Prayer, Patience & God’s Will – Psalm 37 & 73 & Selected Scriptures

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
November 8, 2020

Prayer, Patience & God’s Will
Psalm 37 & 73

Introduction

Diane and I had planned to be away today, but with the threat of rioting by left wing groups following the election, we decided it best to remain here instead of risk being caught on the road in what the AP euphemistically reports as “upsets.” I heard a mainstream media radio news report that said the threat was coming from right wing militia groups, which once again demonstrated that the mainstream news services are worse than worthless. Tragically, it is now obvious that now includes FOX. The mainstream media have become propaganda machines for socialists. It has not been right-wing groups that have been rioting, looting, burning down buildings, assaulting people and causing general mayhem. Pictures of businesses in major cities boarding up their windows in anticipation of the election and its aftermath just add to the fact that the United States of America is not the nation we once knew. This is the behavior of godless third world countries.

Election fraud has occurred for many years, but never anything on the scale that has happened this past week, and yes, that fraud is real and has been wide spread. Regardless of who actually takes the oath of office as President, our national voting system has been seriously damaged so as to not be trusted. That could be restored if reforms occurred nationally such as those in Florida following the 2000 election fiasco, but that state was controlled by conservatives. States controlled by socialists, such as California, go the opposite direction. California changed their primary system and legalized ballot harvesting to ensure the fraudsters can win any election that is even remotely close. Just bring in the harvested ballots after the election is over. With that said, if Biden is inaugurated, America will never return to what it once was, and we are on the road to becoming Venezuela in which election fraud guarantees the socialists will remain in power. As was well known in the former Soviet Union, it is not the voter that counts, but who counts the vote. If the Democrats gain the Senate as well, then it will not even take that long for this nation to devolve into a defacto dictatorship which is what has already happened in many states such as NY. Our governor has seized power via proclamation of a manufactured medical crises to make up whatever arbitrary dictates he wants concerning what businesses are open and which are closed, where people can go, what they can do, and even who gets medical care. Actual science is irrelevant when pseudoscience can be used to create fear which can then be used to control the population.

Next, let me give you a two minute civics lesson about national elections in the United States. First, the news media does not determine who has won an election. That is done by the Secretary of State or the equivalent in each State when the vote is certified. Until that is done, there is not an official winner in that State. So the election is not over and will not be over until those certifications are made in every State. That is the reason for the current litigation in those areas in which obvious and documented fraud has occurred. Many of you will remember the 2000 election and that it took over a month for all the litigation to be resolved and the Florida Secretary of State to certify the election. I would expect the litigation to continue for a while.

Second, Article II, Section 1 and the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution govern the election of the President and vice-President. The people vote in their State for their candidate, and then according to the laws of that particular State, electors are chosen to convene and vote for the President and vice-President. The number of electors equals the total number of U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives in that State. Laws vary by State on how those electors are supposed to vote, but it is the majority of electors that determine who will be the President and Vice-President. This is a superior system because it ensures that every State is represented equally while also giving the general population equal representation. This is the same way that Congress is apportioned. The electoral college system helps to keep populous areas and States from running roughshod over rural areas. Until the electors vote, there is not a president-elect.

We do not like uncertainty, but that is made much worse by the mainstream news and social media which has become very effective in making sure the general population only knows what it wants to be known whether true of false. That is the reason for the suppression of information about the rampant voter fraud that has occurred. The tragedy for whomever is elected as President, whether Trump or Biden, is that he will be cast as an illegitimate President because of either voter fraud or lawyers and judges inferring with the election. Since conservatives are respectful of the lives and property of other people, they may protest, but they will not riot. That cannot be said for the liberals and socialists who would become even more apoplectic than they already are and violence will increase.

All of this makes us very uneasy if not queasy and fearful. It has made some despondent in anticipation of what could be. I have addressed the issue of fear before, so I will not belabor it today, but simply put, Christians do not need to fear injury, loss of life or property. We are saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ because of His great love which casts out all fear (1 John 4:8). His promise is to always be with us and nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ (Matthew 28:29; Romans 8:38-39), and He will provide for us as we seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33). We will have tribulation in this world, but we can take courage for Jesus has over come it (John 16:33). We can even count it all joy when our faith is tested knowing that such trials produce endurance and ultimately maturity (James 1:2-4). We are also commanded in Philippians 4:6, “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” The promise is then “and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus.”

But this where the current situation is causing some problems for some because they are not experiencing such peace, and I have heard that some are even questioning the value of prayer since the election has not gone as they had prayed it would. This is the situation I want to address this morning because that is not an uncommon thought even if only short lived. If you are going to have peace, then you must understand prayer, its purpose and relationship to God’s will.

Prayer

I have preached on the subject of prayer many times including multiple sermon series many times, so I am only giving a very brief overview here. Check out our website for more detailed studies on the subject (www.gracebibleny.org/category/prayer).

I am the first to admit that I have lost a lot of sleep over the last few months by what has been happening in our nation, and there are a lot of specific requests I have made in prayer to the Lord which He has not answered in the way that I would like and that is even after making what I thought was a fairly good case of why my request would be according to God’s will. However, because I do understand the nature and purpose of prayer, my feelings of anxiety only motivate me to pray more. When I wake up in the middle of the night with a sense of foreboding about the future, it just means that I can spend that much more time in prayer. When God does not answer my prayers the way I would like, it only refines my understanding of God’s specific will in the current circumstances.

So what is prayer? John Bunyan’s definition is excellent: “Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to His Word, for the good of the church, with submission in faith to the will of God.” (https://gracebibleny.org/the_proper_purpose_practice_of_prayer_matt_6_5_15). Without that kind of understanding of prayer, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking God is not answering your prayer. God always answers the prayers of believers, but that answer could be yes, no, or wait.

What are the reasons it may appear that God is not answering prayer? The first reason is that you did not pray. James 4:2 states, “You do not have because you do not ask.” God is omniscient, so He knows what you think, but don’t expect Him to bring about what you desire if you will not even bother to ask Him about it.

The second reason prayers are often unanswered is sin. Psalm 66:18 warns, “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” That is a reason that confession in prayer is vital. By the blood of Christ we can have confidence to enter the holy place and draw near to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19), so do not let sin block His paying attention to you. God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness if we confess – agree with God – about our sin.

The third blockage to having your prayers answered as requested is selfishness. James 4:3 states, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” This kind of prayer is the opposite of what Jesus taught about the focus of prayer which is God being glorified and His will being done. This could be fairly blatant in treating God like He was a doting grandfather or a cosmic genie who will grant your every wish. That is a major problem for all those who have been affected by the name it, claim it theology of the Charismatics.

But be careful here because this can also be more subtle. Humans can excel in self justification so that the self centered nature of the prayer is not even recognized. We can frame our request as if it is for the benefit of others and God’s glory when what we are really after is fulfilling our own desires. It is not easy to pray for the will of God as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” That is the model of humble submission in faith to the will of God.

Directly related to this third reason is that God’s answer to the request is no. What you are praying may seem very reasonable to you and you may even have figured out a Biblical justification for it, but it is not actually according to His will for any of a plethora of reasons and so He will not grant it. Have you ever considered that while what you are asking God to do or grant may seem good on the surface, but it could actually be harmful? Most children would love to have candy for every meal, but that would be harmful to them. God wants us to eat our vegetables too, and as you mature, you learn to like them.

A final reason is also related to this, however, it is an issue of timing. What you have requested is well within God’s moral will and He will eventually grant the request, but not at this time. His answer is “wait.” That has certainly been His consistent answer to the prayer for Jesus’ return, but a day is coming when that prayer request which has been made by multiple millions over the centuries will be fulfilled. That is our great hope and why we continue to pray for it, but the answer will continue to be “wait” until in His sovereign timing Jesus returns as promised. But this brings me to my next point. We must be patient.

Patience

We live in a society that wants and expects instant gratification. It thrives on fast food and extended credit to purchase what is desired immediately without having to save up for it. People get irritated if traffic is slow or the line is long. People who get impatient if email and text messages are not answered quickly would fall into despair if they had to wait days for physical letters. Could people who are anxiously awaiting the roll out of 5G wireless networking for phones so that the world of information can be at their finger tips wherever they may be even comprehend having to go to a physical library to do research? At least the medical community slows us down. There is a reason that those who go to see a doctor are called patients.

While patience is in short supply in our fast paced world, it is to be a characteristic of Christians since one of the fruits of the spirit is patience (Galatians 5:22). Being patient is also a basic characteristic of love (1 Corinthians 13:4). Patience is also to be a characteristic that marks our prayer life. Waiting on the Lord is a concept that occurs throughout the Scriptures starting with Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis 49 which includes his comment, “For Your salvation, I wait, O Lord.”

This idea is expressed many times throughout the Psalms: Psalm 27 ends with David’s admonition to “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 33 includes this statement of hope, “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name.” Waiting on the Lord is referenced three times in Psalm 37 as we shall see in a few moments. Psalm 40 which recounts God’s mercy to David begins, “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 130:5-6 expresses the confidence and anticipation of this declaring, “I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord, More than watchmen for the morning; indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.” Proverbs 20:22 admonishes, “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’, Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.” Isaiah refers to waiting on the Lord at least five times including the very encouraging promise in 40:31, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” Jeremiah expressed it even as he mourned over the destruction of Jerusalem saying in Lamentations 3:25-26, “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. 26 It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the LORD.” We are to eagerly wait for the Lord’s return (Philippians 3:20; James 5:7; Jude 21).

Jesus makes it clear in Luke 18:1-8 that this waiting for the Lord is not passive. We are to be persistent in our prayers. In fact, I would have to say that such persistence is an important element in prayer because it keeps us both focused and dependent upon God. It is a reminder that we are not in control and that the Lord’s purposes are far beyond us as expressed in Isaiah 55:8–9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Paul expressed the same idea in Romans 11:33–36, 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the lord, or who became his counselor? 35 or who has first given to him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”

God’s Will

The quest in prayer should be to honor God and seek His will since that is how Jesus taught the disciples to pray. ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). Petitions in prayer for provision, forgiveness and deliverance come after this. Our problem is that while we can be very confident in God’s general will, we cannot always be so confident in His specific will in a particular situation.

For example, I know that God’s moral will is that all come to repentance and be saved for it is so stated in 2 Peter 3:9 and Titus 2:4. Jesus and Peter both began their preaching ministry with the command for sinners to repent (Matthew 3:2; Acts 2:38). However, I also know that there will be few that will repent to go through the narrow gate and walk the narrow path that leads to life (Matt. 7:13-14; 11:20; 2 Cor. 12:21; Rev. 16:9-11). I do not know who will and who will not repent to be saved, but I do know I am to make disciples of Jesus Christ which begins by proclaiming the gospel to sinners just as Jesus did (Matt. 9:13; 28:28-29). I am to be faithful to evangelize, preach and teach leaving the results in God’s hands for those He gives the right to become children of God are born not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13).

Misunderstanding prayer and misappropriating the statements and promises made in the Scriptures can easily lead to discouragement in praying and a sense that God has abandoned us as we see the wicked rise and appear to get away with it. While it may be true that God is abandoning this nation for turning its back on Him and descending down the path of Romans 1, that does not mean He is abandoning you even though we will suffer because of it.

I want to quickly contrast two different Psalms as illustrations of these points. Both contain general truths about the nature of God and His actions toward both those who are evil and those who are righteous, but both are also specific to the experience of the individual that wrote the Psalm. The specific actions God takes regarding specific people can vary greatly as will be seen in this comparison. What does not change is God’s nature and His ultimate actions in keeping with His own attributes and promises. I begin with Psalm 37 which I will read with some running commentary. I will then do the same thing with Psalm 73.

Psalm 37

A Psalm of David. (This Psalm reflects David’s experience. It is set as an acrostic wisdom poem with the first line of each proverbial couplet beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is a Psalm that contrasts the future of sinners with that of the righteous).

1 Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. 2 For they will wither quickly like the grass And fade like the green herb. (This gives the first command and sets the first theme of the Psalm. Do not fret – kindle your anger – or be envious of sinners because their success can end swiftly in just a season. It is not a reference that it is necessarily chronologically soon).

3 Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. 6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. (This is the second command and sets the second theme of the Psalm. Trust and follow the Lord for He is the source of blessing. When you delight in God, your desires will match His will which is why He will grant them).

7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. 8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. 9 For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land. (This combines both commands and themes expressed in verses 1-6 in stronger terms. A wicked man may prosper by his evil, but he will be cut off – die, be destroyed or driven away, so don’t be angry and abandon rage and avoid evil. Instead, patiently want for the Lord).

10 Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. 11 But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. (Some of David’s enemies lived many years before they died and “were no more,” but that is “little” in God’s time scale, and since David died at a “ripe old age,” even 30 or 40 years is “little”).

12 The wicked plots against the righteous And gnashes at him with his teeth. 13 The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow To cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slay those who are upright in conduct. 15 Their sword will enter their own heart, And their bows will be broken. (Sinners scheme against the righteous and make threats against the vulnerable and the upright, but the Lord laughs for their own devices will be used against them).

16 Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the LORD sustains the righteous. 18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will be forever. 19 They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have abundance. 20 But the wicked will perish; And the enemies of the LORD will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish—like smoke they vanish away. (True blessing is found in the Lord, not material prosperity. The Lord provides for His own while He breaks the power of the wicked).

21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives. 22 For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off. (The wicked and the righteous have opposite views of material wealth and are brought by the Lord to opposite ends).

23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. 24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. 25 I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread. 26 All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing. (The righteous can have tough times, but the Lord sustains him. David expresses that this has been his own experience and observation throughout a long life).

27 Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever. 28 For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. 29 The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever. (Another contrast between the destiny of those who do good and those who do evil).

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip. 32 The wicked spies upon the righteous And seeks to kill him. 33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand Or let him be condemned when he is judged. (A contrast in the actions and motives of the righteous and wicked with a promise of God’s protection – though this is not a promise the righteous will not suffer or even avoid martyrdom at the hands of the wicked).

34 Wait for the LORD and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. 35 I have seen a wicked, violent man Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil. 36 Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more; I sought for him, but he could not be found. (Notice the reference to David’s experience. This is a proverbial truth, not a universal one).

37 Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; For the man of peace will have a posterity. 38 But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble. 40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him. (This is another proverbial truth in temporal matters and ultimate truth for eternal matters, but it is not a universal promise for this life. There are many exceptions as will be seen in Psalm 73).

Psalm 73

A Psalm of Asaph. (This is also a wisdom Psalm, but one written by Asaph as instruction concerning God’s ultimate justice).

Dilemma – vs. 1-3. 1 Surely God is good to Israel, To those who are pure in heart! 2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, My steps had almost slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant As I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (The Psalmist is honest his reaction to the dilemma of seeing the wicked prospering. It nearly caused him to join them).

Description – vs. 4-12. 4 For there are no pains in their death, And their body is fat. 5 They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like mankind. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; The garment of violence covers them. 7 Their eye bulges from fatness; The imaginations of their heart run riot. 8 They mock and wickedly speak of oppression; They speak from on high. 9 They have set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue parades through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return to this place, And waters of abundance are drunk by them. 11 They say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?” 12 Behold, these are the wicked; And always at ease, they have increased in wealth. (He describes both the various elements of their wickedness, which includes pride, violence, evil hearts, mockery and blasphemy, and their prosperity which includes health, abundance, ease of life and wealth until death).

Doubts – vs. 13-16. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure And washed my hands in innocence; 14 For I have been stricken all day long And chastened every morning. 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children. 16 When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight. (His doubts arose because he compared the prosperity of the wicked to his own troubles though righteous. He knew it was wrong, but he could not understand it. Underlying this is the premise that God should trouble the wicked and reward the righteous).

Delay – vs. 17-20. 17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end. 18 Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form. (It was not until he came to worship God that he was reminded of the bigger picture. Even if God delays His justice in this life, He will surely carry it out in eternity. Delayed justice in this life is a function of God’s patience and mercy).

Different – vs. 21-28. 21 When my heart was embittered And I was pierced within, 22 Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. 24 With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works. (The Psalmist was convicted by what he had been thinking and he became different as he reminded himself of these great truths. The wicked will ultimately perish while God is the refuge of the righteous. With a changed heart he renews his commitment to the Lord and magnifies His name).

Conclusions

.

What should our response be to the rise of the wicked? Proverbs 29:2 states that the people will groan when the wicked rule, but my question is more directed at what we should think and how we should act.

1) Remember that God is still sovereign and He is carrying out His eternal plan.

2) Do not envy the wicked, God will destroy them even if they prosper in this life for a long time or even until death. Pity them for they “will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power” (2 Thess. 1:9).

3) God raises up and destroys nations as His wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteous of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). However, though the righteous will suffer in such a destruction, God is able and will preserve the righteous in the midst of it. He provides for those who seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33), and we can learn to be content (Phil. 4:11-13), and food and covering is enough (1 Timothy 6:8).

4) The purpose of your life as a Christian is to glorify God by serving Him and being conformed into the image of His son. If God chooses to glorify Himself through your suffering or even martyrdom, you will have fulfilled His purposes for your life. As Paul states in Romans 8:18, “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Live with eternity in view.

5) Remember that the enemy is Satan and his demons. People are the mission field, so that even to those who oppose you and proclaimed themselves to be your enemies, you are to love and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). You are to be to be kind, patient and persistent in teaching and correcting them that perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth and coming to their senses to escape the snare of the devil (2 Timothy 2:25-26). We want to see those who are now our enemies come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ so that they will be brothers and sisters in Christ.

6) Give praise to God for His mercy and grace granting for you to be His adopted child forgiven of your sins through faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and destined for eternal glory in heaven with Him. We look for new heavens and a new earth that will replace what exists in the present after they are destroyed with fire. Knowing that is what the future will be, we are motivated to live in the present in a righteous manner of life.

7) Finally, if you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then today is the day of salvation. Turn from your sin to cast your faith on Him while you can. God is a rewarder of those who humble themselves to seek Him.

Sermon Notes – 11/8/2020
Prayer, Patience & God’s Will – Selected Scriptures

Introduction

Election fraud

 

Civic Lesson – Election of a President

 

Uncertainty

Overcoming anxiety: 1 John 4:8; Romans 8:38-39, Matthew 6:33; John 16:33; James 1:2-4, Phil. 4:6-7

 

Prayer

(See website: www.gracebibleny.org/category/prayer)

Understanding prayer enables you to overcome anxiety

“Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to His Word, for the good of the church, with submission in faith to the will of God.”(John Bunyan)

Unanswered Prayer:

James 4:2

Psalm 66:18

James 4:3

God said, No

God said, Wait

Patience

A characteristic of a Christian – Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 13:4

Waiting for the Lord – Psalm 27; 33; 37; 40; 130; Prov. 20:22; Isaiah 40:31; Lamentations 3:25-26

Waiting, but persistent – Luke 18:1-8

The Lord’s purposes are beyond us – Isa. 55:8-9; Rom 11:33-36

God’s Will

The quest of prayer

God’s known moral will

God’s unknown specific will

Misunderstanding prayer & misappropriating God’s promises

Psalm 37

 

 

 

Psalm 73

Dilemma – vs. 1-3.

Description – vs. 4-12.

Doubts – vs. 13-16.

Delay – vs. 17-20.

Different – vs. 21-28.

 

Conclusions

1) Remember God is sovereign

2) Do not envy the wicked – pity them

3) God raises up and destroys nations

The righteous will also suffer, but God is with them and provides

4) The purpose of the Christian’s life is to glorify God.

5) Satan and his demons are the enemy, not people

6) Give praise to God if you are saved

7) Humbly repent and seek God if you are not saved

KIDS KORNER
Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the word “prayer” is said. 2) Discuss with your parents how prayer is important for being able to be at peace.

THINK ABOUT IT
Questions to consider in contemplating the sermon or discussing it with others. What will be the long term effects of voter fraud? How is the President elected? Why can Christians be at peace even in the midst of uncertainty? What is prayer? What reasons are there for the appearance that God is not answering a prayer? What is patience? Why is this to be a normal characteristic of a Christian? What does it mean to “wait on the Lord” and how do you do that? What is the relationship between prayer and God’s will? Why is God’s specific will so often uncertain? Read Psalm 37. What is its general theme? What is the difference between a proverbial truth and a universal one. List some of them. Read Psalm 73. What was his dilemma? How did he over come it? List at least 5 ways Christians should think and respond to the current time of political / national uncertainty?


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