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Author Topic: Prayer, Praise and Promises  (Read 47473 times)
nChrist
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« on: January 10, 2006, 09:05:59 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 5:1-12 Romans 12:1 Revelation 1:5-6

A Heart Problem

Read Psalm 5:1-12

It's imperative for us to meet God in the morning if we want to have a good day. Jesus got up early in the morning to pray, according to Mark 1:35. Here we find the psalmist saying, "My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up" (v. 3).

When I used to work the night shift, I would sleep in the morning. So when I got up in the afternoon, I would meet with the Lord. Meeting with God is not an appointment on a clock but an appointment in your heart. Does God hear your voice in the morning? When He looks on you at the beginning of your day, does He look on you as a priest who has come to offer Him sacrifices of praise? That's what direct means (v. 3)--"to order my prayer." It means to arrange the sacrifice on the altar.

When you wake up in the morning, remind yourself that you are one of God's priests. How did you become a priest? Through faith in Jesus Christ. "To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father" (Rev. 1:5,6). You're one of God's priests. That means wherever you are is God's temple, because your body is His temple.

The first thing we do in the morning is the first thing the high priest used to do every morning. He laid the burnt offering on the altar. The burnt offering is a picture of total dedication to God. If you want to have a good day, start by giving yourself to the Lord as a burnt offering, a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1). A good day begins in the morning, and it begins at the altar.

Does your day begin with God? If not, decide to start each morning by dedicating yourself to Him as a living sacrifice and ask His guidance for the day's decisions and actions. He wants to direct your life. So view each day as a gift from God and determine to be a good steward of the day's resources. Make your time with Him a daily appointment.

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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2006, 06:47:18 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 5:1-12 James 1:5 Romans 8:26 Hebrews 5:7 Romans 12:19

Request, Reason and Response in the Midst of Trials

Read Psalm 5:1-l2

What do you do in difficult situations? Many of the psalms were written during difficult, often painful, experiences. In Psalm 5 we find two sequences concerning trials. In the first sequence (vv. 1-7), David is experiencing difficulty and makes his request--"hear me." (v. 1-3). Meditation here means "sighing, murmuring, groaning"--a quiet expression of feelings. When our burden is beyond expression, all we can do is sigh and moan before the Lord. The Spirit hears our groanings and intercedes for us (Rom. 8:26). David's meditation turns to a cry (v. 2; Heb. 5:7). Prayer is not always a quiet, joyful conversation with God. Sometimes it is a battle against the principalities arrayed against us.

David's reason for making this request is the holiness of God (vv. 4-6). He cried to God because He is holy and stands against the wicked and boastful. Although He will judge the wicked, God does not always judge sin immediately. David's response is worship (v. 7), individual and personal.

In the second sequence, David makes another request--"lead me" (v. 8). He wants God's way, which is the righteous way. In the midst of difficulty, what we need most is wisdom to know the will of God (James 1:5). Notice that David asks to be led, not delivered. God has a straight way through every difficulty that will lead us to victory.

His reason this time is the wickedness of man (vv. 9,10). Destruction means "a yawning, open abyss." An open tomb pictures defilement and death. Flattery is not communication; it is manipulation. Absalom fell by his own counsel. David did nothing. He let God do it all (Rom. 12:19).

David's response (vv. 11,12) is rejoicing in faith, love and hope. Joy comes from trusting in and loving the Lord. This kind of joy comes from God's work on the inside, not from circumstances on the outside.

The psalmist tells us to expect difficulty. We shouldn't run from our trials but bring to God our requests, our reasons and our response.

You need never be paralyzed by your difficulties. You have the privilege of praying to a loving, understanding Father, who knows your condition. He guides you through difficulty to victory. When your faith, hope and love are fixed on the Lord, you can face any difficulty or problem, and God will give you joy and peace within.

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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2006, 08:50:45 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Acts 2:21 Hebrews 12 Psalms 6:1-12

Worse Than Death

Read Psalm 6:1-10

All of us know what it means to sin and to confess our sin. Psalm 6 is the first of the seven penitential psalms. Occasionally God has to remind us to confess our sins.

In verses 1-5 David pleads for God not to rebuke him or to chasten him. God's chastening is not punishment. It builds our Christian character. Hebrews 12 talks about chastening, and the word used means "child training." It's the picture of a child learning how to be a good athlete. God chastens us, but He does so in love. David was afraid that God was going to chasten him in His hot displeasure (v. 1). But our God is a God of mercy and grace. This doesn't mean, however, that we can minimize sin. This doesn't mean we should ever say, "Well, God is a forgiving God; therefore, I can do whatever I want to do, and He will forgive me." No, David was saying, "Lord, I've sinned. I'm weary with my groaning. Forgive me. I have done wrong." And God does forgive those who confess their sins to Him.

Sin is the Christian's worst possible experience. It's far worse than pain or suffering or even death itself. We are weak, and sometimes we fail. But let's never be afraid to come to our Father with our appeal for forgiveness. The tragedy is that all around us, enemies are waiting for us to fall. They want to point at us and say, "See, that Christian failed." But we can come before the Lord and ask Him for His forgiveness, and He will grant it to us. God will have mercy on us. "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21).

We must never treat sin lightly. Certainly, no Christian should ever harbor sin. But when we do sin, we may lean on God's mercy and grace and confess our sin to a loving Father. One of the great encouragements of the Christian life is that God forgives and restores. Are you living with unconfessed sin? Avoid God's chastening. Confess your sin and ask for His forgiveness.

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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2006, 07:23:52 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Jeremiah 17:9 1 Samuel 24-26 Psalms 7:1-9

Tested in a Tight Spot

Read Psalm 7:1-9

This psalm was born out of a sad experience David had with Cush, a Benjamite (see I Sam. 24-26). Cush was one of Saul's spies. And because of what David did, Cush caused the deaths of innocent men.

Whenever David had a problem with persecution or with people, he would run to God. "O Lord my God, in You I put my trust; save me from all those who persecute me; and deliver me" (v. 1). David's enemies were pursuing him. But the first thing he did was examine his own heart. "O Lord my God, if I have done this: if there is iniquity in my hands" (v. 3). He was saying, "If I have sinned, then let the enemy persecute me."

When we are persecuted or experiencing problems, the first thing we should do is examine our own hearts--not examine the enemy or even examine God by saying, "God, why did You allow such a thing to happen?" When you find yourself in a tight spot, look in the mirror and say, "Father, is there something in my life You are talking to me about? Is there some area in my life where I am not as yielded as I ought to be?"

You may ask, "What about my enemies? Who's going to take care of them?" That was David's question. The answer is that God will take care of the enemy. The wickedness of others will come to an end. Our righteous God will accomplish His purposes, but notice the end of verse 9: "For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds." Times of trial are not only times of testimony and trusting; they are also times of testing. When God tests you, He is showing you your own heart. You may say, "I know my own heart." But you don't. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9).

God has a purpose for trials and testings. Do you find yourself in a tight spot today? Don't view this as something to endure. Rather, consider it an opportunity for growth. Use this time to examine your heart. Perhaps God wants to teach you something and develop an area of your life. Yield yourself to Him and trust Him to do a good work in you.

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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2006, 06:22:13 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 7:10-17

Giving Birth to a Monster

Read Psalm 7:10-17

This passage presents a frightening picture. We read about swords and arrows, pits, ditches and death. God is angry and is judging sin, and He hears David's petition about his persecutors: "O Lord, they are accusing me of something I didn't do. They are Lying about me." That's tough to take. People lied about the Lord Jesus, too. And anyone who tries to live like Him is going to suffer this kind of persecution. David's enemies wanted to kill him. Some innocent men had been killed because of him. But David was praying that God would first cleanse his own heart. He said, "Examine me. Look at me. Test me. I want to be sure my life is ruled by integrity."

Sin brings its own judgment. "Behold, the wicked travails with iniquity, conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood" (v. 14). This is a picture of pregnancy and birth. When a person conceives sin and then gives birth to it, he gives birth to a monster that will turn on him and destroy him. David changed the picture in verses 15 and 16: "He made a pit and dug it out, and has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head." That's a word of encouragement and also a warning. We can't give birth to sin without having to live with the baby, watching it grow up and create problems. Yes, God in His grace forgives. But God in His government says, "We must reap what we sow."

The warning here is don't give birth to sin. There's also an encouragement: If others are giving birth to sin, don't fret over it but pray for them.

What is your response when others do their worst to you? Be encouraged that God knows what is happening and will judge sin. If you take care of yourself and walk with integrity, you may be confident that God will deal with those who sin against you. Above all, don't give birth to sin yourself; rather, pray for those who persecute you. God will one day turn your persecution into praise.

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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2006, 01:06:01 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 8:1-9

Live Like a King

Read Psalm 8:1-9

Psalm 8 deals with sovereignty. "O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, You who set Your glory above the heavens!" (v. 1). The first Lord means "Jehovah," the covenant-keeping God, the God who keeps His promises. The second Lord means "the Sovereign," the One who has not only the ability but the authority. "O Lord (the promise-making God), our Lord (the Sovereign, who has the power to keep His promises), how excellent is your name in all the earth."

When God saved you, He made you a king. You may not look like one or act like one, but you are one. Your day of salvation was a day of coronation. God put you on the throne through Jesus Christ. Then why do you live like a slave?

We discover in this psalm that God gave Adam and Eve the first crowns. But what did they do? They handed their crowns and scepters to Satan, because they wanted to become like God, to be sovereign. And they lost their dominion. Man today does not have dominion over beasts and fowl and fish. But Jesus does. He had dominion over the fowl: He told a rooster to crow when Peter sinned. He had dominion over the fish: He gathered them into the net when Peter was fishing. He even had dominion over the animals of the field: He rode on a donkey that no one had ever ridden before.

We've lost that dominion, but we've regained our spiritual dominion in Jesus Christ. You were saved to live like a king. Don't live like a slave.

Believers have a responsibility to live like kings. Our kingship securely rests on the authority and character of God. Are you living beneath your station? Determine to live like a king.

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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2006, 06:24:40 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 8:1-9 Genesis 1:26-28

What is Man?

Read Psalm 8:1-9

What is man? Charles Darwin said man is an animal. Sigmund Freud taught that man is a spoiled child. Karl Marx believed man is an economic factor. But the Bible says God has a much higher calling for man. God wants us to be kings; He wants us to reign in life. In Psalm 8 we see three different kings exemplified in Adam, Jesus and David.

First, God the Father created us to be kings (Gen. 1:26-28). God gave Adam dominion over the earth. We are created in the image of God with a mind, heart, will and spirit. But sin has marred God's image in man. His mind can't think God's thoughts; his emotions are wrapped up in sin; his will is rebellious, and his spirit is dead.

Second, God the Son redeemed us to be kings. The tragedy of man's rejecting Christ as Savior is that he goes through life as a slave, not a sovereign. Because of his rebellion, man lost his dominion. But Christ's death, Resurrection and Ascension regained what Adam lost--and much more (Rom. 5). Our Lord is reigning today, and we will someday reign with Him.

Third, God the Holy Spirit anointed us to live as kings. Our kingship comes from God. The power of His Spirit gave David the strength to kill Goliath. We are either a sovereign or a slave; either we will reign as kings, or sin will reign in our lives.

God never intended that we live like slaves but that we live like kings and reign over our circumstances and feelings. Trust Christ as Savior to reign in your life.

Do you find yourself a slave to a particular circumstance or emotion? Because of the sacrifice of Christ, we need no longer live as slaves in this world. Claim the power of God's Spirit and live as a king.

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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2006, 06:26:20 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 9:1-6

Your Song of Victory

Read Psalm 9:1-6

Psalm 9 is a great victory psalm. "I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works" (v. 1). Notice the universals in that verse--"my whole heart" and "all Your marvelous works." I must confess that there are times when I don't praise the Lord with my whole heart. At times I've stood in church with the hymnbook in my hand, singing a great song of praise--but not with my whole heart. The best way to have victory is to praise the Lord wholeheartedly.

Granted, there are times when it's hard to praise Him. Think of Paul and Silas in prison (Acts 16:16-34). They had been humiliated. Their rights had been stripped away from them. Their bodies were hurting. Yet they were wholeheartedly praising the Lord. God can heal your broken heart if you give Him all the pieces. He'll put it back together again and give you wholehearted praise.

Don't praise God only about circumstances; praise Him for who He is. "I will be glad and rejoice in You" (v. 2). Maybe you can't rejoice in your circumstances or in the way you feel. Maybe you can't even rejoice in the plans that are made for today, but you always can rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4). You can rejoice in the Lord today because He is worthy of your praise. "I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High" (v. 2).

The thrust of this psalm is simply this: If your cause is right, God is on your side. He is on His throne, and He is administering His world the way He wants to. David didn't quite understand all that God was doing, but he knew that God knew what He was doing. So when your cause is right, you can praise the Lord, even in the midst of apparent defeat. When God is on the throne, everything turns out all right.

If your life is broken right now, be encouraged that God knows what is going on in your life and will restore you. Until He does, rejoice in Him and praise His name.

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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2006, 05:03:32 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 9:7-12 Matthew 28:20 Romans 8:32 Matthew 27:46 Hebrews 13:5

Safest Protection in the World

Read Psalm 9:7-12

This passage teaches a great truth: The safest and strongest protection we have is the name of the Lord. "And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You" (v. 10). As I read those words, I'm reminded that God forsook His Son for us. Jesus said from the cross, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46). Has it ever occurred to you that the only person God ever really forsook was His own Son? "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (Rom. 8:32). Because He did this, we can be sure He will never forsake us for the sake of His Son. The Father loves His Son and says to Him, "You have died for these people. I will never forsake them." God's promise to us is "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb. 13:5). "Lo, I am with you always" was our Lord's last statement in the Gospel of Matthew (28:20).

The safest place in all the world is in the will of God, and the safest protection in all the world is the name of God. When you know His name, you know His nature. His names and titles reveal His nature. They tell us who He is and what He can do. For example, He is Jehovah, the God who makes covenants. He is the Lord, the sovereign king. He is Jesus, the Savior. Each name He bears is a blessing He bestows on us.

Are you getting to know God? "And those who know Your name (who know God's nature) will put their trust in You" (v. 10). The better you know God, the more you will trust Him. The more you trust Him, the better you will get to know Him--an exciting and enriching experience.

One of the great experiences of the Christian life is the personal relationship we enjoy with our God. To trust God is to seek Him (Isa. 55:6). Today, seek Him with a desire to know Him better.

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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2006, 06:34:01 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Romans 12:19 Psalms 9:13-16

In His Time

Read Psalm 9:13-16

Have you ever looked at a beautiful rose and watched it slowly blossom day after day? Have you ever tried to help it open? If you try, you might kill it. God makes everything beautiful in His time. He causes everything to straighten out and line up according to His schedule. If you have a problem in your life with a person or a circumstance, rely on God to resolve it. "'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord" (Rom. 12:19). One of the worst things we can do is to take judgment into our own hands.

The psalmist tells us in these verses, "Let God be the judge, the jury and the prosecuting attorney. He knows more about this than you do." The psalmist assures us that, in His time, God will catch those who are doing wrong. The nations will fall into the pit they have made. Sinners who have laid nets in the pathway will get caught in those nets. "The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands"(v. 16).

It encourages me to know that I don't have to devote my time or energy, even my inward concern, to wondering what's going to happen to all the evil in the world. God is going to take care of it. Of course, we as Christians should do our part to make this a better world. We are the salt of the earth; we are the light of the world. But we've been called to do something even more wonderful--to tell these wicked people that they don't have to go to hell. We have the privilege of witnessing to them and letting them know that they can be saved. Yes, let God be the Judge. Your job today is to be a witness.

Has someone wronged you recently? Resist the urge to judge that person. Instead, pray that God might use you to reach the offender.

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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2006, 06:25:57 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 9:17-20 Genesis 3

Who's Ruling the World?

Read Psalm 9:17-20

The humanist sings, "Glory to man in the highest." And sometimes it looks as if man is prevailing and God is a failure. You recall the slogan that was popular a few years ago that proclaimed "God is dead." Then the philosophers decided God was not really dead; He was simply sick and infirm and couldn't do much about what was going on in the world.

This mindset began in Genesis 3, when Satan said to Adam and Eve, "Look, why should you be a man? You can be like God." That's the same lie that runs the world today. Man is saying, "I will be like God."

But the psalmist tells us that man is not going to prevail. "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (v. 17). Today it looks as though man is succeeding--truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. But notice what David prayed: "Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail, . . . that the nations may know themselves to be but men" (vv. 19,20).

If we take the scepter out of God's hand, we make a mess of things. God runs this universe, and He has ordained us to be under His authority. The word David used for man in verse 19 means "frail man, weak man." The problem today is that men don't know they are mere mortals; they think they're the Creator. And they worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator. But the sad thing is this: When men try to be God, they don't become God--they become animals. They sink lower than men and start acting like animals. That's why our world is in such a mess today.

I rejoice that I'm just a frail person. I need God. I can come to Him and say, "O Lord, give me the strength I need to glorify Your name today."

We know that God is sovereign in His universe. His purposes will prevail. We may confidently submit to His authority and rest in His love, wisdom and strength. Though we are frail, God is our strength. Let God be King of your life and glorify His name in all you do.

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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2006, 07:02:50 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 10:1-11 Hebrews 13:5

How Near is God?

Read Psalm 10:1-11

As we read the Book of Psalms, we find that David was constantly in and out of trouble. Some people say that Christians who really love the Lord will never be in difficult places. But that wasn't true of Moses; it wasn't true of David; and it certainly wasn't true of our Lord Jesus Christ! Our Lord ended up in the most difficult place of all--crucified on a Roman cross.

Listen to David: "Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?" (v. 1). Here are those questions once again: "Why, Lord? Where are You?" Why do we think God is far away from us? What makes us think God has deserted us? First, we know that God is everywhere. Second, He has promised not to forsake us (Heb. 13:5). David only felt as if God were far away.

That's a good lesson for us to learn. Don't base your judgments only on your feelings. Build your life on faith. Faith says, "I'm going to trust God no matter what I see, no matter what I think and no matter how I feel." Faith does not mean we are ignorant. It means we are walking in the will of God because we know the Word of God.

Yes, David was in trouble. The proud and self-sufficient were after him. They were persecuting and taunting him, "I shall not be moved." They were also saying, "God won't see it" and "God will not judge." But David came to the Lord and said, "Lord, You know all about this, and You are going to take care of it."

When it seems as if God is far away, remind yourself that He is near. Nearness is not a matter of geography. God is everywhere. Nearness is likeness. The more we become like the Lord, the nearer He is to us.

Do you desire to be nearer to God today? Fill your mind with the truth of the Word and your heart with prayer and trust God to take care of you.

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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2006, 05:32:29 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 10:12-18

The Heart of the Problem

Read Psalm 10:12-18

David cried out and said, "God, You've got to take care of the situation." For several years Saul had been pursuing him. At one point David compared himself to a flea that was being chased. Saul's problem was that he was listening to liars in his court. Those who wanted Saul's favor were saying, "David wants your crown. He wants your throne. David said this, and David did that." They lied about him, and he could do nothing about it.

We have little control over the circumstances of life. We can't control the weather or the economy, and we can't control what other people say about or do to us. There is only one area where we have control--we can rule the kingdom inside. The heart of every problem is the problem in the heart. Once we get to that throne room inside us and let God take over, we don't have to worry about others.

David prayed in verse 12, "Arise, O Lord! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble." The word humble is a key word. What is humility? Is it thinking poorly of ourselves? No, humility is simply not thinking of ourselves at all. Humility means admitting that I cannot handle my problem by myself. God is going to have to handle it by working in me and through me and for me. But before God can work for me or through me He has to work in me.

If you want to get on top of your circumstances, get beneath the feet of the Lord. Humble yourself, and He'll lift you up.

We cannot control the circumstances of life, nor can we avoid them. But we can take a humble attitude toward God. He takes a special interest in us and will help us handle our circumstances. Have you examined the throne room inside lately? Are you willing to let God work in you and through you to accomplish His purposes?

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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2006, 05:34:09 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Jeremiah 14:8-9 Job 13:24 Psalms 14:1 Psalms 10:1-13

The Question

Read Psalm 10:1-13

"Why?" is the easiest question to ask but the hardest to answer. David asks why three times in this psalm. The atheist's answer to this question is that there is no God; the rationalist says God is unable to act or doesn't care; and the legalist says this is punishment for personal sin. The truthful answer comes from David. There are three stages in this experience of asking why.

The first stage is concerned is hiding. People have asked for centuries, "Why doesn't God do something?" (Job 13:24; Jer. 14:8,9). The wicked seem to be triumphing, and in doing so, they make four false statements. First, they say, "There is no God" (vv. 1-4; Ps. 14:1). The fool worships the creature, not the Creator. The greatest judgment God can send is to let us have our way. He is the source of life. When we leave out God, we die. Do you consider Him when you make plans?

Then the wicked say, "I shall not be moved" (vv. 5-7). They curse the God they do not believe in. They enjoy the taste of sin. Third, the wicked say, "God does not see me." They picture Him as a ferocious beast, catching the innocent unawares. They are characterized by hypocrisy, deception, intimidation, threats and selfishness. This graphically pictures many in today's business world.

Finally, the wicked say that "God does not care." But He does care, and sin will catch up with them.

Most of us at some time find ourselves asking God "Why?" Although the world offers several answers to this question, the Bible gives us insight into how to deal properly with the question. Don't be like the wicked, who make false statements about God and defy His judgment. Rest in the promises of the Word of God.

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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2006, 12:29:42 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalms 10:14-18 Psalms 9:20

The Question 'Why?': Part 2

Read Psalm 10:14-18

In Part 1 we dealt with concern--the first stage of asking the question "Why?" In this segment we will cover the last two stages.

The second stage involves commitment--God is helping. Man's sinful condition leaves him helpless, so David turns his attention from the wicked to God. We can be encouraged by knowing that God sees our trouble and knows our grief (v. 14). Objectively, He knows what we face; subjectively, He feels what we feel. Phillips Brooks said, "The purpose of life is the building of character through truth." Character is built in the storms and battles of life; it is tested in the easy times of life. The most discouraging feeling is that nobody understands. Christ endured all His earthly experiences so God could prepare Him to be a merciful and faithful High Priest. We may also be encouraged by knowing that God investigates (v. 15). He sees and cares, and He will repay (v. 14).

The third stage in asking "Why?" deals with confidence. God is hearing (vv. 16-18). "Man of the earth" is the wicked, living for and because of the earth. David reminds us that we're just mortal men (Ps. 9:20). God hears when we call and remembers; in His time, He accomplishes His purposes. And we can be confident of that.

A day of reckoning will come when the wicked will suffer for their unrepented sin. God has appointed His Son to be the judge. If you don't know Christ as Savior, if you think you're getting away with sin, or if you wonder why God doesn't do something, be thankful that He has not judged you yet (II Pet. 3:9). Jesus died for you and will save you if you will trust Him.

God does not turn a deaf ear to our questions. Nor is He inactive regarding sin. He is interested in helping us build character, and He will accomplish His purposes in due time. If you're a Christian and wondering why God doesn't act, commit yourself to the Lord and place your confidence in Him (Ps. 37:5).

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