05 September 2016

MY HIDING PLACE


Psalm 55:22

Are you full of burdens today? Better yet, where do you find refuge from your problems or better yet from your enemies? What does it mean to have a burden for someone or something? Burden by definition:  is to bear; to carry a load.  To bear with labour or difficulty; that which is grievous, wearisome or oppressive. A perfect illustration of this is found in the second greatest selling book of all time “Pilgrim’s Progress” .......Christian is a man who was caring this big heavy sake on his back and in the beginning of the story..... John Bunyan expresses this is a picture of his sin....His sin is weighing him down, it was becoming too heavy for him to carry. His sin was a burden to him....the heavy load of sin was too much for him to continue! As it was for me and you! Where did Christian go to find rest for this load or burden that he carried? The cross of Calvary!! Isn’t that where you went as well for forgiveness of sin and restoration to a holy God?

If we were truly honest with ourselves this morning, I don’t think there’s one person here that isn’t caring a burden today! Whether it is:

A troubled marriage or courting relationship.
A conflict with a friend over nothing to cause the trouble it brings.
A distant relationship with your children or family.
Mourning about lost loved one and friends present or past.
Your children’s future and spiritual growth
Bills that can’t be paid or no money for needed maintenance or repairs.
Our present Government and the decisions they make for Canada.
Lost loved ones or friends apart from Christ.
Bitterness or dissention among brothers and sisters in body of Christ.
A person who dislikes you for no apparent or biblical reason.
The ramped deliberate habitual sin of the church, and the disdain to doing anything about it.
The lack of concern over the sin in the church or the Christian life.

Its the idea of... shall we sin while grace abounds? Yes according to many. May this never be said of us. When we see this in the church it should grieve our hearts to the core. Where have we seen this kin the Old testament? Nehemiah was a man who carried a heavy burden for the nation of Israel! “please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father's house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.” Neh 1:5-7. Ezra was another man who had a burden! “At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God. And I said: "O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.” Ezra 9:5-6
  
There was another man King David who had a deep burden over the people he lovedThe ones who were the closest to him…would soon turn on him and try to take his life at the command of his very own son....What caused David to have such a heavy burden to write this Psalm? The whole story unfolds in 2 Samuel chapters 15-19. His son Absalom was leading a rebellion against his own father to overpower him for kingship. David found out that Absalom was winning the hearts of the people and turning many against him. It seems that many modern day politicians model their campaigns after Absalom. When he felt the time was ripe, Absalom called for a revolt. David was forced to flee the very city he loved…. not because he was afraid of battle, but because he didn’t want to see Jerusalem destroyed. And to top it off! David found out that his close friend and member of his counsel had betrayed him to council Absalom! In 2 Sam 15:30-31 we read…… “So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up. Then someone told David, saying, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom."

This must of have been heart wrenching for David to go through! His own son and closest friend would betray him like this. Remember what it means to have a burden about something!! David had a massive amount of weight to carry! Why I say that! David loved his son despite his son’s hatred towards him.....David said “Beware lest anyone touch the young man Absalom!' 2 Sam 18:5. But we read in 2 Samuel something tragic happens and it shatters David's heart into pieces. His son was killed by his men in battle and it broke David’s heart to hear this news…..where he cried out 5 times “O Absolom my son!” 2 Sam 18:32; 19:1-4

Who do you think David turn to? Whose counsel did David seek in all his turmoil? Where did David seek to find a hiding place? The God who made him king over the people of Israel! The same God that loved us despite our sinful behaviour and attitude. Rom 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

My next question! Where do you turn or better yet who do you turn to when we are caring a load of care? Where do we find comfort in times of distress with the weight we carry? Where do we find our hiding place? David didn’t keep it to himself! Look at (verse 22) He knew exactly where to look or find rest for his soul. In the precious arms of our loving Saviour!!

Let me ask you! If you can come to Him for salvation why do we sometimes keep our burdens to ourselves? The bible says when it comes to our salvation and sanctifying grace we are to empty ourselves....we are to come to Him as spiritually bankrupt......adding nothing towards our salvation. Jesus saidAll things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matt 11:27-30. Do we take these promises seriously when Jesus said come and cast everything upon me and I will give you rest for your soul.....this is a promise......this is our hiding place!

What hinders us from coming to His hiding place?

Is it because we think we don’t want to trouble him with our lives.
Is it because we think He doesn’t care and has no time for me.
Is it because we think it’s my mess and I can get myself out of it.
Is it because we are to prideful to ask for help in times of distress.
David knew exactly where to go in his time of desperation
David knew where his hiding place was

David gives us good advice that he received from the Holy Spirit…….(v22a) “Cast (throw direct, transmit) your burden on the LORD (Jehovah) this implies ones circumstance...one’s lot (the dice or cards you’ve been dealt). “Burden” in this verse literally means “that which He has given you” This Psalm of David reminds us that even burdens of life come from the loving heart and hands of a sovereign God. God allows burdens and afflictions in our lives to have purpose and they’ve been given to us........ The bible says they are a gift from God. Paul wrote about this! Phil 1:29 “For it has been granted (arranged, approved) to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for his sake,”. David is telling you and me that we can find shelter in our today’s stresses. David is giving us wisdom this morning in how to deal with the burdens of life! Peter hundreds of years later would pen this same reminder which was inspired by David’s Psalm....Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7. David doesn’t just stop there though!!....................If we cast our cares upon the Lord what does He do in return? The bible says the Lord does two things when we cast our cares upon Him.......He will sustain us and uphold as we face each burden in life.

He will sustain (maintain, keep) you” …….(v22b). 

He will make you sufficient for it. The word literally means “to measure;” to hold or contain, a sufficiency of strength or nourishment, as life is sustained. What this means............He will give you a measure of strength and grace to get through your situation. A prime example of this is Paul when he was dealing with his pride......“But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon Me.” 2 Cor 12:9. He is the one who gives us sustaining grace for this day! As Jesus said “our daily bread”. Our measure of food...our measure of grace....our measure of strength for this burden! All things are under His control and He is reliable in any situation!! The question you need to ask yourself is....................................... do you believe it? Another promise David reminds us is, when we humble ourselves under His wings............

“He will rule and protect you” …..(v22c)

This is the part that literally means “He shall not suffer the righteous to be moved or fall forever. This doesn’t mean we won’t face trials or affliction...what David is saying is God will not let this go on for all eternity! For a season YES! But not forever!! Matthew Poole said “though He may for a season suffer them to be shaken, yet He will not suffer them to be utterly overwhelmed” In all our trials and temptations the LORD will sustain us, and will ultimately bring us to victory. John Gill said “he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved forever; or so to be moved by their afflictions as to desert the cause in which they are engaged; nor shall they ever be moved by men or devils, or anything whatever, from their spiritual estate, in which they are by grace; nor from the love of God and covenant of grace; nor out of the hands of Christ; nor from their state of justification, adoption, and sanctification.” We can come boldly to the throne of grace at anytime for whatever distresses us or whatever burden we happen to be carrying. The LORD is our hiding place! Where we can stand and find rest in times like these! Charles Spurgeon says it the best “He may move like the boughs of a tree in the tempest, but he shall never be moved like a tree torn up by the roots. He stands firm who stands in God. Many would destroy the saints, but God has not suffered it, and never will. Like pillars, the godly stand immovable, to the glory of the Great Architect.”

I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Ps 16:8. We are under the care of the Living God who created us to love Him and trust Him! When you walk each and every day.........you are not alone!! Through He was faced with many burdens.......David was taught and his words teach us that we can put our trust in the Living God that never changes! As the Hebrew wrote “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Heb 13:8

We serve an amazing God who........

Created us for His good pleasure.
Made each and everyone us unique. (one of a kind)
Loves us with a everlasting love.
Desires us to love Him with our heart, mind and soul.
Gave us a new life through His Son Jesus Christ in the finishing work on the cross.
Gave us a one of a kind testimony to tell His story to the world of His love and sustaining grace to sinners like us!

Don’t you think that He can handle your burden? Don’t you think that He is capable to see you through your problem? He’s God! Jehovah!! The LORD

Please don’t be like the person this poem is written too:

Lord, I’m so discouraged
I don’t know what to do
I have so many burdens
And I gave them all to you.
But you didn’t take them Jesus
Will you tell me why that’s so'
The answer’s simply little one
Because you won’t let go.

Isn’t that true! We hang on to our problems as if He doesn’t care. We try and work them out for ourselves because of stubbornness and pride.....this is my problem and I will deal with it....my way! This always ends in failure! We try to find our own shelter in times of storms, instead of finding rest in Him. Jesus tells us to come to Him....but we really must want to come to Him! That means we are come to Him by humbling ourselves under His care as.............a new born baby who needs their mother for food. Relying upon Him and Him only to see you through present struggle or burden. Relying upon Him for your hiding place.........because He has made this available through the Cross of Calvary! THE SUNDAY QUESTION IS...............Where are you finding rest for your weary soul?

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