Beautiful Things Pt.1 – What to Do on the Most Difficult Day of Your Life
Colossians 2:13 – Discover the depths of our brokenness – and the heights of God’s Love for us. Even out of the dust of our lives, God can make beautiful things.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to confront the unexplainable absences of God, a season in life when God gives no explanations.
Questions such as…
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Where is God when I hurt?
Why did my family member or friend have to die too soon?
Everyone is going to have their Dark Night of the soul. Facing Difficult times
•economic uncertainty, stress, pain, grief, loss, divorce, brokeness, sin, tragedy
The fact is We grope in the darkness of our grief, pain, hurt, and questions for answers – If we knew the answers, our hearts would not hurt any less – Because Broken hearts are not healed by explanations but by God’s presence, grace and love.
The Bible doesn’t flinch from telling the stories of hardship and tragedy visited on God’s people.
•The overarching storyline of the Bible is not, “Once upon a time, they lived happily ever after.” Instead, the divine story of God’s people has plenty of moments where the narrative, in effect, says, “Then all hell broke loose.”
The glorious things about the chronicles of Scripture is that disappointments, grief, hurt, and pains are never the end of the story – not for those who believe God.
I Samuel 30:1-8 NIV – David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”“Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
The most difficult day of David’s life. The year 1012 B.C. He was 29 yrs old. Forced to leave the royal household and roam the hillsides of Judea with a mercenary band of 600 men because Saul was trying to kill him. David and his men were fighting the Phillistines while expanding and securing the borders of Israel.
The city of Ziklag was their temporary home in the southern border of Judea (1 year and 4 months)
•Ziklag was not Bethlehem, the place of his beginning, nor was it Jerusalem, the place of his destiny. It was somewhere in between. (We all spend time there – it’s not where we come from, it’s not where we are going. It’s somewhere in between our prophecy and destiny.
In one day – David lost it all – His possessions were stolen, his home burned down, and family kidnapped.
God Allows Difficult days in our Lives
John 16:33 AMP – I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]
Romans 8:28 NIV – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
Remember – God weaves everything together for our good – even though it may be good at the time. We have a limited view of God
I John 4:4 NIV – You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
It is in facing and triumphing over the great trials of life that you learn what it means to overcome the world and to live more than a conqueror.
I Corinthians 15:57 NIV – But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Victory is never the absence of trouble, hurt, pain, or grief. Victory is defined as success in a struggle against difficulties and overcoming an enemy.
I John 5:4 NIV – 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
Faith is the victory that overcomes – even on the most difficult day of your life.
I realize every situation is different and every individual is unique. But God has a pattern and principles that will assist you on the most difficult day of your life. Don’t abandon hope. All is not lost.
What To Do on the Most Difficult Day of Your Life
1. It’s Okay to Weep
I Samuel 30:4 NIV – 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.
The only outlet David and his valiant men (champions) could find for the fear, the anger, grief, and the pain that seized their soul was weeping. So much, that it Drained them of there power.
What do you do when trouble hits you so hard that it knocks the wind out of you and makes you feel that it must be the most difficult day of your life? Go ahead and cry.
We tend to believe that weeping shows that we are weak
When people have emotions, they don’t know how to handle so they deny them, they ignore them, and they push them down. In fact many people use God as an excuse for this, believing that God wants everybody to have a happy face all the time. But real life isn’t always happy. God doesn’t expect you to be smiling all the time.
Matthew 5:4 NIV -“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
In other words, it’s OK to grieve. Face your feelings. Don’t repress them by pushing them down You release your emotions to God. If you don’t talk it out, you’ll take it out on yourself or somebody else.
•Living by Faith is not living without Feelings.You may be extroverted or introverted, it doesn’t matter – God made you to feel things deeply. Joy, peace, excitement, anger, sadness – why? we are humans. To deny emotions is to deny our humanity.
•You can’t even worship God without involving your emotions – David would Sing, Shout, and Dance in his praise of God.
Weeping is Not Inconsistent with Faith – Some of the greatest giants of faith in the Bible wept:
•Abraham, the father of faith wept at the death of his wife Sarah
•When Jacob met his future bride Rachel, he was so overwhelmed that he wept
•When Joseph was reunited with his estranged brothers, he wept.
•Hezekiah wept when he received the bad report that he would die from his illness.
•Job wept in the midst of his trial, after losing his home, health, and family
•Peter wept over his failure and betrayal of Jesus.
•Paul wept in the middle of his trials
•Even Jesus wept at the death of his friend Lazarus.
– He cried as a baby, as a child, and as a man. A man of sorrows acquainted with grief. He shed the tears of God
Hebrews 5:7 ESV – In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
-“Loud cries and tears” is a description of the “agony” of Jesus.
Luke 22;41-44 ESV – He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Tears Cannot be Denied – It would be an added cruelty to deny yourself or others tears in times of tragedy or deep personal pain.
Psalm 34:17-18 (MSG) Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV – a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
In the course of my own life and ministry – I’ve had many days and nights of weeping
Examples – Hurtful Words and actions of people, in the hospital room with parents who just lost a child, family member, etc… overwhelming stress due to money, problems, and people.
Then there’s been times of tears still too personal to talk about.
Our tears lead to our liberation of the dominion of sorrow
Psalm 30:5 NIV – For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning
There is a night of weeping – but there is a dawn of faith. David did it and you will too.
God wants to comfort you When You Weep.
Psalm: 62:8 NIV – “Pour out your heart to God, for he is our refuge.”
Psalm. 34:18 NIV – “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
2. It’s Okay to Worship
I Samuel 30:7-8 NIV – 7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”“Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
Ephod – Official garment of the high priest for his duties of worship. David wore it to worship God at different times.
This is where we begin to focus on the securities of God, not our insecurities. Its expressing my affection to God and focusing my attention on God
Psalm 43:4-5 ESV – Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
•Salvation in this verse does not mean eternal salvation. It means deliverance, or the sense of helping someone out of their difficulty. This is what God does during times of depression and difficulty. He will deliver you. You have to hope in Him, and decide that God can help you.
•When you are feeling no joy, go to God, who will release to you His joy through worship. (Example: Tricia in hospital, Worship at Dave’s funeral)
•I have found that many times, when I can’t go on, worship lifts me up.
Psalm 42:11 NIV – Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
•And worship is more than just an emotional cleansing. Worship affects me deeply. God soothes me more in worship than in any other way. I can see God and His power, His joy, and His love. I visualize the hope that I have in Christ when I listen or sing praises to Him.
“Worship isn’t crawling though a small hole to some theological wonderland. It is falling back upon God and finding that He is everywhere and anywhere you can fall.”
Psalm 100:1-5 NIV Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
We take coffee breaks, rest breaks, and lunch breaks. Why not take a Praise Break! God’s answer for difficult days is Worship and PRAISE! It’s one antidepressant we all need.
Acts 16:25-26 NIV – About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
•Rather than sulking in despair, Paul and Silas got themselves moving in the direction of their faith through Praise and Worship. We can sing our way out of despair, we can smile our way of that funk, We can worship our way out of our heaviness!
Isaiah 61:3 NKJV – To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Father, we are here before you, just ordinary people who walk through ordinary days. There are some good moments and there are some hard moments. There are some moments that we think could never ever get any better. And there are moments that we think that we’ll never recover from. God, to know that no matter what that darkness might look like for us, to know that you are there, you are close, you are personal, you are intimate, you call us by name, that you are the God who can intervene in those dark places. And that you are the God who has lovingly hidden in our darkness treasure, riches that will make us spiritually healthy and wealthy enough to be able to fulfill the calling that you have on our lives. That’s the kind of God we trust. That’s the kind of God we love. That’s the God we worship. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.