Your Peace of Mind
Your Peace of Mind
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - April 28, 2013
*Mark Sutton told a story about Bronko Nagurski. He played for the Chicago Bears back in the 1930's, and was a charter member in the Pro-football Hall of Fame. Bronko was known for his strength and rugged nature. That really came in handy on the afternoon he and his teammates were horsing around in their hotel room. Bronko fell out of their second-story window and landed on the sidewalk!
*The gathering crowd caught the attention of a policeman, who demanded to know, "What’s going on here?" -- Rubbing his head, Bronko replied, "I really don’t know. I just got here myself." (1)
*Sometimes life knocks us out of a two-story window, and we wonder, "What in the world is going on?" In times like these, we need peace of mind, and the Word of God shows us how to find it right here in Psalm 32.
1. The first key to peace of mind is confession. We must confess our sins to God.
*Wouldn’t it be nice if after we received Jesus, we never sinned again? -- It would be fantastic! But that’s just not the case.
*David was certainly saved. He talked about it in vs. 1&2. There we see a man who was at peace both with God and with himself. David said:
1. Blessed (or happy) is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
*By faith, David was looking ahead to the salvation that God would provide through the promised Messiah. And now, on the resurrection side of the cross, we know that the Messiah has come! His name is Jesus Christ. And the only thing that can truly cover our sins is the blood of Jesus Christ.
*Jesus shed His blood when He died on the cross to take all of the punishment for our sins. And He rose again from the dead. So when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our sins are forgiven, our record is cleared, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is put in our account, and we are saved!
*David was a saved man. But he was also a sinful man. That’s why he lost his peace. Most of us are familiar with the dark story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his cover-up conspiracy to murder her husband.
*We could try to take false comfort by saying, "I’ll never do that." But that smug attitude doesn’t get us off the hook. We are all sinners, and there are many ways to sin.
*In fact we human beings are pretty much experts when it comes to sin. This must be true, because God used fifteen different words in the Old Testament to describe our sins. David used four of those words here in vs. 1&2:
 First, "transgression:" That’s defiance, revolt, open rebellion against God. "Get out of my face! -- I’m gonna do what I want to do!" That’s transgression.
 Then "sin:" That's a falling short, missing the mark. This is the person who is really trying their best, but just can’t seem to make it. Think of the man who walks all the way across the desert, but can’t crawl that last ten feet to the waterhole. That’s the idea behind the word "sin."
 Then there is "iniquity." That’s something warped, bent, crooked, twisted, or perverse. It might just be a warped outlook on life, or something much worse.
 And there’s "guile." That’s dishonesty, lying to others and lying to yourself.
*Unfortunately, there are many ways for us to sin, and sometimes we will.
*Jon Allen told about a grandmother who was teaching her little grandson about Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. That little boy said: "If I had been in the Garden of Eden, and the devil offered me an apple, I wouldn’t have eaten it. I don’t even like apples!" -- "Yes," said his mamaw, "but suppose he had offered you some candy?" Her grandson thought about it a moment and wisely replied, "Oh well." (2)
*The devil knows just where to hit us. He knows where we live. He knows where our weak spots are. So sometimes we will stumble into sin.
*David did too. He was a saved man, but he was also a sinful man. That’s why he lost his peace. And David shows us that covering our sin brings pain. In vs. 3&4 he pointed back to a painful time in his life. David said:
3. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long.
4. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.
*God’s Hand was heavy on David, because the Lord was leading David to repent and confess his sins. God will convict His people of their sins. As we see in Proverbs 3:11&12:
11. My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction;
12. for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.
*If you can sin freely without a sense of guilt and shame, then you need to carefully consider if your faith is real. I say that because our loving Heavenly Father disciplines all of His children. That’s why covering our sin brings pain.
*But confessing our sin brings peace. As David said in vs. 5: "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,' and You forgave the iniquity of my sin."
*We also see the wonderful peace and power of confession in 1 John 1:8-9, where John tells Christians:
8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
*One key to peace of mind is confessing our sins.
2. Another key is confidence in the Lord.
*We all need to have growing confidence in God. We need the kind of confidence we see in vs. 6&7, where David said:
6. For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him.
7. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.
*David trusted in the Lord. But where did he get his faith?
-Hebrews 12:2, tells us that Jesus Christ is "the Author and Finisher of our faith."
-1 Corinthians 12: 9 says that faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit.
-Galatians 5:22 says faith is the fruit of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.
-And Romans 10:17 tells us faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
 But why does faith come by hearing the Word of God? -- It comes first of all, because the Bible is genuine.
*The Bible really is the infallible, indestructible Word of God. In Matthew 24:35, Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." And in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 the Apostle Paul told those Christians: "For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe."
*Why does faith come by hearing the Word of God? -- Because the Bible is genuine.
 And because the Bible tells us about the goodness of God.
*That’s how David found out about the forgiveness, mercy and deliverance he sings about here. When we see the goodness of God, we know we can trust Him.
 But the Bible also tells us about the greatness of God.
*David talked about floods in vs. 6. No doubt he had read about Noah and the great flood. No doubt he had also read about the Lord parting the Red Sea, so Moses and the Children of Israel could escape from the Egyptians. Then in vs. 7, David mentioned songs of deliverance. No doubt he had heard the songs of deliverance sung by Moses and the Children of Israel.
*David must have said: "The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses and Joshua, He is my God and He will surround me with songs of deliverance." David had great confidence in the Lord. And through God's Word, so can we!
*On top of that, almost all of us can look back and see times when the Lord kept the flood waters away from us. We can see times when He was our hiding place, when He preserved us from trouble, and when He surrounded us with songs of deliverance. So we should trust Him more and more.
*One key to peace of mind is growing confidence in the Lord.
3. Another key is calling on the Lord.
*We must call on the Lord for help. As David said in vs. 6: "For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him."
*We must pray. We must call on the Lord for help. And the more we pray, the more we will be able to say what David said to the Lord in vs. 7: "You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance."
*The Lord God really is our hiding place. When I hear those words, I think of Corrie ten Boom. She was a devoted Christian lady who endured much suffering in a Nazi Concentration Camp during World War II.
*The book and the movie about her life were called "The Hiding Place." And in his book on angels, Billy Graham gave an example of how the Lord used angels to hide Corrie. It happened just after Corrie and her sister Betsie arrived at the Ravensbruck Camp. Corrie was able to hide their woolen underwear and a tiny Bible in the shower room, while all of the women were stripped and searched.
*Then she hid the Bible under the thin prison dress she was given to wear. The Bible made a big bulge. But Corrie prayed: "Lord cause your angels to surround me; and let them not be transparent today, for the guards must not see me."
*And the guards didn’t see Corrie! Those guards checked everyone else from the front, the sides and the back. But they passed right by Corrie in both of the search lines she went through. Then her heart cried out: "O Lord, if Thou dost so answer prayer, -- I can face even Ravensbruck unafraid!" (3)
*Yes, Corrie went through incredible hardship. She watched her sister Betsie starve to death in that German concentration camp. Most of her family died in those camps. But the Lord was Corrie ten Boom's hiding place. And He will be our hiding place, -- through prayer.
*As Paul said in Phil 4:6&7.
6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
*One great key to peace of mind is calling on the Lord.
4. And the last key here is our character.
*How are we going to live? Who are we going to follow? Are we going to be stubborn or submissive to the Lord?
*We need to let the Lord chart the course for our lives. We need to let the Lord lead us. We need Godly character. That’s why in vs. 8&9 the Lord takes over the conversation and says:
8. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
9. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.
*How are we going to live? Are we going to be stubborn like a mule or submissive to the Lord? Sometimes we are stubborn and foolish enough to head off in our own direction. But the good news is that God is faithful to guide us!
 His guidance is promised in vs. 8. God says: "I WILL instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I WILL guide you with My eye."
 God’s guidance is promised, and it’s personal. He says, "I will guide YOU."
 God’s guidance is also perfect. He says, "I will guide you with my eye." Who can see better than the Lord? He will lead us in the paths of righteousness. And the more we walk His way, the more peace of mind we will have in life.
*The happiest people in the world are generally the people who follow the Lord. So in vs. 10&11, David said:
10. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
11. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
*That’s the kind of joyful peace that comes from Godly character. But of course this does not mean our lives will be free from heartache. King David had plenty of heartache in life, including the loss of three children.
-One son died shortly after birth.
-Another adult son was murdered by his own brother.
-And the murderer was killed in battle after rebelling and trying to kill the king.
*David had plenty of heartache, but God restored his peace of mind. And the Lord will do the same for us.
*About 20 years ago, God restored Sue Heil's peace of mind. Sue's only child, Steven, graduated from high school one June morning, only to be killed in a car wreck that night. Just a few hours before the wreck, Sue had thanked the Lord for Steven's life. She also asked God to keep taking care of him. How could God let this happen?
*In the days after Steven's death, this grieving mother was often angry with God. Her pastor assured her that this was normal and urged her to keep praying. Sue was disappointed with God. "You are supposed to be near the brokenhearted," Sue said to God. "Do you care?"
*She had lost her son, but she felt like she had lost her relationship with God, too. Then one day Sue got a card from a friend, and this is what it said: "When God conceals His purposes, -- keep living on His promises."
*Sue said it was as if God was saying to her, "Let go of your anger and trust me again. You do not know why things happen, but you do have my promise of eternal life." (4)
*God restored her peace of mind. And He wants to do the same for us.
*The Lord truly wants us to have His peace, but we have a part in the process:
-Confessing our sins.
-Confidence in the Lord.
-Calling on the Lord in prayer.
-And living with Godly character.
*As we go to the Lord in prayer, seek the peace God wants us all to have.
(1) Sources: Sermon preached by Mark Sutton at the Louisiana Baptist Convention - probably 1994 or 1995 - Also used information about Bronko Nagurski from Wikipedia
(2) "Illustration Digest" edited by Jon Allen - Nov. Dec. Jan. 1994-1995 - p. 16
(3) "Angels: God's Secret Agents" by Billy Graham Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, Copyright 1975 - pp. 90-91
(4) "The Upper Room", May/June, 1997 - p. 44 - Source: "Dynamic Preaching" sermon "Bound by a Promise" by King Duncan - Genesis 15:1-18 - Jan. Feb. Mar. 1998 - p. 60