Why God is Enough, Part 2November 25, 2011
God is more satisfying than everything we could ever possibly gain. Things won't satisfy your soul. The only one who can is God. Bobby Scott shares part 2 of a message from Psalm 63.
God is more satisfying than everything we could ever possibly gain. Things won't satisfy your soul. The only one who can is God. Bobby Scott shares part 2 of a message from Psalm 63.
Why God is Enough, Part 2
Bob: The Bible teaches us that God is sovereign in all that happens to us; but it teaches us something more. God is not only sovereign, He is also with us. Here is Pastor Bobby Scott.
Bobby: What God wants us to do when you can’t sleep because there is a trial—because you don’t know how the story is going to end, because we can’t write our own story—what God wants to focus our mind on is, “He writes our stories. He brings about the end, and He knows what we need. God—He is gracious. He is concerned for you. He loves you. He will be with you. He will satisfy you.” Will you believe that?
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, November 25th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife® Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. Knowing that God is present and that He has a purpose when we go through adversity is a source of great comfort. We’ll hear more about that today. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Friday edition. I don’t know how many of our listeners, who are tuned in, are in a mall parking lot, waiting for a space to open up today, or have tuned in, waiting for the game to kick off.
Dennis: Why do they call this—isn’t it called like—
Bob: It’s Black Friday.
Dennis: Black Friday? Why do they call it that?
Bob: Because a lot of businesses are either in the black or in the red, depending on what goes on today.
Dennis: You know black seems to me to be about mourning. (Laughter)
Bob: Well, actually, it is interesting because we’ve been listening this week to a message that is about mourning, and about suffering, and about how we find God in the midst of that. We’ve already heard Part One of a message from Pastor Bobby Scott, a message from Psalm 63—the point that he makes—in fact, he really makes two points in this message.
The first point is that God is better than anything that you could lose in a time of suffering. The psalms bear that out. When you read David, in the midst of what he was going through—
Bob: —he always came back to the fact that his satisfaction in the midst of trial was to know that God was there and cared about him.
Dennis: Then, the second thing Bobby talks about is that God is more satisfying than everything we could ever possibly gain. If you look at all of life, doesn’t it break down into those two issues—loss and gain? In the midst of that, finding God and not getting distracted by either—that’s really a challenge.
Bobby Scott has been pastoring at Los Angeles Community Bible Church since 1994. He is a lecturer at Biola University’s BOLD program. He’s an author of a blog called “Truth in the City”.
Bob: Some of our listeners have been introduced to him as they have been to an Art of Marriage® event because—
Dennis: That’s right.
Bob: —Bobby is one of the guys who participated in putting that project together and made a great contribution to it.
Dennis: Bobby has a passion about family, whether it’s in urban America or all across the nation. He is just a good man who believes in the Scriptures and is going to do a great job again today of unpacking Psalm 63.
Bob: This is the second half of his message on Psalm 63. Here is Bobby Scott.
Bobby: [recorded message] There’s a second confession in the psalm that I want us to see, and to look at, and to affirm. In verses five through seven, the psalmist says, “My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.” Not only is God better than everything we will lose, but God is also more satisfying than everything that we will possibly gain.
Here David—has this—I love this picture. He’s saying, “That my soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness.” He’s just thinking of the richest food that he could eat that could satisfy him physically; and he saying, “God, You satisfy my soul better than that.”
Here, God allows us to go through trials sometimes just to re-teach us—like, “I believe, but I got cracks; so my faith leaks out.” God has to keep filling us back up and keep allowing us to affirm what is true about Him. God wants to reaffirm to you, and He wants to reaffirm to me that He is more satisfying than anything that we could possibly lose—He is. Because of His loving kindness and because of who He is, He wants to keep refilling us. So, He wants to keep reminding us as to what can satisfy our souls.
Can I tell you what won’t satisfy our soul? A spouse can’t satisfy a soul. So, when people are single, in their 30s—it’s getting hard—35, and 40, “Okay, my knight in shining armor is coming. He just lost his GPS. Soon as he finds it, he’ll be here.” (Laughter) “That’ll satisfy my soul.” That won’t satisfy your soul. “I am going to have kids, and that’ll satisfy my soul.” Kids won’t satisfy your soul.
“I’m going to work hard in school, straight A’s, graduate at the top of my class, get the best job, make a lot of money.” It won’t satisfy your soul. Ask Solomon. It was all vanity to him—it was. You know why it won’t satisfy your soul? There is no such thing as a perfect spouse. There’s no such thing as a perfectly sacrificial husband, or perfectly submissive wife, or perfectly obedient kids. There’s nothing perfect in this universe—save One, and that’s God.
To satisfy our souls, He gives us Himself. He’s better than all the gifts. He’s better than a spouse. He is better than children. He’s better than anything you possibly can gain in life. He, Himself, can satisfy us. He has not withheld Himself from us so that we can have Him. He gave us His only begotten Son so that we could have Him; and in having Him, we have something alone that would satisfy our souls.
So, here in the midst of his trial, his dark, dark trial, the psalmist says, “My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness. My mouth offers praises with joyful lips.”
In the New Testament, you have the Apostle Paul in the book of Philippians. He is in jail. The Philippians are going through, likewise, persecution. Paul tells them the same here. He is praising God. Why? Because God is just—He’s just better than—He’s just more satisfying.
Circumstances don’t give satisfaction. Our contentment doesn’t come from getting what we want. It’s recognizing what we have in God. He is our un-bounding, un-measuring treasure. He is.
It says in the next verse, verse six, “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.” That having the greatest treasure in the world will do you no good if it’s stored away in a safe and you forget the combination. Here David remembers what his greatest treasure is. When he is on bed at night and his mind wants to go in a thousand different directions in the midst of his trial, what God, by His grace, allows David’s mind to focus on is His answer to his problem—and it is God.
In our economic crisis, it’s not economists, it’s not a balanced budget, it’s not having the right politician in office; what satisfies in the midst of an economic crisis is God. We just have to remember that. When you are going through a trial—here in the night watches, David is on his bed. He’s tossing, and he’s turning. His mind is going, and your mind will go. When I would drive home—when my “star” was in the hospital, I would just cry. I would just cry, and I would get in my bed, and my mind wouldn’t stop reeling.
What God wants us to do when you can’t sleep because there is a trial—because you don’t know how the story is going to end, because we can’t write our own stories—what God wants to focus our mind on is, “He writes our stories. He brings about the end, and He knows what we need. God—He is gracious. He is concerned for you. He loves you. He will withhold no good thing from those who love Him, and He will be with you. He will satisfy you. Do you believe that?
Yes. We have to keep reaffirming that. God has to keep helping us to affirm that—that He really will satisfy us. So, in your night watches, when you can’t sleep—I don’t know, maybe you’re sitting here and nobody knows that your marriage is really going through it right now; maybe this economic crisis has hit you really, really hard and you don’t know how these bills are going to get paid; maybe there is someone in your family who is really sick; maybe you got a call, and you just don’t know how this all is going to turn out.
You’re in your bed, flipping back and forth. You know what the prescription for anxiety is? The prescription for anxiety is to know that God cares for you.
When my wife and I got married, I told her, “I just want to serve in the hard part of the city.” The church that the Lord called me to is just a major city block north of the L.A. Riots. It was a small congregation. I told my wife, “I may never”—this is how unromantic my proposal was—I told her, “I may never be able to buy you a house. I may never buy you a new car. I’m not even seeking after those things. Will you marry me?” (Laughter) I knew she loved me because she said, “Yes.”
Then, as we were getting married and we were trying to get some things for this apartment we were about to move in, we needed a bedroom set and other furniture. I had budgeted $700 to buy a bedroom set. So, I go to some of the stores, and I look. I mean, that cheap, fake wood stuff was $1,400. I’m like, “Okay, what am I going to do now?” You know? So, I’m looking through ads and all kinds of places—coupons, and specials, and sales. Nothing was even close to my measly little $700 budget.
So, I’m going to a recycler. There’s a guy who had a mansion in Hollywood Hills, and said he was selling some bedroom furniture. I must have been—I don’t know what I was thinking. I thought, “Hey, I’ll just go out and see if he’ll sell it to me for $700.”
So, I go out there; and I look. It’s this antique, beautiful French Pavilion bedroom set. I mean the armoires’ this tall, and the night stands are that big—really ornate in design—weighs like a thousand pounds because it is real wood—a huge mirror. It just had all the stuff. He said, “How much can you give me for it?” I’m like, “$700.” (Laughter) He didn’t laugh, like you just did. He said, “You can have it.” You know why? Because there is a God in heaven who loves us.
He always loves you, even when you forget; but He wants us to remember that. He wants you to remember all the times He was there and He rescued you, He delivered you when there was no hope—you’re back is against the Red Sea, the Philistines on that side. You don’t know what to do, you don’t know where to turn, you can’t save yourself and you cry out to God; and He just comes through—He just comes through. He wants us to remember Him.
There is no temptation that’s overtaken us for what’s common to man, but what does it say? God is faithful; right? He’s trustworthy, reliable, dependable, and because of that, He will satisfy your soul.
The psalmist says, “For You have been my help. In the shadow of Your wings, I sing for joy that God is our hope.” I just love that. Whenever you are going through something—our problems seem so big—right?—just huge. Is there such a thing as a big problem for God? God is our help.
Here, the psalmist has a picture of being underneath a wing of like an eagle—that, “I’m safe here. There’s comfort here. There’s security here. I’m safe.” So, in the midst of my trial, covered up by an eagle’s wing, “I’m covered up by God.” So, I’m satisfied, even in the midst of the storm. He doesn’t have to get me out of the storm; I can rejoice in the middle of it. I can have joy.
Not because everything around me is going crazy; I can have joy because I know God will help me. He will be there. He won’t forsake me. He won’t leave me. “Yet, my husband left me. My dad died,” but God will never leave you or forsake you. He will just be there. He is God, and He will be our help. He will be your help. That’s good news, saints. That’s really good news that God will be our help. This won’t last.
Kind of a summary confession I want to draw from the psalm here. It begins in verse eight, “My soul clings to You. Your right hand upholds me.” Here, the psalmist, he said, “My soul thirsts for You.” He said, “My soul is satisfied with You.” Now, he says, “My soul clings to you.” This is a picture of like when God glues a husband and wife together. He says, “God, my soul is glued to You.” He says, “Your right hand upholds me.”
Here is the third confession I want to draw from—that is—God is powerful enough to help you endure every trial. God is powerful enough to help you endure every trial. Here, the psalmist is stuck to God; and he says, “I’m stuck to you, Your strong hand—Your right hand upholds me.” That says something to me.
Growing up, I used to like to play basketball. So, if you put a basketball in my hand, with my right hand, I might do something; but you put a basketball in Michael Jordan’s right hand and you might see something amazing; right?
When you put your life in God’s hand, is there a better place to be? Even when the storms are raging—that we can rejoice in God. Because of our salvation, we are stuck to Christ; so that, nothing can separate us from the love of God. We’re in His strong hand. Nothing can pluck us out of His hand.
So, here the psalmist goes through and tells what his challenge is. He is in God’s strong right hand. He said, “There are those who seek my life to destroy it; they will go into the depths of the earth.” Can I just say what that means? All of our enemies—all of our enemies will lose. There’s no weapon formed against us that will prosper. God will—God will always rescue us.
It’s not a fairy tale—“Once upon a time in a land far, far away, and it ended happily ever after.” That’s true of us because we have the real Savior—not Captain America. We have a real hero, and it’s Jesus Christ. He will rescue us from every harm and every danger. He will see us through every storm and brings us to Jordan’s side. He will help us. He will help us get through it all. He’ll deliver us.
But our enemies, verse 10, “They will be delivered over to the power of the sword. They will be prey.” They will die shameful lives, out on display open for foxes to destroy them, but the king will rejoice in God.
The king will rejoice in God. Not only David, but everyone else who swears by Him will glory. This is true of every single believer. These promises are ours. We make these confessions. They are true. God will bless us through any storm or trial that we go through so that, at the end of it, we will be able to rejoice.
Can I ask you a question? “Why did you come here today?” Did you come because, “That’s what I do”, “Just out of habit”, “What else would I do? It’s Sunday morning?” Sometimes, we can just have a perfunctory kind of relationship with God and just go through things. We do it because, “We do it.”
Did you come just because your mom and dad drug you to church? I’m speaking to the young ones, right now. Do you do that?
Or do we come here because, “I have a thirst that only God can quench,” “I have a hunger that only God can satisfy”? God wants you to know that He loves you, and He wants to fill you with joy, even in the midst of our storms. We have to come with eager hearts, full of faith, knowing that He will bless us. These promises—that He says, “He will never leave us or forsake us,” are true, and they are all real.
Let me just close with this. What we practice, we learn; what we learn, we become; and what we become has consequences. Here David—this is what he did. I mean, maybe not every day, all days, but this is what he did. This is what he practiced. This is what he learned. So, David is called “a man after God’s own heart.”
With his sins, with his struggles, with his weaknesses, he became a man after God’s own heart because this is what God, by His grace, led David to do—just to affirm these confessions that God is—“He’s better than everything in life; He is more satisfying; and that He will see us through every storm that is storming.”
We, by faith, embrace, “That God will help us through everything.” So, at the end, it’s not us, not—people saying, “How did you endure that? You’re just so amazing. You’re so strong when your husband did that, when your kids respond that way, when your house burned down.” Then, people will see us—they will see broken vessels.
They’ll see people who cry, people who are hurt; but when we affirm these things, what they’ll see through our cracks, they’ll see the glory of God radiating through. They’ll say, “They’re clinging to something I don’t have. There’s a love that they have that I don’t know. There’s something that they’re experiencing that’s satisfying them that I can’t even understand.”
God will put us through trials just to put Himself on display—that He’s enough. He is more than enough. If you know that, and you’ve tasted and seen that God is good, then, we’re blessed. God bless you. Let’s pray together.
Father, I thank You for Your Word. I thank you for—that everything in Psalm 63 is true—that we’re not clinging to a fairytale or make-believe; but, “God, You do love us.” We can experience it sometimes clearest through our darkness nights and our most difficult trials.
So, I pray if there is someone here, and it’s just hard—I pray, God, that You would help them. If there is someone here who has a loved one or friend and they are going through something hard—help them Lord. Encourage them with the truths of Psalm 63.
I pray for all of us, God, that You would help us rejoice that You saved us, You delivered us, You rescued us, and You always will through every storm, through every trial. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
Bob: [end of recorded message] Well, we’ve been listening again to Pastor Bobby Scott today, speaking from Psalm 63. This can be a difficult season of the year for a lot of folks who find themselves in hard settings. It may be that you don’t have as much money this year as you had last year. It may be that a loved one is gone. There can be all kinds of situations that families find themselves in; and we have to remember that God is faithful in the storms, just as He is faithful when the sun is shining.
Dennis: As Bobby was talking, Bob, I was reflecting back on Proverbs, Chapter 30, second half of verse eight and nine. It says, “Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is needful for me,/Lest I be full and deny You and say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Or lest I be poor and steal,/And profane the name of my God.”
If you look at that passage, it’s really talking about what Bobby said in the two parts of his sermon. In life, there is loss and gain. The author of Proverbs was talking about, “Don’t let me lose so much or be so poor that I end up stealing and bring dishonor to God’s name; nor let me be so wealthy and so full, that I deny God and live like an atheist.”
Think of America, in these days, boy, there is both today. We are a nation of plenty. We are also a nation of those who are suffering with poverty—they’ve lost jobs, health, other issues in their family, as you’ve mentioned, Bob. I think the message that Bobby gives us today is, “Where is God in your life in the midst of this? Is He preeminent? Are you yielding and surrendering to Him? Are you giving Him the glory? Are you determined to follow Him regardless? Or are you going to deny God or dishonor God?”
Bob: Bobby talked about our need to have our relationship with God re-established or reconnected through the ministry of Jesus Christ through what Christ did. Mankind rebelled against God in the beginning in the Garden. All of us have had that as our legacy that has been left to us. God sent Christ in order to redeem us and reconcile us to Himself. The way we have a relationship with God is by trusting in the work that His Son did.
In fact, all of that is spelled out in a book that we would love to send to you—a book called Pursuing God. If you’re not a Christian, you’ve never understood what the Bible is all about, what the Gospel is all about, call us and get a copy of this book; or go online at FamilyLifeToday.com. That’s our website, FamilyLifeToday.com. You can also call 1-800-FL-TODAY to request a copy of the book, Pursuing God. We’d love to send it out to you. We think you’ll find this book to be very helpful.
Of course, you can also get in touch with us if you’re interested in a copy of Bobby’s message. It’s available on an audio CD or as an audio download. In fact, let me just mention. All of our programs are available for free audio download when you go to FamilyLifeToday.com; or you can sign up to receive FamilyLife Today as a podcast. Again, the details are available on FamilyLifeToday.com.
Now, one other quick note—we have a FamilyLife e-magazine that we send out to tens of thousands of people each month. It’s called The Family Room. In the upcoming issue of The Family Room, there are going to be some articles—one by Dennis and Barbara—on how to keep your marriage fresh and some thoughts on how you can make Christ the center of your Christmas celebration.
If you’re not receiving The Family Room, it’s available at no cost, no obligation. All you have to do is go to FamilyLifeToday.com and request it. When you get there, click the link that says, “The Family Room” and get yourself signed up. We’d love to start sending The Family Room to you each month.
We hope you have a great weekend. Hope that you and your family are able to worship together this weekend. I hope you can be back with us on Monday. Barbara Rainey is going to be here. We’re going to talk about some strategies for making this Christmas season a more intentional, more purposeful, more spiritually-focused holiday season. We’ll talk about that Monday. Hope you can be here.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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