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Revival in the Midst of Trouble

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Psalm 138:7 "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me." There can be no true revival without trouble, without persecution or resistance against the church. It is persecution and trials that bring the body of Christ together in unity to seek God, as when Peter was in prison and they fasted and prayed for his release. The fact is, there can be no victorious Christian life that amounts to anything without our facing and going through tribulation. Some of us have a few problems and troubles in life and what it to all just go away, but it's not time yet. Because of false teaching, many have the mistaken concept that if you come to Jesus, if you believe in Him, all will be fine and your troubles with disappear. As if God will just solve all your problems like magic and take care of everything that would cause you problems and come against you so that you are carefree. Spiritual reality is that when you come to Jesus, you enter into spiritual warfare and your problems do not just go away, but God gives you the strength to endure, overcome and stand in the midst of these things and be victorious. We forget verses like, Psalm 34:19: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”  Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” John 16:33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” God offers us help and hope and deliverance from troubles, not freedom from facing troubles. It is there in the trials of life that we deepen our faith and learn to trust Him and know His faithfulness. As one chorus goes: “If I never had a problem, I’d never know that He could solve them and I’d never know what faith in God can do. Through it all, through it all; I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust the Lord. Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.” That is what it is all about. That is why God allows us to be tested and tried, to build our faith and character, which do not come without a price because of our very nature.

America is full of problems. The clouds of war are arising from the East, with all the questions and problems of terrorism at home. There is much infighting and disagreement within because of differences and clashes of cultures, race, political persuasions, religion between those who hold to the Christian faith and those who want to destroy it, those who believe in morals that those who say there are no absolute morals, the approaches to everything in society between the liberals and conservatives, the stock market going up and down like a yo-yo, 70% of our marriages ending in divorce, our schools in shambles and falling apart with crime and the country itself without any real unity or direction. If trouble is a stepping-stone to revival then in getting there it matters how we handle trouble.

Seven things out of Psalm 138

1. V.1-2a “I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple," What David is saying is; When trouble comes, don't pout, shout.He is talking about trouble and sometimes all you can do is shout and sing and praise God until you get victory and overcome the problems you are facing. You won't get rid of them any other way, that thorn just isn't' going anywhere and the only way you can get through your problem is to praise you way out - by praising the God who inhabits our praise (Pslam 22:3). The devil doesn't know what to do with those who praise God in the middle of their problems. Paul and Silas were locked up and prison and had been beaten within an inch of their lives and instead of having a whining pity-party, feel sorry for me session, they had a praise God hallelujah session. It wasn't, Lord why did you allow this to happen to us, what did we do to deserve this, I though you sent us, so what happened to your blessing and your anointing. They didn’t question God. They knew that the tribulation and persecution they were going through was proof that they were in the will of God and the enemy wasn’t happy about it because they were pulling people from the grasps of hell. They were worshipping and praising God for who He was, for what He had already done, for what they believed He was going to do, for His great salvation and mercy and power to deliver and thereby proved their faith and trust in Him. When they offered a ‘sacrifice of praise’ in spite of their circumstances, God came down and when God comes down into your situation, when He comes to you, whatever your situation, it will change for in God’s presence nothing can remain the same. In His presence, every devil flees, every chain falls off, every bondage is broken, every need is met and every prayer is answered. In fact, in their case, they didn’t eve pray for deliverance. They had the attitude and faith that said, “God, if the devil has done this. Then what are you going to do.” They knew that God would have the last word and the last say in the situation, that His will and purpose would be accomplished through them. They knew and believed that until their mission was finished, the devil couldn’t take their life because God is in control of all things and He is the devils master. So they began to praise God and sing the songs of deliverance and it wasn't long until God came down to inhabit their praises and they were set free. A had a song in the night, a song of deliverance. We can praise and shout instead of pout. We need to learn to praise Him in all situations because He is God and He is greater than our problems and situations and all things are subject to change. When God comes into our situation, it will and must change!

2. V.2b "Praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." His name is above every other name, His name tells you His nature and character, that He is Holy, that he is the everlasting, omnipotent, God of all creation and power and might. But He has exalted His Word above all that is His name. He has told us “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89) and that “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:25). You stand on the Word instead of worry. Most people put their trust in their problems rather than in His provision. They put their trust in their worries and facts rather than in His promises. Their inner fears and anxieties are greater than their faith in Him and His faithfulness to keep His Word. They don’t know or don’t believe Isaiah 55:11; “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Yes, He is Jehovah­Jireh, our provider. He is Jehovah-shamma, He is ever present with us. He is Jehovah-rohe, our shepherd and Jehovah-rophe, our healer. He is Jehovah-Nissi, our banner. He is Jehovah-shalom, our peace. But there are times in your life when He doesn't seem to be Jireh, because His provision isn't physically manifested to you. There are times when you don't sense His presence. Many live by their feelings, but He is real whether you feel Him or not and God wants us to learn to believe and trust Him when we don’t feel anything or sense His presence. That is the true test of faith, that we just believe His Word. When they are a bit down, discouraged or depressed, some think they have lost their salvation and it is nothing more than they don't feel good at the time. We must understand that God hasn’t left us and His salvation hasn’t been taken from us because we don’t feel Him or see Him in our current situation or the present moment of our lives.

What does it mean that He has magnified His Word above all His name? It means that in those seasons of life when it doesn't seem like He is here, I can stand on His Word whether or not I feel anything. God said it and His integrity is at stake. You stand on His Word and you confess, Lord, I don't see it, I don't know where it's coming from, but you said it and I believe it no matter what I see or feel. You said it, it's your Word and you are true and I stand on your Word no matter what I see or feel or feel like. I know you're my savior because I believe your Word and your promises not because I feel a certain way today. We must believe that God honors His Word. He has told us to remind Him of His Word. Jeremiah 1:12 “… for I will hasten my word to perform it.” God and His Word are one! It is as eternal as He is! It is as sure as He is! When it seems that His Word has not worked in our lives or we have not seen the manifestation of it as we expect, it isn’t because God has failed to keep His Word! It could be that it is not yet His time to do what we are asking or praying for. In the spirit, timing is important. As Christ came, “in the fullness of time” so God moves and does things, in His time which is the right and perfect time, not ours. So it could be that God is saying, just “wait and be patience.” It could be that God is saying, “no, that is not my will or purpose for you.” You have to believe Romans 8:18And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” and know that God’s word is a whole and not one verse taken out as we would like to apply or use it an any particular moment in time. Also, at times God doesn’t answer a prayer because there is unconfessed sin in our lives. There is something that we are not seeing or not understanding when it appears that God hasn’t done something we expect or want of Him. But God never fails to keep His Word. It is impossible for He is immutable. Hebrews 6:18-19That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;” that is into His very presence in the Holy of Holies!

3. V.3 "In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul." Prayer is Your Greatest Power. Yet we seem afraid to pray, or at least we are hesitant to pray, even when we are in great need and going through trials. It seems when we need to pray the most, we are the most likely to run away from praying and seeking God, finding every reason and excuse not to, filling our time with unimportant things to justify to ourselves why we will not pray. Jeremiah 33:3Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” The reality is that we are just not desperate enough. Our prayers are dry and dry eyed and without emotion or passion. We haven’t gooten serious about our situation and need and ready to do serious business with God. It is when you are desperate and serious and ready to do business with God that you will get God's attention – to hear your cry. It is when your heart is crying out to him, as a child in need crying for their parent for help, deliverance from something that causes them fear, help to rescue them out of a situation they can’t face alone. If we get serious and begin to cry out to God in earnest, with fervency, because we mean it, then we will get some answers to our prayers.

4. V.4 "All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth." We need toSee His Mission Above Our Mess.We are in a devil-infested world. How do you get through this daily grind - you lift your eyes up to something bigger than you are. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” That’s how Jesus endured and overcame, looking beyond Himself to the Father and His heavenly reward and exaltation to follow His resurrection because of His obedience to the will of the Father. Philippians 2:8 he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” The key is obedience and looking to Him in trust.

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee…” He is talking about the earth seeing the glory of God. Why were we created? What are we here for? Not to be somebody promoting soft psychology, humanism, human wisdom, human methods and culture. Ministers are called and placed in the church to reprove, rebuke, correct, exhort, instruct in righteousness with all longsuffering and doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16, 4:2). If you feel bad today, I'm sorry. But if you’re saved, at least you aren't going to hell. There are 3 billion people at least who haven't heard the gospel the first time that without Jesus are doomed to an eternal hell. The average poor person in America is still rich compared to most of the world. If you don't magnify your mission above your mess, then every little thing that is really nothing, will keep you from the mission at hand, which is to spread the gospel and tell others of the love of Jesus and how He died on Calvary that they might be forgiven for all sin and have eternal life. If you let it, every care of this life will stop you and hinder you and sidetrack you and keep you from being a witness for Jesus.

          5. V.6 "Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off." If you are in trouble, You probably got into trouble to begin with because you’re proud. It really takes something to get most of us Americans to bow our knee before God. This generation has been raise with pride and arrogance toward God, raise with the notions that we are but products of accident, through evolution, no better than an animal, just more evolved and smarter. We have been raised to believe that we are the center of our universe and that morality is what we say it is and make it to be for us. We believe that we are the only gods there is. So much humanism and self realization and new age teaching have infiltrated the church and filled it with foolishness that it is hard for God to speak to us. Even church going, professing to be born-again Christians say they don’t believe key cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith. We don’t want to believe there is a literal devil and a literal hell or that there are absolutes and a God who will judge all things. Sometimes the difficulties and troubles come to tell us that God is afar off and we need to draw night to Him. Trouble comes to cause us to stop looking within ourselves and to look outward to God, to look up to one who is greater than we are. To remind us that we still need Him and that we are nothing without Him.

6. V.7 "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me." Realize The Battle Is Not Yours but the Lord's. Why? Because He said so! A song says; “Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.” You may win an argument but you will loose a war in the spiritual realm. You can't win spiritual battles with your fist and with your mouth; you can only make things worse for yourself. Many times God can’t help us because we won’t take our hands off the situation and let Him. We insist on having things our way instead of trusting Him. He said, if we will allow our troubles to bring us to Him that He will first revive us and then he will take up the battle for us. He will fight what we cannot fight; He will do what we cannot do. How many have ever won an argument then felt bad? If it was with an unbeliever, then ask yourself the question, “will that person go to heaven because I won the argument?” Even if your are right, but in winning the argument you offend the soul and cause them to harden themselves against God because after all, you are the “Christian.” Many times people don’t come to Christ because of offenses. God will hold us accountable for those offenses, especially if they keep someone from the kingdom of heaven.

7 V.8 "The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands." The Lord Will Perfect That Which Concerns Me.There is a night of trouble and though I walk through a night of trouble that doesn't change Romans 8:28! The promise is still true for all to whom the verse applies, no everyone who wants to quote it or claim it, but to those God says it applies to within the context of the verse. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Nothing hell can do, nothing members in the church can do, false preachers or false brethren or unbelievers can do, nothing can stop the plan of God for your life if this verse applies to you. If you truly love God and God defines one who loves Him as one who obeys Him (John 14:15), and Hebrews 5:9 says that the He is the author of eternal salvation, not to all, but to those who obey Him; then you are called according to His purposes and He will fulfill His purpose for you. Sampson sinned and by it paid a great price, but it did not stop God from using Sampson to accomplish all his purpose for him in the end, it just cost Sampson the chastisement for His sin, His freedom and eyesight. But the call, purpose and will of God for Sampson, given before He was born, was still accomplished through Him. God is bigger than you and bigger than your mistakes. He is even able to turn around the effect of your sin and use you. He is able to turn your mistakes into miracles to fulfill His purpose for you. We have to understand and believe in the PROVIDENCE of God for those that belong to Him. There is no accident or luck to a child of God. He is in control, ultimately because He is a God of circumstances, our circumstances. One of these days, these little problems that bother us will be as nothing because we are part of something much bigger. We are attached to something more important and all hell can't stop it.

If you have trouble you are a candidate for revival. Thought I walk through trouble thou will revive me. I claim that promise, revival in the storm, revival in the hurt, revival in the trouble, revival in the sickness, in whatever my need or situation if we cry out in faith, God has promised to revive us. Believe it and call upon Him today! He is faithful that called us to Himself. He is faithful to perfect that which concerns us. He is faithful and able to keep that which we have committed unto Him against that day.

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