Hope Generated in His Promised Plans: A sermon on Psalm 138…
The Simple Christian Life – Love, HOPE, FAITH
Hope Generated in His Promised Plans
† I.H.S. †
May this message about the grace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ increase your hope and expectation of God’s role in your life!
Even though the sermon is based on the Psalm – I want to start with the Old Testament reading about Abraham. God is talking about hiding His plans from Abraham, and there are days I wonder if the Trinity hasn’t had the same conversations about us.
Not that God is going to do something like he did through Abraham with us. I mean, having a kid at 100, or when Kay is 90? Maybe that is Al and Shirley’s task? Carol and Chuck’s?
But what about this idea that we don’t know the plans God has for us. TO be honest, I am personally struggling with that one right now. God, I don’t understand what You are doing, it doesn’t make sense!
You see that in the psalm as well – when at the end of praising God, when at that end of realizing that God has saved us while realizing that God will work out His plans for our life because His love is faithful. The psalmist then pleads…
“Don’t abandon me. (remember) you made me.”
I get that… and yet.. the entire Psalm speaks to the fact He will not.
There, we can find the truth that helps us, when we don’t have a clue about what God has planned for our lives.
The answer is profound, and it will give a profound hope, an incredible expectation of what God can and will do in our lives.
Even after the praise – Even after the climb
I am going to shift for the moment, to the end of the Gospel of Matthew, to a seen that didn’t make sense to me when I first realized what it says:
16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:16-18 (NLT)
They had seen him crucified, they spent significant time with him after the resurrection, and it said that some of them still doubted.
Just like the Psalmist.
Just like me when I am at a convention, or when I am struggling with not knowing which way life will twist next. When I don’t know the plans He has for me, and to be honest; I wonder if the plans are truly good and right.
Because of the sin of the world, because of my sin, because of the brokenness of everything, trusting, expecting, depending on everything to turn out right is a challenge at times. Sometimes it isn’t even about sin; it may be that we are simply tired.
Like the 11, some of us doubt,
It’s not new; it’s not something that will result in your condemnation, or in God abandoning you, even though it seems at times like He has, or He might or He should.
Just because you don’t know his plans, doesn’t mean that what He has planned for us is horrid or evil.
So how do we cope when we don’t know his plans, and this leads to doubt?
Back to the basics – He rescued us -why would he waste us?
We go back to what we do know, what we count on.
Who He is.
Seven times his name, His personal name is used in this passage. Eight more times David uses pronouns directly talking to or about Him. 2 more times he references the name of God.
We have to hear these things for ourselves. Let’s read them together
- You answer me
- Your unfailing love and faithfulness
- Your praises (backed by your name – who you are!)
- You answer me
- You encourage by giving strength
- You will protect me
- You reach out your hands
- Your right-hand saves me
- Your faithful love endures forever.
- You made me.
The very reason we praise Him, along with Kings from all over the earth is that we Hear His words, we understand His care for all – especially those of us who are broken and humbled by life. They need to hear Him, and they shall, for this is His desire.
This is the reason we have hope in life, why we expect that at the end of our days there is life everlasting. This is why we know that as we walk through this life – we hear Him. For we are people who are people who are His priests and kings.
Behind the plans, God has made His nature, the very same nature we see backing up the promises He made and kept in the life and death, the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
Like Abraham, and even more closely, we walk with God, His Spirit dwells within us, His voice resonates in us because He is with you.
Which is why we do what he did,
Hear the words again,
I have singled you out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord, by doing what is right and just.
Does that sound like this?
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.
We, those who God has made plans for, who are blind to them, and sometimes doubt, have the same call – to help all of Abraham’s children of faith, not matter Jew or Gentile, to hear His voice, including the answer to the last cry of the Psalmist
And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)
He won’t abandon us; He is with us… This is most certainly true. AMEN