When you’re down to nothing, God is up to something!

 Sermon Snippets from January 19, 2014

*Inspiration  and the outline for this message came from a sermon by Jim Twamley, pastor at Klamath Assembly of God – Klamath, OR

Scripture: Psalm 42:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

The psalmist repeats these thoughts for emphasis in 42:11, 43:5.

Think about a time when you were driving down the highway and you suddenly fuel-gauge-163728_640realized your tank was low on gas. Did you find yourself praying that you would be able to make it to the next gas station before the gauge hit empty?

In life, we all know what it feels like to run out of our own resources. But in those times God shows up in just the right time and in His own way to meet those needs!

When we’re down to nothing, God is always up to something!

The Scriptures are full of examples that prove this. I’m sure you will recognize most of their stories:

  • Joseph – Sold by his brothers into slavery, he ended up in an Egyptian prison, falsely accused of rape. But God was preparing him to be the second in command of Egypt, saving the Egyptian people as well as his family from the ravages of famine in the land.
  • Job – who suffered the total loss of his family, his wealth and his health. God was working in his life to strengthen his faith and to make in a wise, respected man before his peers and ultimately God restored everything to Job and more.
  • Gideon – the least in his family and from the poorest tribe in Israel became the leader of God’s army. They faced their enemy with only 300 men armed with torches, pitchers and horns. Yet, God caused the enemy to become confused and vulnerable so that they killed themselves.
  • David – This man often experienced this feeling of being at the end of his own resources. Though he was anointed by Samuel to be the new King of Israel, David was hunted by King Saul until the king died.  After David became king, he was almost deposed from his throne by his own son and spent time in exile among his enemies. Later, he sinned against God. Yet he constantly experienced God’s power, love and provision through his struggles.
  • Hezekiah – Judah found itself surrounded by the armies of Sennacherib with no hope of victory. Yet when Hezekiah prayed, God delivered them in a mighty way
  • The penniless widow in 2 Kings 4 was in danger of losing her sons to slavery because of her dead husband’s debt. But God kept the oil flowing in her small container of oil until she had filled ever container she could find. She was able to sell the oil and pay off her debts, with enough to live on for many years.
  • Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar and were sentenced to die in the fiery furnace of Babylon. But God walked with them when they were thrown in and when they came out, they didn’t even smell like smoke!
  • Peter – He felt like a miserable failure after denying Christ 3 times before his master’s death. Yet God was working in his life honing him for a leadership role in the early church – on the Day of Pentecost, Peter preached and 5,000 people were saved.
  • Paul and Silas were locked in the inner prison. When things looked hopeless for them they sang at midnight and God delivered them, breaking the chains that bound them. Instead of running away, these two men of God preached to their jailor and he was saved along with his household.
  • John was exiled on the Island of Patmos. Alone and down to nothing, he received a revelation from God which has encouraged Christians to this day.

We would quickly run out of time this morning citing the numerous other Bible examples of God’s deliverance when his people were down to nothing. But the amazing truth is that God still delivers his people today. Rev. Twamley shared the story of a young couple who were facing a mountain of bills. They ran out of milk for their infant and were praying about how to get some.

Meanwhile across town, a young man left a Wednesday evening Bible Study with his friends. On his way home, he felt like he should stop and get a gallon of milk. As he drove home, he felt like he should turn down a small side street and deliver the milk to a certain apartment building. He tried to put off the feeling that he needed to do this, but finally decided that even if he appeared silly, he would be obedient.

When he delivered the milk, the young couple cried tears of joy explaining their situation. The young man then gave them all the cash he had to help with food.

The words of the psalmist which are repeated several times in 42:5, 42:11 and 43:5 sum it up very well. “Why are you cast down, O my soul,   and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,   my help and my God.”

When we’re down to nothing, God is up to something!

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