The Longing – 8/27/2017

Psalm 42:1-11 New Living Translation

“The Longing”

Have you ever been really homesick? Or have you gone a long time without seeing someone you truly care about?

I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say: I would give anything if I could just see my momma or daddy one more time

We miss that intimacy that we once had with those we love.

That longing to get back to what we cherish so much in our heart is what we are learning about in today’s lesson.

Psalm 42:1-2 As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?

Every Christian will relate to at one time or another in their life.

Has there ever been a time that you felt so close to the Lord that you knew He was standing right beside you?

But there are also those times when we feel like God is so far away He can’t even hear our prayers.

Let’s look at another verse in Psalms that is very similar.

Turn to Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.

Remember the story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the well?

She came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink. And she was surprised that Jesus, being a Jew would even speak to her.

How can you offer better water than Jacob and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

How can you offer better water than Jacob and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

REMEMBER THAT! To put it in today’s terms…. The world says I have better things to offer you that what God is offering.

Jesus said in John 4:14-15 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

And then: 15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”

Remember she had already had five husbands.

What was this women longing for?

She knew she was missing something that she did not have. She was searching for the truth in her life.

We should all have a thirst, as longing, in our lives to be closer to God.

Psalm 42:3 Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?”

What does he find himself doing day and night? Crying and unable to eat because he is in personal torment.

What does he find himself surrounded by?  Unbelievers

But more than just unbelievers, bold and unashamed ones that mock the Almighty God.

Turn to 1 Corinthians 1:18-19 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.

When we separate ourselves from other believers we find ourselves standing among the wrong kind of people and doing the wrong kind of things.

Psalm 42:4 My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!

Now he is just pushing himself into a deeper depression. How?

The Psalmist is thinking back to a time that not only was he participating in the worship services with other believers but he was a worship leader in the church.

I am thinking about two people right now that used to faithful worshipers in our church but for finds themselves hardly if ever coming anymore.

Like the women at the well, they are searching for things of this word to quench their thirst.

God’s word encourages us in Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

In fact, the Psalmist is confirming that He remembers what a great time he had going to church and what joy it brought him.

Psalm 42:5-6 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and 6 my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you—even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar.

So he starts off with rhetorical questions. Basically, he is saying

What in the world is wrong with me?

Turn to Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.

He is trying to encourage himself to hope in the Lord.

He understands that even though he is far away the he ca remember to pray to the Lord.

In fact, God tells us to do that very thing.

Turn to 2 Chronicles 7:14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Psalm 42:7-8 I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.

Have you ever been swimming at the beach and a huge wave knocks you over and flips you upside down and all around?

The you get up, go back out and it does the same thing over and over again.

The waves are our sins. They keep coming after us day and night, and it’s hard to escape them.

As it says in verse 8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me.

And what does he say that in turn he does each night?

Sings praises to God that provides for all his needs.

Psalm 42:9-10 “O God my rock,” I cry, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?” 10 Their taunts break my bones. They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

What does he call God? “My Rock” …which means what?

2 Samuel 22:1-3 David sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. 2 He sang: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;3 my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence.

He no sooner call God his rock, that he asks the Lord for the reasons for his continued emotional and physical distress.

He even brings up again about the naysayers in his life.

So he knows one thing but feels another. Can I get a witness?

It says in Matthew 6:28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,

Point is, that we worry about so much in life, when we know in our heart that God has it covered.

Psalm 42:11 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!

David addressing his feelings just as he did in verse 5.

He ends on a positive note by telling himself to hope in God, praise God who is our Savior Jesus Christ.

I will close with this story titled, The Whisper Test

Mary Ann Bird was born with multiple birth defects. She suffered not only from her physical impairments but also with the emotional trauma of “being different” from others.

She said; I grew up knowing I was different, and I hated it. I was born with a cleft palate, and when I started school, my classmates made it clear to me how I looked to others: a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth, and garbled speech.

When schoolmates asked, “What happened to your lip?” I’d tell them I’d fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than to have been born different. I was convinced that no one outside my family could love me.

There was, however, a teacher in the second grade whom we all adored — Mrs. Leonard by name. She was short, round, happy–a sparkling lady.

Annually we had a hearing test. Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everyone in the class, and finally it was my turn. I knew from past years that as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper something, and we would have to repeat it back — things like “The sky is blue” or “Do you have new shoes?” I waited there for those words that God must have put into her mouth, those seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard said, in her whisper,

“I wish you were MY little girl.”

Here is the life lesson of this Psalm and this story;

We all have challenges in our lives

But as Christians we are different

Don’t let the unwise of this world by God’s standards effective how you see yourself or how you worship God.

Know that God is our Rock and He is calling all of us to be His children.