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Sermon16-21Jan07-2of2ExpectingTheBest(RW50DaysofFaithPart1)

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                                                        EXPECTING THE BEST

50 Days of Faith

Part 2 of 2

January 21, 2007

 

HOW TO EXPECT THE BEST WHEN FACING GIANTS

1.   TUNE IN __________________________EVERY MORNING.

DAVID: “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”  Ps. 5:3 (NIV)

      “Worship God if you want the best; worship opens doors to all  his goodness.”  

      Ps. 34:9 (Mes)

     

2.   THINK ON ___________________THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

      DAVID: “Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me, I will quietly keep my mind upon your promises.”  Ps. 119:95 (LB)

 

      DAVID:  “I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart…” Ps. 119:11 (Mes)

 

      “You'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly…”

      Phil.  4:8 (Mes)

      “Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going.  He always keeps His Word.”                    Heb. 10:23 (Mes)

3.   TRUST IN _________________ WHEN THINGS LOOK BAD.

      DAVID: “O my soul, don't be discouraged.  Don't be upset.  Expect God to act!  For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise him for all that he will do.”  Ps. 42:11 (LB)

      “While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them.  But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best.”  Heb. 12:10 (Mes)

 

      "I'll get you out of any trouble.  I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me.”  Ps.  91:14 (Mes)

4.   TALK WITH ___________________________________.

      DAVID: “I'm a friend and companion of those committed to living by your rules.”                   

                                                                                                                                Ps. 119:63 (Mes)

      “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together…  Instead, let us encourage one another…”             Heb. 10:25 (GN)

      “Keep company with God, get in on the best.”  Ps. 37:4 (Mes)

Memory verse: Hebrews 11: 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (NIV)       

                                                                                                                                                   


                                                                         EXPECTING THE BEST

50 Days of Faith

Part 2 of 2

                                                                    January 21, 2007                                                        1774 words

Last week, we looked briefly at the story of David and Goliath within the context that having faith in God means we should expect the best and we asked: Why should we expect the best? and I offered three reasons:

1.    When you expect the best it honours God. 

2.  When I have faith and expect God for the best, it increases my ability in life.

3. When you have faith it encourages others. 

Now the How? question: How do we expect the best when we face our giants? If you want to expect the best and face your giants with confidence here’s the four things that David did that enabled him to face his giants:

1.    Tune in to God every morning.

First thing.  Start your day with God.  That will make you more positive; it will make your more a person of faith.  This is David’s first secret of optimism, Psalm 5:3.  “In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice.  In the morning I lay my request before You and wait in expectation.”  Where does he get his spirit of expectation?  He spends time with God in the morning.  He starts his day with God.  Before he talks with anybody else he talks to God. 

So first thing in the morning don’t turn on the morning news.  It’s no wonder you’re negative.  Local news is almost always negative - if it bleeds, it leads!  Don’t settle down to the newspaper because you’ve enough problems on your own without reading about the problems in the world.  And when you get in the car and as you’re driving to work don’t turn on the radio because you’ll only hear more.  It’s no wonder you’re cranky. 

You need to start the day with good news not bad news.  Start your day with worship.  Tune into God before you talk to anybody else, talk to God first.  Get some  praise CD’s from Wesley Owen in George Street Aberdeen and listen to good positive music, sit down and read a little bit of God's word.  Read some promises of God.  Talk to God and let God talk to you.  Five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen, twenty – just starting your day.  It doesn’t have to be long.  Just focus in on God and verbally affirm “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”  It’s a choice.  Optimism releases endorphins in your brain.  You will actually feel better.  You’ll feel better if you start the day by tuning into God. 

 Second point: If you want to expect the best...

2.    Think on God's promises throughout the day. 

You start the day by tuning into Him then you think on His promises.  This is David’s second secret on optimism.  The Bible tells us he practiced this even in the most difficult of times.  Psalm 119:95 says, “Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me I will quietly keep my mind upon Your promises.”  He was facing the constant threat to his life.  He says I need these promises throughout the day to help me face these threats in my life, these anxieties that can inevitably overwhelm my day.  The Bible tells us in Psalm 119:11 “I bank Your promises in the vault of my heart.”  How are you going to do this? - think about God's promises throughout the day?  The only way to do it is to memorize them, to bank them in your heart, to put them where you can call upon them.  When you get in the tough spots you can’t pull out a Bible and look up a verse.  You don’t have time.  Those are the moments when you need to be able to draw on what’s already in your heart.       

There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible, written for you and I to give us confidence and assurance throughout the day so we can make it through.  The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8 how to think when it says, “You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious, the best not the worst, the beautiful not the ugly.”  If you’re going to change your heart, if you’re going to change that anxiety you’re going to feel less threatened in life, more hopeful, more expecting the best, start to listen to something different.  Listen to God's promises.  They have the power to bring faith and optimism into our lives.           

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:23 “Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going.  He always keeps His word.”

To help you do this, over the next few weeks, I’m going to give you a weekly memory verse in a box at the bottom of the page of notes.  You can cut it out and put it somewhere so that through the day, through the week you can look at it, memorize the verse, put it in your heart where it can make a difference.  This week it’s Hebrews 11: 6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”  (NIV)

A practical way to do this is to start with the easy part – “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”  Just start there.  Just memorize that part.  Even just a little bit can make a big difference.  If you can memorize a lot, memorize the whole verse this week.  Whatever way you do it, start to bank some of these things in your heart where they can make a difference. 

I can’t tell you the times that God has brought one of the verses I’ve memorised to mind, to remind me not to say something stupid in a situation.  (Doesn’t always work mind you!) Or to be patient with someone when I wouldn’t have been otherwise.  Or to have hope when I wouldn’t have had hope.  Or give me the strength to make a good decision when I would have made a bad decision.  It’s amazing how, when you put some of these promises into your life, they give you faith to face the day. 

The third secret of expecting the best is...

3.    Trust in God's love even when things look bad.   

 

Trust in God's love even when the circumstances look bad or bleak or depressing.  This was David’s third secret of optimism.  It’s where he found his confidence. 

 Sometimes we forget how God has helped us in the past. We forget so quickly about the many times God has carried us through a situation or difficulty and sometimes we weren’t even aware that He was the one who was doing it.  We need to trust in God's love when things look bad. 

A question that often arise within the context of faith is : why did God allow this to happen? All I can say is that God is not a god of the zaps; He is a God who is always with us if we put our faith in Him. And I know it’s hard to understand why there’s pain in your life, problems in your life, difficulties in your life, circumstances you don’t understand. There’s no easy explanation. Sometimes however, we minimise human responsibility and blame God whenever life takes a downturn because God’s an easy target.

So what do you do when you’re in a difficult situation and it doesn’t make sense?  It has no rhyme or reason to it.  What do you do?  You trust in the God who is with you to give you the strength to come through because God cares for you.  Trust in the fact that God is in control and that God is good and that God loves you and He wants what’s best for you.  That’s a deep, deep level of faith that God wants you to grow in. 

God will take care of you if you’ll just get to know Him and trust Him.

It is so important to get support when we go through dark times and that is the fourth secret of optimism.  You’re not meant to go through life alone.  David tells us the fourth secret.

4.    Talk with other believers.

David hung out with positive people.  He wasn’t just facing this giant on his own.  He had emotional and spiritual support.  In Psalm 119:63 David says to God, “I’m a friend and companion of those committed to living by Your rules.”  You need to associate with, you need to attach yourself to, you need to fellowship with other people of positive faith.  Who do you hang out with?  Does you faith get any support at all?  If you hang out with cynical, sarcastic, critical negative people that’s as contagious as faith is and they will tend to infect you.  If you want to be a person of great faith, of great expectations, then you need to find some people who build into your life additional faith, who help you grow.  The wrong crowd will bring you down.  There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “Bad company corrupts good character.”  And it really does when it comes to your attitude.  It’s like that old cliché, “If you want to sore with the eagles you can’t run with the turkeys.”  David said in Psalm 1 “Blessed is the man who doesn’t stand in the seat of the scornful or sit in the seat of the wicked or scoffers.”  He doesn’t hang out with cynical people. David didn’t do that because he didn’t want them to effect him with their negativity.  You need to talk with other believers, people of faith, on a regular basis. 

I’m not saying you need to go out and drop all your negative friends.  Somebody once said:  “Everybody needs one or two neurotic friends as projects.”  But you don’t want to get a whole lot of them or they’ll pull you down.  You need people in your life who will help you build your faith. 

Of course, the most logical place to do that is in a Bible study, or a small group where you can get to know some people who will encourage you.  That’s why we talk about this all the time here at MDC.  The Bible says, “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together.  Instead, let us encourage one another.”  If you’re not in a group, where are you getting your encouragement on a weekly basis?

These four steps – these four secrets that David did are so important if your faith is going to develop. 

1.    Tune in to God every morning.

2.    Think on God's promises throughout the day. 

3.    Trust in God's love even when things look bad.   

4.    Talk with other believers.

Let’s pray: H/F thank you for the countless daily blessings in our lives that we forget to thank you for. Thank you for faith which sustains us and helps us grow spiritually closer to you. Thank you for your endless promises that we can cling to when life is tough and when we go through dark times. Knowing you are with us is such a tremendous anchor to hold on to in the storms of life and Lord we thank you for your inspired Word that teaches us ways to grow when our hearts and minds are open to your will. Lord Jesus, we want to put our trust in You and expect the best.  In Your name we pray.  Amen.

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