MS Week #12: Choose Joy

Brad Libolt speaking on Psalm 119:73-80. He spoke about our roles as Christians. He focused on the importance of choosing joy in our suffering, knowing that God’s promises are true, and that He is good.

Psalm 119:73-80

On a football team each person has a different position and has a different role to play. Each person needs to do their part in order for the team to function well. If one person tried to play every position it wouldn’t work. As Christians, we too have different roles and different duties in order for everything to work well together. We are not meant to do everything by ourselves. The Christian life is meant to be done in community.

v. 73 “Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.”

God has created us, he has made us, and he knows us. He made each one of us individually and he loves us and cares for each of us. Because he created us, we trust in him as God and King, and we know that his commandments are good. Because of this we want to know him and understand him. But we can’t do that on our own; we need the mind of Christ.

v. 74 “Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word.”

Our hope in God should be so evident in the way we walk and talk that when other Christians look at us they rejoice, knowing that we are pursuing God. We should also rejoice when we see others who are on fire for the Lord. There isn’t much that is more encouraging than seeing other brothers and sisters in Christ with an incredible hope in God. Our hope in God should give others reason to rejoice.

v. 75 “I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.”

We know that God is righteous, and that his rules are good but we can’t follow them on our own. Like we talked about last week, God is good even in our affliction. Here we get an even clearer picture of affliction, because the psalmist right out says that God afflicted him. But God afflicted him because of his righteous rules and because he is faithful. God is faithful to make us more like Christ, and sometimes we must go through affliction to grow more like Jesus. Knowing that this is why we go through pain and suffering allows us to go through affliction with joy and hope. God afflicts us to make us more like Christ.

v. 76 “Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.”

There isn’t much more comforting than feeling loved. When I have gone through hard times, the most comforting thing is knowing that I am loved. Knowing we are loved by people makes us feel comforted, but God’s love for us is so much greater than the love we feel from others. God showed us his love in his promised son and savior Jesus on the cross. When you are in need of comfort, remember the steadfast love God has showed by sending his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you.

v. 77 “Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.”

God has allowed his mercy to come to us, again through his son Jesus Christ. God doesn’t have to show us mercy; we deserve wrath and judgment because of our sin. He has to choose to show us mercy, and he does that out of his own sovereign will, not because of anything we’ve done. When we realize this, that God has showed us mercy we don’t deserve, we will delight in his law and in who he is.

78 “Let the insolent be put to shame, because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.”

People who don’t believe in God will be put to shame someday. When they meet God face to face they will be judged, but that isn’t for us to decide. When we see people who wrong us, we should pray for them and hope that they come to know Jesus. Our desire for the salvation of others should be greater than our desire for their judgment.

v. 79 “Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your testimonies.”

Just like other believers rejoice in our hope in God, we should also hope they come to us to know God more. People should come to us to ask how they can know God better, and we should go to them. As brothers and sisters in Christ we should be talking with one another about our relationships with God. We should be a source of encouragement and joy to fellow Christians.

v. 80 “May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!”

We know this, and we talk about it every week, but our heart cannot be blameless on our own. We need the righteousness of Jesus to make our heart blameless. Those who don’t have the righteousness of Jesus will be put to shame on judgment day, but those who are blameless because of Christ will spend eternity with God. Jesus Christ is our only hope, and he is the only way we won’t experience shame on judgement day.

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