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Why You Can Expect Gods Help in Difficulties

(Psalm 119:121-128)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
Weve seen that knowing Jesus
Means you will be concerned for the lost.
Being concerned for the lost
Means youll reach out to them with the Gospel.
But reaching out to them with the Gospel
Means youll run the risk of suffering.

This morning, we considered

That we need to look at suffering differently than we do,
If were going to be willing to go through it for the Gospel.

Suffering is the norm

It is the Lords mark of ownership on you,
It shows that you are His.

Suffering is how the Lord trains you,

How He prepares to use you.
Its how He trained His Son
And prepared Him for the work
Hes now doing in heaven as our Great High Priest.

Suffering is a privilege
The Lord wont grant just any of His children to suffer
At least to suffer a great deal
Except to those He intends to use more.

And suffering is rewardable

The more you suffer,
The greater your reward will be.

If you reach out with the Gospel

If you really get serious about serving the Lord
In the greatest work He gives you to do
You will suffer
But thats a good thing.
B. Preview.
But lets not forget what we saw last week,
And what well see something more of this evening:
When you set out to share Gods message
He will be there for you
He has promised to protect you
And to sustain you.
He wont put you through anything
He wont also give you the strength to endure.
He will do this for you,

If you will simply obey Him.

There is a very real sense

In which His blessings depend on your obedience
As we see in our passage this evening.
This emphasis has led many in the church
Particularly Dispensationalists
To believe that God actually saved His people
In the Old Covenant on the basis of their works.
That isnt true
Justification/salvation has always been by grace through faith alone.
The fact that He gives certain of His blessings
When you obey simply means
That salvation has never been by a faith that is alone

If you are genuinely saved

You have a changed nature
Youre not the same person you were before
You want to honor the Lord,
Because you love Him.
You want to keep His Law
Because you love it;
And to the degree that you do,
To that degree God will bless you.

That is the incentive He holds out to you
To encourage you to pursue a closer walk with Him.

We see this again in our passage this evening,

As the psalmist offers to the Lord
Many reasons why He should deliver him from his enemies
Many of them have to do with his obedience
That stem from his love for Gods commandments.

We should see these as so many reasons

The Lord should also deliver us,
As we set our hearts to serve Him in this world.

One thing you should notice from this passage

Is that the psalmist calls out to the Lord as one who is already suffering
As we saw this morning,
All who desire to live godly will suffer persecution
And yet he trusts that the Lord will help him.

II. Sermon.
A. Why did he believe that the Lord would listen to him?
And why should you?
It was because he obeyed.
The psalmist writes, I have done justice and righteousness; do not leave me to my
oppressors. Be surety for Your servant for good; do not let the arrogant oppress
me (vv. 121-122).
He had treated others in a way that is good and fair.

He had done what was right in Gods eyes.

He had listened to God
And now he expected God to listen to him.

You certainly cant expect Him to listen when you disobey.

If you dont listen to Him, He wont listen to you.
Rather, you can expect Him to be faithful to discipline you.
One way He does this is by letting your enemies oppress you.
You cant disobey and expect Him to remove opposition.
But you can, if you obey.

Of course, you can also suffer opposition

For doing whats right
As we saw this morning with our Lord, His disciples, and all His people
Who set their hearts to do the work of the kingdom,
And as we see here with the psalmist.
When you do whats right and suffer for it,
You can expect God to listen to you,
When you cry out to Him,
Just as the psalmist knew God would hear him.

He knew the Lord would be his surety.

The word means guarantee.
Hes asking, Lord, guarantee my safety.

Do good for me, as You said you would,
And remove this oppression.

When Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world

And make disciples of all the nations,
He said He would be with them
Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:18-20)
He didnt mean He would merely stand by
And watch what the world would do to them,
But that He would bless them, strengthen them, give them success,
And ultimately, guarantee their safety.
That didnt always mean they would be free from harm in this world,
But it did mean they would in the world to come.

This is what He will do for you,

If you will put Him first
If you will obey Him.
You just need to trust Him to do it.

B. Sometimes His help doesnt come right away.

Sometimes, He wants you to wait.
The psalmist writes, My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation and for Your
righteous word (v. 123).

Youve done everything you know to do,

As best you can

Youve looked to Him and trusted.

But He doesnt answer right away.
When that happens,
You need to keep looking until He answers.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a
maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until
He is gracious to us (Ps. 123:2).

Why does He make you wait?

Sometimes He hides Himself to test your faith,
Sometimes to increase your endurance.

The Lord has a good purpose.

He is stretching you,
Testing you,
Helping you to grow stronger.
If He always came to your aid immediately
You would likely grow weaker
You would begin to presume on His grace.

His delay will strengthen your earnestness in prayer,

It will increase your patience
In other words, it will help you grow spiritually.

C. But never forget, the Lords help always comes

Purely because of His mercies to you in Jesus Christ

The psalmist writes, Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness
and teach me Your statutes (v. 124).
Thats why you want to obey in the first place
Why you can obey.
Your obedience doesnt earn anything,
Because it always falls short.
Its merely the evidence that you belong to Him.
His help will come because of His lovingkindness.

Gods lovingkindness is the goodness and mercy

He shows to you because you are in covenant with Him
Through faith in His Son.
Its why He gives you His promises,
Why they are yes and amen in Jesus,
Why you have any love for Him at all,
Why you trust Him at all,
Why you obey Him at all.
Its only because of His lovingkindness
Its on the basis of this
You can ask for His help,
And He will give it to you.

D. But your concern should go beyond

Simply whether the Lord delivers you

From your enemies.
You should also be concerned about how well
You deport yourself in the middle of the trial.
The psalmist wasnt concerned merely that God deliver Him,
But that he also honor the Lord in his suffering
I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies (v.

You want your life to reflect well on the Lord

Whether youre going through good times or difficult,
But especially when going through difficulties
Because its at these times you will have more eyes looking at you.

But how can you do this during the hard times

Unless you also do it during the good?
You need to see yourself as the Lords servant at all times.
You need to pray that He would help you to understand His laws,
And give you the heart to obey them.
So many who profess Christ today
Seem to be more interested
In how much they can get away with
And still convince themselves theyre Christians.
How close to the edge they can get
Without falling in.

You need to stay as far from sin as you can,
And do as much as you can to please God.
Isnt this how Jesus lived?
Did He ever push the envelope
Trying to get as close to the edge as He could
Without falling in?
He did only what He knew was pleasing to His Father.
Its His image that is being formed in you,
And so this is what you will do as well.

E. The fact that you obey

While your enemy doesnt
Is one of your main arguments why God should help you
And judge them.

The psalmist writes, It is time for the LORD to act, for they have broken Your
law (v. 126).

Weve seen why the Lord should deliver you

Because you obey
But why should He take action against them?
The psalmist doesnt say its because theyve injured him,
Or offended him,
But because theyve offended God.

The reason God should act


Is not so much what your enemies do to you,

But what they do to Him.

When they injure you,

They dishonor God,
The Lord should act for the glory of His name.
Dont focus your prayers on yourself,
But on Gods glory.
The ungodly have broken His Laws
And so the Lord should judge them.

F. The ungodly hate His Laws and break them,

But the godly love them and keep them.
If you are the Lords
You will love them and keep them as well.
How much will you love His Law?

How much did the psalmist love it?

Therefore I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold (v. 127).
They were more precious to him
Than the most precious things on earth.
Are they precious to you?

How many of His commandments did he love?

Not just some of them.


Not just those that didnt get in the way of what he really wanted to do.
He loved all of them.
He writes, Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything (v.
Everything God said was good and right in his eyes.

And what about the things contrary to His Law?

He says, I hate every false way (v. 128).

Is this your heart this evening?

Do you see everything that God says as right and good?
Are His words precious to you
More precious than the things of this world?
Do you hate everything that is against His will?

If so, then two things will be true of you:

First, you will study to know His will.
You will read the Bible with the goal
Of knowing what He wants you to do
Not to see what you can get away with,
But to know what really pleases Him
And you will do this prayerfully,
Asking that the Lord would overcome your sin
And open your eyes,
So that you could not only see what He wants


But also that it is really good.

And second, you will, by Gods grace,

Try to live that life He wants you to live
No matter what the cost may be
Even if you have to suffer.

And then, when you suffer,

You will look to the Lord for His promises,
And you will keep looking to Him
Until He answers you from heaven and delivers you.

And you wont doubt that He will

Because you see the evidence in your life that you are His:
Not only that you trust Jesus Christ,
But that you are also turning from all your sins,
And are seeking to obey Him in everything.
May the Lord grant
That this would be true of each one of us here tonight,
And that it would give us the boldness we need
To be His witnesses in this world. Amen.