Psalm 27

December 31, 2023 Preacher: Steve Di Iorio Series: Songs of God

Scripture: Psalm 27:1–14

 Morning Saints. So as Pastor Michael said, I'm Steve Di Iorio. I was a public school, high school English teacher for 15 years in New Jersey and that's a testimony for another day.

But I'm part of the New Jersey refugees that fled out here to Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati area. It is a blessing to be teaching, preaching today at Christ the King. And we are going to be going over Psalm 27. So, if you can take out your Bibles and open up to Psalm 27, I just want to give a little way of introduction and then we're going to get into our text today.

So, the Psalms, they impart numerous lessons through their 150 compositions. The primary objective, I would say, is trust in the Lord. Trust in the Lord. As a matter of fact, the beauty of the Old Testament It's a giant arrow pointing towards Christ and the Psalms really serve as a reflection of ourselves.

As we read through the Psalms, we encounter joy and sorrow, sin and repentance, trust. Picture it like a giant mirror that we need to turn to and reflect upon. But it also helps our life journey as we strive to follow Christ. In the Psalms, we, we see a book that articulates our deepest emotions of our hearts, but also guidance in navigating this, this, this path through life.

It takes us from various transitions, sadness, joy, and most importantly, from walking in the flesh to walking in the spirit. The book of Psalms, as you know, is comprised of 150 psalms, and it calls us to a life of righteousness. They're not written in chronological order, Psalm 1 is not the oldest, Psalm 150 is not the newest.

They are split into five books, written over a period of about 900 years. Moses wrote Psalm 90 about 1400 years before Christ. 400 years later, King David came on the scene and wrote 73. Four to five hundred years after David in Babylonian exile, Psalm 137 is written. So, Psalm 27, which is our focus for today, is authored by David.

And it appears that he is in hostile territory at this time. He's fleeing from his adversaries, and he faces numerous opposing armies, and it's simply titled A Psalm of David. And to pinpoint exactly when this psalm was written does prove to be a challenge. Charles Spurgeon, who's often considered one of the last Puritans, loved the psalms.

He had over 400 sermons on psalms, seven volumes of work called The Treasury of David. He thought this psalm was written right around the time David went to Nob and asked for the holy bread of the presence. And the, I think it's Doeg, he was overhearing this, and he went and told Saul. But the psalms address troubles from adversaries and false witnesses and violent individuals.

It's a reoccurring theme through, through David's life. The structure does seem to be sectional with verses one through seven, focusing more on trusting the Lord and hoping in his power, while seven to 14 address the adversity and the trials. There are some commentaries out there that say, perhaps this was two different Psalms or something.

Or maybe it was a different person, but I, I don't see that at all. I see this as David throughout, and there's always a danger in looking where you're looking for your commentaries. But Psalm 27 portrays two facets of a unified heart. One centered on trusting the Lord, and then it's trusting the Lord through adversity.

And my hope is that you will find encouragement and, and refreshment as we go to turn into the. New Year that we can truly have a focus here. So, we believe and trust in a God known for his constant and unwavering love. It's often described as the Hebrew word has said. This is a loyal and faithful love that never lets us down.

And Psalm 27 teaches us that this love has no limits. No matter how tough things get, even if everything seems to be falling apart in life, the God who always loved and saved us will keep guiding us through. Let's pray and ask for the Lord's help. Father, we come before you today about to embark on this journey through Psalm 27.

I just pray Lord that you are with the message this morning. I pray that you guide my words, I pray that you open our eyes, ears, and hearts to whatever lessons and applications you have for each and every one here. And I give you thanks that, that we met today and that this house is full of saints. It's in Jesus name we pray.

So, let's read through Psalm 27 together and then we will break it down. Of David. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after. that I might dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble. He will conceal me under the cover of his tent. He will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me. And I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy. I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud. Be gracious to me and answer me. You have said, Seek my face. My heart says to you, your face, Lord, do I seek. Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger. O you who have been my help, cast me not off, forsake me not. O God of my salvation, for my father and my mother have forsaken me.

But the Lord will take me in. Teach me your way, O Lord. Lead me on a level path because of the enemies. Give me not up to the will of my adversaries. For false witnesses have arisen against me. And they breathe out violence. I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord. Amen. So, take a look at verse 1 with me as we Look at the text tonight. We know this verse well. This is found on t shirts, on coffee mugs, and in a lot of music. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is a stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?

First thing to pick up on is notice that the Lord is in all capital letters. This is because this is a representation of the Hebrew name Yahweh. God's most holy name. It's a name that speaks to the fact that he is a covenant keeping, promise honoring God. He says, this, this God is my light, my salvation.

Now, David's subjects during this time, as we see in 2 Samuel, they call David the light of Israel. Yet David is calling the Lord his light. He acknowledges the Lord as his source of light. And God serves as a light for all his people, showing them the ways in times of uncertainty, bringing comfort and joy during sorrow.

Jesus says he is the light of the world. And people now walk in his life and hope to continue doing so forever. So, he's talking about fleeing into a, that the Lord is his stronghold. Well, what, what is a stronghold? Back then, it was a place of protection and, and really a place of refuge. Those that work outside of the city gates you had servants, peasants, various workers, villagers, farmers, everyone.

They would be susceptible to attack. So, when there was an invasion, you would flee inside the city gate, and they would close the gate and the gate was usually the strongest portion of the wall. It was reinforced fireproof in some cases, but that was your stronghold. That's your protection. So, when David's saying I'm fleeing to the Lord is my stronghold and my protection, it is literally.

Trusting in, in the Lord, a matter of life and death, that we would turn to the Lord first. And Solomon must have been studying this, because Proverbs 18 says, The, the name, the name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous man runs into it and is safe. So, God is acting as our defender, as our protector.

And relief to his people amidst their challenges. Now, we live in chaotic times. We live in times where good is called evil, where evil is called good. And the world seems to be spiraling out of control. And I just want to pose a question to you, and we're going to revisit this later. If you're not running to the Lord in your time of struggle, who or what are you running to?

What else are you running to? And we'll, we'll get back to that. But we see here our natural flesh response to danger. Is to what? Is to be afraid. That is our natural response. But David is confident in the Lord. He says, who do I have to be afraid of? Whom shall I fear? Now these are rhetorical questions.

And the obvious answer is no one. David's confident because he knows God is supreme and sovereign over all. He's confident because he's under the Lord's care. If God is for us, who can possibly be against us? Look at verses two and three here. He says, when evildoers assail me, and eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. There's no hyperbole here in scripture. This is not a gross exaggeration here. As we explore David's life in the Old Testament, we discover he faced significant human opposition throughout his journey.

He was no stranger to adversity. Now, from a worldly, limited perspective, David, though his foes had superior advantages, but this is a limited perspective because when you look here, Saul had a greater rank and position, right? When we look at David and Goliath, what did Goliath have? Superior strength. and war experience.

His son, Absalom, had a greater number of forces. But his adversaries stumbled. We read that they just fell. And the question we ask is why? Was it because David was smarter? Was it because David was stronger? That he had strategic elements? No, it's because God's sovereign, he's sovereign. His invisible hand is directing things and it's protecting David and it's working in opposition to those that seek to harm him.

Brothers and sisters, the Lord is faithful. Now in verse 4 we see there is a plea to behold and gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. What does gaze mean? I really feel like I should have a smart board or something here and like teaching, you know. So, to gaze means to look intently upon something and steadily, oftentimes with admiration and affection.

You're look, you're, you're taking in the details, you're appreciating the object of focus. It's, it's like looking at a sunset or the stars in the sky. Perhaps you've seen this before. And when you're looking. Everything else just fades away, right? Your overdue bills fade away, your struggles with temptation, your disappointment in a relationship.

Something captures your attention and it's a, it's a temporary respite from life's challenges, but this is a calling. This is a wake up from our love of the world. It's a return to affection, a return to the love of God, to have a personal relationship. with the Lord. It's not enough to just say, oh yeah, Jesus, I believe in him.

Even the demons believe in him. They shudder. No, we do personal relationship with the Lord. David wants to seek the Lord. But where? In his temple. Well, this is interesting because this is before Solomon's temple. So, what is David referring to? So, this is where we're, we're always with, with scripture. We're always cross referencing.

We're always looking because, and I'll be bringing up a lot of scripture because this is, this is not the word of Steve. This is the word of the Lord. So, we look at 1 Corinthians 3:16. And 1 Corinthians 3:16 says the temple of the Lord. It's the church, but not this building, not, not these walls.

This is where the temple meets, right? But you, as an assembly built upon the rock of Jesus Christ, united by your faith in the gospel, you are the temple of the living God. You are the temple of the living God. And we need each other. We need to bear each other's burdens, lift each other up in prayer, encourage each other.

We can't do that if everyone's an island unto themselves. We simply can't. We need to be honest. We need to be honest when things aren't going well and reach out to someone for help. You know, this is something that I picture. This is something that's happened to all of us, I'm sure. Especially those with children.

You're driving to church. It's just, everyone's grouchy. It was just hard to wake up in the morning. Breakfast was a disaster. Getting the kids ready. You got stuck in traffic. You're sitting there, you're driving to church, you're pulling in the parking lot, you're arguing with your spouse, Honey, I just, I'm just not going to argue about this anymore.

Kids, if you do that one more time, you're, you're going to get in a lot of trouble. And it's like, hey brother, how are you? God bless you. And it's like, what are we doing? You know, I mean, we're sitting there, we're saying, hey, brother, God bless you. And our family is in disarray. Our hearts are in disarray completely.

And sometimes we are amazing actors and actresses. But 1 John 3:20 says, God is greater than our heart and he knows everything. So, share your burdens. We're not meant to be isolated. Simply ask, ask for prayer. I was, I was nervous before coming up here. I was talking to Pastor Eric. He's like, hey, let's go outside there and preach.

Let's pray really fast. It calmed me right down. You know, you can, you can be honest with people. Definitely. You know, I'm having a rough week. Feeling weak does not mean that you aren't saved. Feeling weak and needing prayer doesn't make you a weak Christian. It doesn't. Put your guard down and trust in your church family.

And until we trust the Lord, we will continue this fake act, these fake smiles. And we can fool each other, we're not fooling the Lord. Okay, so it makes sense, but how do we gaze upon God's beauty? I got that part, to gaze upon the Lord, but how? Well, the Bible tells us in the New Testament that Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God.

Hebrews 1 says Jesus is the express image of God, the exact imprint of God. Colossians chapter 1, Jesus is the image of the invisible God. When the disciples said, please Lord, show us the Father. What did Jesus say? You've seen me, you've seen the Father. And so, we gaze upon God's beauty by beholding his Son.

And that worship should start now. As we drown out all the other things in the world and just focus squarely on Him, our satisfaction should be in the Lord. Our rest should be in the Lord. Remember, by grace you've been saved through faith, not of your own doing, so that none may boast. That's amazing. But yet, when we look at our phones, TV, movies, internet, sports, the latest technology, we get distracted.

We start to seek after other things, worldly things. We're forgetting that God is more beautiful. We're trying to find satisfaction in earthly treasures. We forget that he yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us. And sometimes, let's be honest, it is laborious to turn that TV off or to put that phone down or to read the Bible.

When I first started teaching, it was put away your magazines, your Walkmans. If they had an iPod, it was like gigantic. It was easy to spot, right? So, I'm like, you know, put, put that away. You know, teaching a class recently and it's like, all right, put your laptops down. Put your tablets down, turn off your Bluetooth because they can put it down, but it's still in their ears, right?

Take off your earbuds. What? Why is your watch beeping? Take off your watch too. I mean, we're surrounded by so many things buzzing. I am convinced that my morning coffee is going to start to buzz. All right. Like this is, and this is a sermon for another day, but what's an idol. The truth of the matter is an idol is anything that takes your focus off of Christ.

And you may say, yeah, but I'm not worshiping my phone. I'm not worshiping the TV. Well, here's a challenge later on. I want you to pick up your phone later on. I want you to go to settings, screen time, and weekly activity. I want you to see the number of hours that you spend for the week on your phone. I want you to balance that.

And I'm going to do this myself. It's just that I have an Android. I'm the only one with an Android, so it's like difficult to find it, but I want you to balance the amount of time you spend in the word and prayer versus the amount of time you spend on your phone. Now, we are sinners, right? We are, we are in the flesh.

We are sinners. So immediately, what do we do? We make excuses. Well, I use it for work. I use it for school. Nah, he knows the truth. So, the thing is, nothing else will compare to the beauty and majesty of the Lord. God made us to hunger and thirst for him. We shouldn't be surprised when nothing else satisfies our hearts.

And then since it's not satisfying our hearts, what do we do? We want more, we want more of this because it's not satisfying us. You get money, you want more money. You know, I put on a football game for my kids to watch. And then it's like, you know, they watch it on Thursday. It's like, all right, so Thursday we're going to do this.

And then we're going to watch like an hour of it. It's like, can I have another one? No, it's like I put brownies on the table. Can I have more? We just want satisfaction, but we're never going to be satisfied. We're never going to be full. Let's praise him and worship him. Now you have a valid point when you say, I am a busy person and I do not have that much time.

That is valid. But I believe we can make time, right? Bible says to pray without ceasing. We can surely pray in the car. You don't have to be like the Pharisees with these amazing prayers that where you're, you know, quoting tons of scripture and you're praying for like 45 minutes. You can simply pray as you're walking.

You can pray as you're driving. And like I said before, if you had time to check your social media, I think you had time to check scripture.

You will realize the more time you spend with the Lord, because this is, this is pro, this is progressive sanctification. This is not like all of a sudden, I am a, I am a master of scripture and everything. No, this is a lifelong journey, right? And you'll find. His blessings are everywhere. Take a look at your children.

Take a look at creation. I told him I was going to call him out, but Dan, Dan Monahan tells me he, he gets up at 4 a. m. And he prays. And he has this long list of people that he prays for, and he goes for walks. And it's this gigantic list. I'm, I'm, I'm concerned that he's walking 24 hours and then at 4 a. m.

he continues walking. But as he's walking, he looks up at the sky and he sees the stars. And he's gazing upon the beauty, and the Lord placed them there, and the Lord knows them by name. And it's just amazing. If you look at nature, this isn't evolution, or mother nature, or random chance. This is special design.

This is creation by a God who loves us, and a God who is beautiful. That creation in Isaiah chapter 40 reveals God. In his splendor, who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span and closed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains and scales in the hills in a balance.

And later on, he does not grow faint or weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and to him who has no might. He increases strength. He will, as verse 5 in Psalm 27 says, lift you high upon a rock. You reference that with Psalm 61, and it's the lift you high upon the rock where the raging, threatening billows of the stormy sea cannot touch them.

It's amazing. What should our response be? What should our response be? It should be shouts of joy. It should be singing and making a melody to the Lord. Charles Spurgeon commented on verses 5 and 6. He says, it’s a blessed resolution, not always easily carried out, but still it ought to be. Our life ought to be singing.

It used to be sinning. It ought now to be singing, since the sin has been put away. Oh, happy are the men that know their God. If the whole world lies full of storms, yet may they rest in peace. Get near to God, acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace. The remedy for all trouble is dwelling near to God.

Brothers and sisters, nothing can separate you from the love of God, from the love of Christ. Death, life, angels, principalities, present, things to come, powers, height, depth, or any other thing created will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Our Lord. Now, from verse seven on, we, we will see a turn.

We will juxtapose these two sections and see quite a contrast between the first half of the psalm and the second half. David says, Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud. Be gracious to me. Answer me. These are trials. And he needs the Lord's help, and he needs the Lord's help right now. And we know this feeling. We say, I trust in the Lord.

It's in God's hands. There's no worries. Trusting in Him. But when trials come, there is a sense of urgency. You feel desperation. You don't know what to do. It's pressing. Things are difficult. And you shed a lot of tears over those sorrows. David's crying out to the Lord. He's not relying on his own abilities.

He's saying, Lord, I need you. And we need to do that, to cry out to the Lord, to lift our burdens up to Him. But trust, this topic is very difficult. Trust is very difficult because we've all been hurt in the past. We've all been hurt, and a lot of times our trust has been shattered. So many promises not kept, so many promises made, where there was never an intention for that promise to be kept.

It's deception and lies, and I want to pose another question to you. Can we stand upon the promises of God? Of course, Philippians 1:6, we're going to look at a promise right now. Philippians 1:6, And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

That's a promise right there. John Piper comments, the promise is a safe word when Satan's lies try to seduce or shame us. It's a strong word in the midst of temptation. It's a hopeful word when we're confronted with our own sin and need. It's an unwavering word when all around us seem shaky and unsure.

It's a comforting word in weakness or pain. It's an inspiring word when we need motivation to press on in the faith, working out our salvation. Philippians 1:6 assures us of how it will end for us, and that our end will be good, beautiful, and holy before our God. Brothers and sisters, you aren't being abandoned.

You are not being abandoned. There is confidence that what God started, He will also assume responsibility to keep.

One of my prayers Monday mornings is to increase my faith. I'm a man of little faith and I always ask to just please increase my faith, Lord. And Hebrews 11 tells us faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Having faith is easy when things are going well, right? Of course.

But when trials and hardships come, what's the first thing that enters our mind? Most of us think the Lord is against us. He's not. And when those times of urgency come upon you, God is testing your faith, not to see whether it's there or not, but to strengthen it. James 3 says, for you know, the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

We need to have faith that the Lord has not forsaken us. We need to have courage. I'm going to ask if you can go over to Joshua 1. I want to show you in Joshua 1. This is the quintessential example of being strong and courageous. So, if you could turn over to Joshua 1, I think we There you go. Sorry, I should have used a larger font when I made this.

Okay. Repetition. Repetition is a literary technique used to stress importance. Okay. However, we know if the Bible says something once, we should obey it, right? Second Timothy 3. 16 says all scripture is, is breathed out of God, out by, by God. I'm going to ask you, what if the Bible says something six times in one chapter?

In Joshua 1, we see Joshua was taking over for Moses. The Moses, right? Deuteronomy 34:10 says, since that time, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. Wow, those are big shoes to fill, and Joshua was full of anxiety, full of trepidation and follow along here. Verse five, just as I was with Moses, I will be with you.

I will not leave you or forsake you. Verse six, be strong and courageous. Verse seven, only be strong and very courageous. Verse nine, have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Notice, notice the imperative. This is not a suggestion, it's a command to be courageous. Following along, do not be frightened, do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

And finally, verse 18, Only be strong and courageous. Joshua was called, and he had to be ready. Accepting this assignment was no easy task, and it must have been met with a lot of self-doubt. This may lead to dwelling on the past and even paralysis in moving forward. I'm used to, like, walking around. One thing that can greatly hinder us is the past.

There's two parts to this. We either had a lot of success in the past. We were quite successful. So, then we constantly think of the good old days, and we wish for the good old days to come back and that paralyzes us for the future and causes us to grumble about the present. The other is if we had a negative past, self-doubt, a lot of scarring, a lot of hurt feelings.

It paralyzes us because it prevents us from acting on the present and the future. So, we can be our own worst enemy sometimes. Our past and our future are directly affecting everything. And this is why we need to be strong and courageous. We need this, brothers and sisters. We need this. The Lord knows we need these reminders.

This is why we're called to build each other up and encourage each other. Furthermore, there is a reflective and thoughtful way that David approaches God. He says, you have said, Seek my face. My heart says to you, your face, Lord, do I seek. I want to point that out. Now is when I wanted to have that drawing thing.

You're David is not telling the Lord this. The Lord is telling David this. You have said, seek my face. My heart says to you, your face, Lord, do I seek. We're not telling the Lord. He is telling us. The Lord is telling us to seek his face. Why is he telling us to seek his face? Because in Romans 3, it says there's no one who seeks after God.

It's our natural state. We're born sinners. We don't seek after God, but it's helpful to remind ourselves of this. We didn't choose Christ. He chose us before the foundation of the world. You couldn't seek God if God didn't seek you first. You couldn't gaze upon his beauty. Why? Because your sins and my sins have, according to Isaiah, separated us from God.

But by grace, you have been saved through faith, and it is not your own doing. All has been satisfied through the cross. Not us. Through the cross. When Jesus asked Peter, who do you say that I am? Peter said, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered him and said, Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh.

And blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. Now, the next part is heartbreaking at first, yet it is convicting. Verse 9, Hide not your face from me, turn not your servant away in anger. O you who have been my help, cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation. For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.

This is tough. There is no sugarcoating this. We lose a lot of sleep and shed a lot of tears because parents, friends, coworkers, family, past relationships, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, siblings, they hurt you, they abandoned you, and they turned away from you. There's a lot of bruised hearts in the room this morning.

But I want to remind you of two things. First thing I'd like for you to do is look to your left and look to your right. Look to your left and look to your right. There you go, everyone's waving at each other. Hey! These are your brothers and sisters in Christ. These are your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jesus says, for whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother and sister and mother. Matthew 12. Don't focus on blood relations. Your blood doesn't matter, it's the blood shed on the cross that matters! Thank you. I love hearing amen. It means I'm doing something right. It's like if there was complete silence, I'd be like, oh.

Secondly, the Lord will never abandon you. He'll never forsake you. He'll never betray you. He'll never betray you. We, we need to let go of our anger. We need to let go of our resentment, our bitterness, and grow in our relationship with the Lord. Luke 12 says they will be divided. Father against son. Son against father.

Mother against daughter. Daughter against mother. Honestly, just like Pastor Michael said last week, I don't want to get emotional. And but there's a lot of transparency up here and it is relevant. I, I truly miss my brother and sister. I, sorry, I truly miss my parents. I really do. And I pray for their salvation daily.

Just really pray that they'll get to know my family. And but my focus has to be on the Lord. My focus has to be on leading my wife and eight children. John Calvin once said, I gave up all for Christ, and what have I found? Everything in Christ. Well, okay. There's a lot of emotions up here. What should I do now?

Well, verse 11. Back to Psalm 27:11. Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Focus on that. Lead me, Lord. We say, I want to do this. We say, I want to do that. This is my plan. Christian, there's a reason why at the end of saying our plans, we say Lord willing. We say Lord willing.

Proverbs 16:9 says, the heart of a man plans his ways, but the Lord establishes his step. R. C. Sproul said, Take comfort. The Lord goes before you to establish your pathway. He's governing your path. Do you always get what you plan for? But much like a child whose parents see what's best for him, God knows what's best for us.

Brothers and sisters, we know what we want. The Lord knows what we need. Okay, I get it. But my adversaries, verse 12, give me not up to the will of my adversaries. False witnesses have risen against me. They breathe out violence. David's saying what we're feeling. Lord, my name is being tarnished by lies and truths that are twisted beyond recognition.

You know, maybe at your job you're known as the goody two shoes Christian. Maybe at your job you're known as the hateful bigot not accepting of others. Maybe you're spited and persecuted because people say you're against women's healthcare, all because you want babies to live. We know these are lies. But the weight of their attempts against us feel crushing.

Sometimes we just want to hide. We just want to eat lunch in our cars. We just want to leave quickly from work each day. We just want to flee, even quit. Don't let them triumph over you. Do not let them triumph over you. In this heart of the storm, cling to the Lord and trust in Him. Scripture is very clear.

As Christians, we will be persecuted. David is relying on the Lord for strength. So should we. Verse 13, David wants to look upon the goodness of the Lord now and here. Well, Psalm 23, right? Certainly, goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life. And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever.

Sometimes through trials, we realize this need for the Lord. Sometimes we need to be broken down. We need to be broken down and stripped of pride and luxuries in order to realize this. Some of us. Like me, are very stubborn, and need to be broken down and die to self. But we are new creations in Christ. Our hearts of stone have been removed and replaced with hearts of flesh.

Only then is the veil lifted from our eyes. And we see the treasures of the world are nothing. And we yearn to see the kingdom of God. Makes me think of the old hymn, Be Thou My Vision. We sang that on Friday. And Riches I heed not, nor vain empty praise. Thou mine inheritance now and always, Thou and Thou only first in my heart, High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.

Finally, I'm sorry if I'm going long, finally, verse 14, David says, wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord. We see repetition again, and it's important. When David says, wait for the Lord, it is really a hard issue. God's people should never doubt his power to redeem. We are to believe his word, trust in his power, and wait on him to save.

It may seem like the Lord is tarrying, but he renews our strength as we wait. Remember, it's his time, not ours. You wait for him. And by waiting, we say we expect him to do this even if we don't see it right now. Jacob had to wait seven years. Naomi waited 10 years. Joseph, 13 years. Have patience. We walk by faith and not by sight.

To circle back to the intro, Psalm 27 is looking at the two facets of a hard attitude. Trusting the Lord and trusting through adversity. My applications have been spread throughout the sermon. But to even utilize them, to even gaze upon the Lord's beauty, to trust in Him, to wait on the Lord, to walk by faith.

We need to recognize some things. We need to recognize the sovereignty of the Lord and the totality of the perfect sacrifice at the cross. David was a man after God's own heart because he demonstrated his faith and was committed to following Him. The Lord. This song was not written by David for self-reflection only to be kept in a private journal.

It's written for us. 1 Corinthians 10 says these things were written for our instruction. We're told to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, but why don't we? Why don't we? Because we can be our worst enemies. We doubt ourselves. We say we're not good enough. We're not worth it. Our sins are too great. I can't serve the church.

Look at my past. Look at what I've done. I don't deserve this. I don't deserve to be happy, but where does that lead you? Where does it lead you? This isn't a slippery slope. This is, this is reality. Once we start down this path, it leads to sadness and fear, and we want to escape reality. So, what do we do? It might start off just, you know, we binge Netflix or we look on social media, but then it could lead to other things.

Alcohol, drugs, affairs, depression, anxiety. But here's the truth. Stop saying you aren't good enough. Stop. Stop doubting yourself and stop these thoughts. This needs to be said, and I say this with compassion, but firmness. If you are saying you're not good enough or you're not worthy, you are saying, Lord, you aren't sovereign.

Why? Because you're saying my sin in the past is too great to be forgiven. You are elevating your sin above the cross. You're elevating it above the cross. And the cross covers your transgressions. And these are just lies that we put in our head with self-doubt. Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.

Romans 5:1, Therefore, since we've been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:10, And by that will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all. 1 Peter 2:24, He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

By his wounds, you have been healed. Stop saying you aren't good enough. Look to scripture. Look to scripture to see how God uses sinners for his glory. Look at David, murder and adultery, Rahab, harlotry, yet in the genealogy of Jesus. Abraham, lied, gave his wife to Pharaoh. Peter, denied Christ three times.

Paul, approved of Stephen's death. Your sin has been paid for. God uses sinners for his glory. You can't thwart God's plans with your sin. Use your experiences to help others, to counsel others. Hey, I've been there before. I suffered with this. Let me, let me tell you about my situation. Why do you think Christians love sharing testimony?

It is amazing to hear what people have been through and to receive counsel. Let me point you to the scriptures. Let me pray for you. Use your experiences. Don't repress them and hide them in shame. The counsel that you can provide to others will be beneficial to them and to you. There are many people struggling here today.

Share your testimony. And if you're not in Christ, I urge you repent of your sins and call upon the name of the Lord and in closing. Know that you were chosen before the foundation of the world. And Jesus says, and this is so beautiful, No one will snatch them out of my hand. Praise God, that is amazing. So, this New Year's, I want you to rejoice in your salvation.

Don't fret yourself with resolutions that are gonna just be violated in two weeks or something. You're a new creation in Christ. Christians, by faith. Wait on the Lord. By faith, keep your eyes upon him. By faith, be courageous. By faith, trust in him. Why? Because we walk by faith and not by sight. Let's close in prayer.

Father, I give you thanks for this psalm. I give you thanks for this church and the congregation here today. Lord, I, I pray that our hearts will be exposed, and we will repent of sins. Lord, help us to trust in you. I pray for all the parents in the room leading their children and their families, Lord, to just trust in you and to just stay away from the world.

I pray for everyone in this room to just stay away from false doctrine and the loves of the, and the supposed beauty of the world. Keep their eyes on you, Father. Our strength is in you. Keep us steadfast in your word. It's in your son's name we pray.

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