmed. Whether it be in politics, education, religious freedoms, family relations or personal wholeness, multitudes have fought and are fighting these battles too.
So in the midst of whatever emotions that have parked on you, realize afresh that God wants to hear your voice pour it all out to Him.
He hears us. He cares. He has compassion. He understands.
In our weakness He is strong.
We can cast our anxiety on Him. 1 Peter 5:7 We can come to Him with any and everything. Matthew 1:28-30 His grace is sufficient and his strength is perfect. 2 Corinthians 12:9
We don’t have to be anxious and troubled. Luke 10:41-42 When we come to Him He will arm us with strength. Psalms 18:3
He has promised to never leave you and that includes even when you are overwhelmed and discouraged.
You’re not alone. God is ever present for you and with you.
You’re not alone in the feelings of discouragement, anger, tiredness, loss and fear.
Pour our your prayer to Him, and experience His strength, insight, peace and grace.
You are not alone.
Go with God.