The path of Christian faith is marked with periods of stress, difficulty, pain, and disappointment. In Part One of this two-part message, Alistair Begg begins to examine some basic truths regarding God's providence. The believer is not a victim of fate or chance, but can be confident that the Lord is aware of the details of everyday life and is working all things out according to His divine plan.
1In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
2Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
3For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me;
4you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
6I hate1 those who pay regard to worthless idols,
but I trust in the Lord.
7I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have known the distress of my soul,
8and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.
9Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye is wasted from grief;
my soul and my body also.
10For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my iniquity,
and my bones waste away.
11Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach,
especially to my neighbors,
and an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
12I have been forgotten like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
13For I hear the whispering of many—
terror on every side!—
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.
14But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
16Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love!
17O Lord, let me not be put to shame,
for I call upon you;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go silently to Sheol.
18Let the lying lips be mute,
which speak insolently against the righteous
in pride and contempt.
19Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!
20In the cover of your presence you hide them
from the plots of men;
you store them in your shelter
from the strife of tongues.
21Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
22I had said in my alarm,2
“I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help.
23Love the Lord, all you his saints!
The Lord preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
24Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!
A great disservice has been done to the cause of Christ by those who have tended to suggest that Christianity is all brightness and laughter. Such a perspective is neither true to the biblical record, nor to the human experience. The joy of which the Bible speaks is not found in isolation from the rigors of life. James encourages us to "count it all joy" when we face trials of various kinds. The studies contained in this album make it very clear that Christians grieve, too. They, also, seek to provide a biblical framework for dealing with affliction, trial, and disappointment. Underpinning it all is the doctrine of God’s providence, which affords the believer the opportunity to rest in the awareness that our times are in His hands. This album may well prove to be a great help to friends and neighbors who are trying to make sense of some of life’s storms.
God's Faithfulness in Affliction
1 Peter 4:12-19
When Trials Come, Part One
When Trials Come, Part Two
Good News, Bad News
Lessons from the Dungeon, Part One
Lessons from the Dungeon, Part Two
Stilling Life's Storms
On Death and Dying
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Christians Grieve Too
1 Thessalonians 4:13
My Times in Your Hands, Part One
My Times in Your Hands, Part Two
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