When we can’t find God
Theme: A song of Distress
Scripture: Psalm 44
Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: No one is exempt from troublesome times, but we can cry out to God for help.
Think: I will condition my thinking to trust God even when going through unexplained difficulty.
Do: During difficulty, remember God’s past blessings and cry out to Him for help.
C1 Psalm 44:1-8: Israel’s past deliverance
C2 Psalm 44:9-16: God is questioned why He doesn’t deliver any more.
C3 Psalm 44:17-26: An appeal to God for deliverance now
D1 Stress is from stressors. A stressor is a some demand on the body. So, a deadline can be a stressor, so can pain, allergic reaction, shock, illness, etc. It usually has a solution.
D2 Distress is when someone can not adequately respond to stressors. So, chronic stressors can be deadlines, pain, allergic reaction, shock, illness, etc. Many times there is no solution, there is no easy solution, or there is no solution that seems possible.
D3 Sometimes distress is worse when you know of others who have been delivered, while you haven’t. In Psalm 44, the psalmist knows of past deliverance for Israel, but sees no deliverance now.
C3 This is distress: Matthew 27:46 NRSV And about three o'clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
C4 But: Psalms 30:5 NRSV For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
C5 And: Romans 8:35-39 NRSV Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
C6 Finally, Isaiah 65:24-25 NRSV Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD.
B3 Psalm 44:1-8,
C1 Why should we pass on to our children how God helped us in distressing times?
C2 What specific deliverances does the psalmist pray to God?
C3 The psalmist emphasizes that God delivered them? Why is this proper?
C4 How can God be our king? Why is this important?
D1 God reigns: Psalm 97:1 MEV The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
D2 God is always and only king: Psalm 10:16 MEV The Lord is King forever and ever; the nations perished from His land.
D3 Jesus is king: John 18:36-38 GW Jesus answered, "My kingdom doesn't belong to this world. If my kingdom belonged to this world, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. My kingdom doesn't have its origin on earth." 37 Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus replied, "You're correct in saying that I'm a king. I have been born and have come into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me."
D4 Jesus is King over all: Revelation 15:3 WEL They were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous [are] your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] your ways, you King of nations.
C5 Israel’s main enemies were human, but they also had enemies of selfishness, disobedience to God and His Law, disbelief, etc. What enemies do Christians have, and how will God defeat them?
D1 Death: 1 Corinthians 15:55-58 GW Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?" 56 Sin gives death its sting, and God's standards give sin its power. 57 Thank God that he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ
D2 Overcome the world: John 16:33 GW I've told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you'll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world.
D3 Overcome temptation: 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
D4 Overcome fear of death: Hebrews 2:14-15 NKJV Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
C6 In summary: Psalms 44:8 NKJV In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever. Selah
B4 Psalm 44:9-16,
C1 The psalmist lists 8 (or 16 depending on what you count) claims against God.
C2 Is it permissible with God to complain like this?
C3 Why does God sometimes allow what appears to be defeat from our enemies? One reason is to get us to repent: Luke 18:13-14 NKJV And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
B5 Psalm 44:17-26,
C1 Even in the midst of distress, the psalmist does not forget God or turn against Him. He still prays and asks for God’s help.
C2 How does God know the secrets of our heart?
D1 By David: Psalm 31:9 NIV - Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief.
D2 King Hezekiah and Israel: Isaiah 37:3 CSB - They said to him, "This is what Hezekiah says: 'Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace. It is as if children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them.
C2 Turning to God
D1 By Asa after Azariah gives God’s message: 2 Chronicles 15:4, 7-8 CSB - "but when they turned to the LORD God of Israel in their distress and sought him, he was found by them. ... "But as for you, be strong; don't give up, for your work has a reward." When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage and removed the abhorrent idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin...
D2 By the psalmist: Psalm 120:1 CSB - In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me.
C3 Deliverance experienced
D1 By Israel: Deuteronomy 4:30 CSB - When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, in the future you will return to the LORD your God and obey him.
D2 By our Lord Jesus: Luke 24:34 NLT - who said, "The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter."
C1 We will have hard times. Sometimes we know why; sometimes we do not know why.
C2 When difficulties arise, it does not mean God has forgotten us.
C3 Sometimes troubles happen from others bad decisions.
C4 Sometimes the enemy of our soul, satan, attacks us.
D1 Job: Job 1:11 GW But now stretch out your hand, and strike everything he has. I bet he'll curse you to your face.
D2 The saints at Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey): Revelation 2:10 GW Don't be afraid of what you are going to suffer. The devil is going to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested. Your suffering will go on for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
D3 God delivers:
E1 We Christians from satan’s kingdom: Colossians 1:13-14 GW God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. 14 His Son paid the price to free us, which means that our sins are forgiven.
E2 From satan and fear of death: Hebrews 2:14 GW Since all of these sons and daughters have flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood to be like them. He did this so that by dying he would destroy the one who had power over death (that is, the devil).
E3 From testing: 2 Peter 2:9 GW Since the Lord did all this, he knows how to rescue godly people when they are tested. He also knows how to hold immoral people for punishment on the day of judgment.
C5 We are weak, but He is strong: Hebrews 11:34 NKJV quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
C6 God’s grace is able to completely help us through anything: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
C7 We need to pray to God in all things. The Psalms are given to help us, comfort us, give reason for hope, and for worship of God. They are our emotional release.
C8 Trust God even in the hardest of times. Easily said, but God is able.
C9 We are a family of God. We are in this life together. Let us pray for each other.
C10 God will not leave us: Hebrews 13:5-6 GNB Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, "I will never leave you; I will never abandon you." 6 Let us be bold, then, and say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?"
C11 Praise God: Psalms 34:8 GW Taste and see that the LORD is good. Blessed is the person who takes refuge in him.
C12 Be encouraged. Do not give up. He will deliver either in this life or the next.
B8 Next week:
C1 Past, Present, and Future
C2 Theme: A song of God’s love
C3 Scripture: Psalm 118