Tag Archives: affliction

David’s Prayer for Peace (No. 11 of the Series “Prayer: What Difference Does It Make?”)

Today’s message summary of October 15, 2017 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:

Psalm 4:1-8

For the choir director: with stringed instruments. A Davidic psalm. Answer me when I call, God, who vindicates me. You freed me from affliction; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.  How long, exalted men, will my honor be insulted? How long will you love what is worthless and pursue a lie? Selah. Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah. Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the Lord. Many are saying, “Who can show us anything good?” Look on us with favor, Lord. You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound. I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, Lord, make me live in safety.

During our days, we often face emotional distress, and it can cause us to lose out on a good night of rest.  Even I have had nights like this.  Perhaps you have had these, as well.  They may be relational or financial, and they may even be spiritual.  There is no true rest unless there is a relationship with Jesus Christ.

David, in his prayers, is showing us a pattern to model where he was praying in the morning, throughout the day, and into the evening.

Be aware that Psalm 4 was relevant to David and his people, and it is relevant today.  Psalm 4 shows that in our prayers, only God can provide to us long-lasting peace.

Verse 1 of Psalm 4 represents when David speaking to God.  Verses 2-6 has him speaking to men and admonishing them, and the last two verses speak again to God in prayers for peace.  He prayed with intensity, and his prayers were clear in petitioning God for answers.  He prayed in such a way that he made sure that God heard him.  He prayed with a burdened heart, and he experienced peace that would allow him to rest.

David understood that he was not delivered from his circumstances under his own merit or righteousness. He understood that he was being delivered because of God’s righteousness alone.  Your own good deeds are worthless without the grace of God and your own obedience and faithfulness to Him.

David experiences relief when He is assured of God’s presence.  God provides the relief.

In Psalm 3, there is a reference to David’s prayer to God for protection from his son, Absalom. He did not fear those who opposed him, but he, nonetheless, appealed to God for help in overcoming them.  His admonishing of the people in Psalm 4 was directed to the people in a similar way.  God is still the source of his protection and his mercy.

2 Samuel 16:5-14

When King David got to Bahurim, a man belonging to the family of the house of Saul was just coming out. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he was yelling curses as he approached. He threw stones at David and at all the royal servants, the people and the warriors on Davids right and left. Shimei said as he cursed: Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, you wicked man! The Lord has paid you back for all the blood of the house of Saul in whose place you became king, and the Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. Look, you are in trouble because youre a man of bloodshed!

Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and remove his head!

The king replied, Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything? He curses me this way because the Lord told him, Curse David! Therefore, who can say, Why did you do that?’” Then David said to Abishai and all his servants, Look, my own son, my own flesh and blood, intends to take my lifehow much more now this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse me; the Lord has told him to. Perhaps the Lord will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead of Shimeis curses today. So David and his men proceeded along the road as Shimei was going along the ridge of the hill opposite him. As Shimei went, he cursed David, threw stones at him, and kicked up dust. Finally, the king and all the people with him arrived exhausted, so they rested there.

David knew that he faced enemies and there was a public display of this contention.  He knows that the opposition he experienced from Shimei was allowed by God in spite of his being anointed as the country’s future king.  It was a reminder to David to seek the Lord for guidance in the midst of his affliction, and it is also a reminder to us to remain prayerful of those who may be going through a struggle, and to not pursue any condemnation.

Our posture towards those who speak falsehoods against us (Psalm 4:2), as it was for David, is to remain focused on Him as the righteous Judge and is the true mediator who separates those who trust in Him with those who have nothing to do with Him.

Proverbs 15:29

The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.

Do you recognize that God knows you, as a distinct child of God, and that he hears your prayers?  He does not want you to wallow in your own sin from unchecked anger (Psalm 4:4).  He does give those who are opposed to you to repent from evil and do what is right and proper.

Absalom, David’s son, tried to appear to others as righteous when, in fact, he was using deceit to plot against David (2 Samuel 15:1-12).  Even today, such behavior will not be viewed as honorable by God, and anything good accomplished in this way is nothing more than “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

Psalm 51:16-17

You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;

you are not pleased with a burnt offering.

The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.

You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.

David’s prayer in the final verses in Psalm 4 was a prayer for peace in spite of his enemies.  This attitude is crucial within our Christian walk.  There should be a joy in the heart of the believer that goes beyond the blessing one receives (Psalm 4:7).  There is joy in your fellowship with the Lord.  Nothing in this world will give you peace if has nothing to do with Jesus Christ (and certainly not worldly successes).

If you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will not have at this time, or in the future (the afterlife), any peace.

Isaiah 26:3-4

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. Trust in the Lord forever, because in Yah, the Lord, is an everlasting rock!

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The Powerful Lessons of Healing

During the time of an illness or an affliction, God certainly has our attention. This is certainly true in the event of healing of your affliction. The healing occurs after an earnest seeking of God’s response to prayer. Now that the healing has taken place and you receive relief from your affliction, what is the lesson to be learned from God’s healing in your life?Jesus Christ healed many persons as a demonstration of His power of life over death. Of all of these examples of Jesus’ healings that are seen in Scripture, we learn that the result of the healing is that we are to serve Him and be a living testimony for Jesus Christ.
John 10:25
“I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me.”Jesus demonstrated His power, His compassion, and His love. He took it upon Himself to use this responsibility to meet the needs of others, in the same way that the church has the same responsibility to reach the lost.

Matthew 12:9-14

 9 Moving on from there, He entered their synagogue. 10 There He saw a man who had a paralyzed hand. And in order to accuse Him they asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

    11 But He said to them, “What man among you, if he had a sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, wouldn’t take hold of it and lift it out? 12 A man is worth far more than a sheep, so it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

    13 Then He told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and it was restored, as good as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Mark 3:1-6

 1 Now He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a paralyzed hand. 2 In order to accuse Him, they were watching Him closely to see whether He would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 He told the man with the paralyzed hand, “Stand before us.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5After looking around at them with anger and sorrow at the hardness of their hearts, He told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 Immediately the Pharisees went out and started plotting with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Luke 6:6-11

 6 On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching. A man was there whose right hand was paralyzed. 7 The scribes and Pharisees were watching Him closely, to see if He would heal on the Sabbath, so that they could find a charge against Him. 8 But He knew their thoughts and told the man with the paralyzed hand, “Get up and stand here.” So he got up and stood there. 9Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you: is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” 10 After looking around at them all, He told him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. 11 They, however, were filled with rage and started discussing with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Jesus answered the Pharisees after they challenged Him about the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11). Jesus countered that He is the Lord of the Sabbath, and declares that a person in need is much more important, or valuable, than the Sabbath if the person is in need. The area of caution for a church to make sure that it is always more important to do good for others and not hinder the love of Christ in its ministry to those in need. If the church has the ability to help others, that ability becomes a responsibility to help others. The church needs to do more than just provide the opportunity for salvation. The church needs to build people up in such a way that benefits others. It must make the distinction of what is good and what is evil and follow Christ in doing so (Isaiah 5:20).

The love of Jesus Christ has a way to draw people closer to God (Romans 2:4; 1 Corinthians 13:8); in fact, learning God’s Word should compel us to do more to help others. The greatest obstacles of the church is to overcome those things that hinder this effort. God’s Word is meant to teach us, to nurture us, and provide healing.

As a church, we are to pray for direction that helps us to do what is good for those in need. The need is great and it requires undivided attention from its members.

Matthew 23:23-28

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. These things should have been done without neglecting the others. 24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat, yet gulp down a camel!

    25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so the outside of it may also become clean.

    27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity. 28 In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Who are the people that will help those in the greatest need? What is the value of a person who is need? Where can you, or the church, provide help for those in need? A willingness to help helps to answer all of these questions. Our goal is to always bring persons to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and to help the person become the person that Christ desires for him or her to be.

God’s kindness to us and His love for us has always been present–even when we have been unkind to Him or to others. Should we not love others, as Christ loves us, in the same way? Our compassion is what draws people to a relationship with Christ. The church leads the charge to set people free and deliver them in the name of Jesus Christ. There is never a bad time to do what is good for others.

When Jesus healed the man with the paralyzed hand, it required the man’s obedience, and he also did what the Lord asked of him. In the same way, the lesson here is that a person in need of healing requires obedience and listening to His voice, and to move according to God’s direction. Those who minister to persons in need fulfill their responsibility of service for Him and are in accord with God’s will for them and for everyone they reach for the gospel.