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When We Are Afflicted    Psa. 102:1-14, 24-28    Nov. 01, 2009

                                                                                                                                                                      

Introduction

Some of God’s Children face more affliction than others. The story of Job confirms the truth of that

statement. Job serves as an example as does Daniel in the Lions Den. A few years ago I went into a hospital room of a man who lost both of his legs and I asked him, “how are you feeling.” He said, “I can’t kick.”

Those words put a smile on both of our faces. Do you and I serve as examples When We Are Afflicted?

 

1.   When We Are Afflicted Remember To . . Call On The Lord. 102:1- 2

       A.   Call Upon The Lord . . Pleading Our Case. 102:1-2

       1 Lord, hear my prayer; let my cry for help come before You. 2 Do not hide Your face from me in my day

       of trouble. Listen closely to me; answer me quickly when I call.

 

       B.   Call Upon The Lord . . Presenting Our Needs. 102:3-11

              3 For my days vanish like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace. 4 My heart is afflicted, withered

              like grass; I even forget to eat my food. 5 Because of the sound of my groaning, my flesh sticks to my

              bones. 6 I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins. 7 I stay awake; I am like a solitary bird

              on a roof. 8 My enemies taunt me all day long; they ridicule and curse me. 9 I eat ashes like bread and

               mingle my drinks with tears 10 because of Your indignation and wrath; for You have picked me up

              and thrown me aside. 11 My days are like a lengthening shadow, and I wither away like grass.


       Note the request the Psalmist presented as he pleas his case. He says to the Lord, hear my prayer, let my cry come to you, do not hide Your face, listen closely, and answer quickly when I call. Does that seem to demand? Then look carefully as he describes his personal problems. Note the mentioning of these afflictions as his, bones burn, his heart is afflicted, he withered like grass, and his flesh sticks to his bones. These conditions make him think he is vanishing. In prayer he pleads his case to the Lord; descriptively pleading the case. Do we talk plainly but respectfully to the Lord as we bring our affiliations to Him?


 

2.   When We Are Afflicted Remember The . . Compassion Of The Lord. 102:12-14

       A.   The Compassion Of The Lord . . Endures To All Generations. 102:12

              12 But You, Lord, are enthroned forever; Your fame endures to all generations.

 

       B.   The Compassion Of The Lord . . Embracing Us At The Appointed Time. 102:13-14

              13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her— the appointed

              time has come. 14 For Your servants take delight in its stones and favor its dust.


       Historical events reveal many times where the Lord demonstrated His compassion at a specific time.

Throughout all generations as God’s people endured their trials and tribulations the Lord provided in a consistent manner expressing His compassion. The people of Israel believed God would embrace The City of Jerusalem and through His compassionate promises in His specific time and manner deliver His plans just as He purposed to do. Today I read the story of a lady named Paula Deen, the famous cook, restaurant owner, cookbook author and television personality, as a single mom she used her love of cooking to create income. She began by making bagged lunches and selling them to local businesses. God embraced her.


 

3.   When We Are Afflicted Remember The . . Consistency Of The Lord. 102:24-28

       A.   The Consistency Related To His . . Establishment Of Heaven And Earth. 102:24-25

24 I say: "My God, do not take me in the middle of my life! Your years continue through all

              generations. 25 Long ago You established the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.

              26 They will perish, but You will endure; all of them will wear out like clothing. You will change them

              like a garment, and they will pass away.

 

       B.   The Consistency Related To His . . Eternal Endurance. 102:24-25

27 But You are the same, and Your years will never end. 28 Your servants' children will dwell

              securely, and their offspring will be established before You." (HCSB.)


       Have you ever thought the Lord would take your life sooner than what is considered a full life? The Psalmist asked for the Lord who consistently controlled Heaven and Earth to control his life. Back in 1983 I had to have by-pass surgery. I felt my life was being taken earlier than what I expected. Interestingly several pastor friends who were my age came by to express their concern and to give me some advice. They have gone on to be with the Lord and I am still pastoring. Back in that hospital experience and in a more meaningful way as the child of God I asked Him to control my life. I focused on His Word and believed I was in His hands. I thought then, and do now, that the Lord will never change. We need to focus on His Word and believe He consistently works it out even in times When We Are Afflicted. Amen? Amen!