This is the sermon for Sunday morning, August 2nd, 2009.

DON’T FRET PART 5

Pay it forward.

Psalm 37:25-26.

Psalm 37:25-26 TNIV – 25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.

This sermon series could also be subtitled, “God’s answers to real life problems.”

So far in David’s Psalm we have seen the ongoing repeated theme of not fretting, but to trust and commit yourself to God.

There is an expression:  Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees.  We want to experience the blessings of God, but because of fear and fretting, we often forget that God has already blessed us; not once, but on a daily basis.  We want to see the fire and smoke – the exciting outward manifestations of God’s blessings; and God may just be silently whispering to us His blessings.  One thing we must remember:  God’s silent blessings are just as powerful as the dynamic manifestations of His Presence. Please don’t belittle those small daily blessings that God provides for us.

Here in these two verses of Psalm 37, David has provided a truth right of the middle of it all.  It is a lesson that He learned from all His years of following God.

There is a principle that we can learn from these verses that David teaches us:

  • We should not fret over present and future circumstances because God has and will continue to bless because He is in Sovereign control of you and your family.
  • When we see this truth, then we want to be a blessing to others as well who going through difficult times.

Let’s begin this morning.

Whether you realize it or not, God has blessed you throughout all of your life.

Psalm 37:25a TNIV – I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken….

More than likely, David wrote this Psalm toward the end of his life.  He has grey hairs and wrinkles, experienced heartache and pain, at one time turned his back on God and His ways and had his sin exposed and suffered the consequences for it.  He had children abandon him, and they died and he had to bury them.  He had a son born from an act of sin die, and how it hurt him for this young baby to die.

The point is David’s life hadn’t been rosy.  Most of his young days, he was fending off lions, bears, and wolves from his sheep he cared for.  Later He defeated a giant while all Israel cowered.  Then the king that he was loyal too wanted him killed.  Now David in his old age is taking stock of some things.  Here he makes this realization:  Though he had forsaken God and broken His laws; though he had to suffer the consequences for this sin, though he had experience pain and sorrow; one truth remained.  God had never forsaken him! Now what made David righteous before God?  It surely wasn’t David’s actions because he failed, and all it takes to be unrighteous is one sin. It was God who made David righteous.  You see, it was God who chose David to lead His people and become king.  It was God who chose the line of David that the Messiah, Jesus Christ came out of; therefore it was God who made David righteous.

Now, before we go further, let’s be honest.  None of us can say in all honesty that we have kept God’s laws completely.  Even after we have become believers, we have sinned and broken God’s laws.  So what makes us righteous – Jesus Christ.  You see, God doesn’t forsake us because He will not forsake the one who redeemed us – Jesus.  So it is because of Jesus that God does not forsake us and abandon us and leave us in our own devices.

Why can we say that we as believers, though we may go through hardship have never been forsaken?  Well, it is because while the enemy is accusing us, God is the one that has justified us through His Son therefore He cannot forsake us.

Romans 8:33-39 TNIV – 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Please remember this:  No matter what you have gone through and endured, because of Jesus Christ, God has never forsaken you, nor abandoned you.  He promises that He will never forsake you either.

Psalms 37:25b TNIV – I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

Most commentators believe this is referring to not just children of general, but children who are righteous as well.

In our case –  children who are saved by Christ.

Does this mean that they will never lack material prosperity and possessions and plenty of food?  Well, I think that can be a rather shallow way of looking at this portion of verse 25.

I believe it can mean this:  The same God that has sustained me and not abandoned me during my dark nights of the soul will be the same God that will sustain my children, who are His possession, during the times of difficulty and struggle that they face.

Believer, this should be a comfort too you.  You may ask:  Pastor, my children don’t follow Christ?  I have a simplistic answer:  Have you prayed for them?  If not, ask the Lord to save them, and keep praying, trusting that God will draw them to Christ.  Don’t give up, don’t lose heart.

Don’t fret if your child is going through struggles, or they may be running from God.  Trust God for them and remind them of God’s faithfulness.

Let’s now look at our last point this morning.

God blesses us so that we may be a blessing to others – the meaning of pay it forward.

Psalm 37:26 TNIV – They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.

Now there is a debate amongst scholars as too what verse 26 means.

  • Some people think it means that God will always be generous and lend and bless people.  And this is true.
  • Some scholars think that it is the children of the righteous that will be generous and lend freely.  And the Hebrew can be interpreted that way as well.
  • Others, including myself believe that this means that the righteous person who God has been generous too, turns around and is generous to others as well.

All three are correct in the way it could be translated, but I feel it is referring to the one that is righteous that the Lord has not abandoned.

You see, God wants those that He blesses to become a blessing for others. To pay forward, not pay back the blessings that God so graciously bestowed upon us.  In other words, if you want to pay back God for what He has done:  then give to those who are suffering and in need.

What does these pay forward blessings look like?

  • Being kind and gentle to someone who is rude to you.
  • A shoulder to cry on when someone is going through a painful time.
  • An encouraging card or letter, reassuring those going through suffering that they are in your prayers.

You see, it doesn’t matter if they deserve you blessing them or not, because we don’t deserve God’s blessings either – it is about just being a blessing period!

As we conclude this morning, there is one more truth that I would like to share:  If we focus on blessing others during their time of difficulty and pain, we will soon forget about fretting over our own difficulties and pain! This is a tremendous benefit of paying forward blessings to another.

So as we close remember:

  • God has never forsaken you.
  • God promises to bless your children, so trust Him to care for them and pray for their salvation if they are not following Christ.
  • Pay forward the blessing that God has given you by become a blessing to someone else, whether they deserve it or not.

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