Psalm 34:19 - God's Good Often Comes Through Affliction - part 5 - Faith and Deliverance.
Psa 34:19; God's Good Often Comes Through Affliction - part 5 -
Faith and Deliverance.
Psa 34:19 (KJV) Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but
the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Psalm 34:19 (NLT) The righteous face many troubles, but the
LORD rescues them from each and every one.
Psa 34:19 (TLB) The good man does not escape all troubles--he
has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one.
The Lord, a Provider and Deliverer.
Praise for Deliverance from Trouble
Experimental Religion: God is Good
David expressed praise for deliverance (Ps. 34), [The 365-Day
Psalm 34: God's Unfailing Love. We are to praise God at all
times, for in many ways we continually experience the unfailing love of
our God. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
Some of the psalms praise God for His glory in creation. This
one praises Him because of the meaning of relationship with Him. He
delivers, not merely from things feared but from fear itself, removing
shame. He protects and provides. Above all, He is attentive and answers
the prayer of the righteous. [Disciple SB]
Acts 14:22 (KJV) Confirming the souls of the disciples, and
exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much
tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
1 Peter 1:6 (NLT) So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy
ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a
2 Tim. 3:12 (KJV) Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ
Jesus shall suffer persecution.
1 Thes. 3:3. 4 (KJV) That no man should be moved by these
afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily,
when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer
tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
Hebrews 11:33-38 (GWT) Women received their loved ones back
from the dead. Other believers were brutally tortured but refused to
be released so that they might gain eternal life. Some were made
fun of and whipped, and some were chained and put in prison. Some
were stoned to death, sawed in half, and killed with swords. Some
wore the skins of sheep and goats. Some were poor, abused, and
mistreated. The world didn't deserve these good people. Some wandered around
in deserts and mountains and lived in caves and holes in the
2 Cor 1:8, 9 (NCV) Brothers and sisters, we want you to know
about the trouble we suffered in Asia. We had great burdens there that
were beyond our own strength. We even gave up hope of living. Truly,
in our own hearts we believed we would die. But this happened so we
would not trust in ourselves but in God, who raises people from the
Malachi 3:2, 3 (KJV) But who may abide the day of his coming?
and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's
fire, and like fullers' sope: And he shall sit as a refiner and
purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them
as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering
1 Peter 4:12, 13 (KJV) Beloved, think it not strange concerning
the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing
happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's
sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with
2 Cor. 4:11 (KJV) For we which live are alway delivered unto
death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made
manifest in our mortal flesh.
John 16:33 (KJV) These things I have spoken unto you, that in
me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but
be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
2 Cor. 4:17 (KJV) For our light affliction, which is but for a
moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
Psalm 71:20 (NLT) You have allowed me to suffer much hardship,
but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths
of the earth.
Rev. 7:17 (KJV) For the Lamb which is in the midst of the
throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of
waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
COMMENTARY / APPLICATION RE FAITH AND DELIVERANCE.
Faith Enough NOT To Be Healed
Some people don't have enough faith to not be healed so all God
can do is heal them!
I have tried to say it better, but I don't know how to say it
better because I want to shock you into attention on a major point. A
major point that has escaped us.
We have thought for a long time that if we have enough faith, we
can be healed. No. No. If we have enough faith, we may NOT be
healed! It takes a lot of faith to not be healed.
Some of us grew up with some gross misunderstandings. We
listened to bedtime stories and got the impression that if you are good,
everything is going to go good, and if you are bad, everything is going to
go bad. But like the teenagers would say: NOT SO!!!
We forget that all of the disciples, except one, died martyrs'
deaths, and that one was banished to a lonely island. We forget that the
Apostle Paul, who wrote 14 books of the New Testament, was refused his
request for healing, and that God finally told him not to pray about it
anymore. We forget that John the Baptist perished alone in a dungeon, and
people have wondered about that one. John the Baptist!--about whom
Jesus declared, "there was never one born greater." And Elisha, who
received a double portion of Elijah's spirit, did not go to heaven in two
chariots. He died after a long, lingering illness, maybe cancer.
We forget the last few verses of Hebrews 11. After a list of
miraculous events, the account changes. "and others were tortured, not
accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and
others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of
chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were
tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and
goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; of whom the world was not
worthy; they wandered in deserts, and mountains, in dens and caves of
the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through
faith, received not the promise. (Hebrews 11:35b-39).
Notice, these mighty giants of faith received NOT the promise.
What was going on? Is there something we have missed?
I would like to remind you of a significant "honor guard" that
is important in God's system.
Peter says it best of all. "Beloved, think it not strange
concerning the fiery trials,...as though some strange thing happened to
you, but rejoice, in as much as you are partakers of Christ's
sufferings that, when his glory may be revealed, ye may be glad also with
exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12,13
People can prove that they are not "rice Christians," that they
do not serve God because of what they can get out of Him. They
serve Him regardless of what happens. And this is what real faith is
As we look at the Bible record, and the history of godly people
through the ages, we do not find God intervening to overrule the bumps
and bruises of life. He walks with us, He stays with us, but in most
cases he does not work miracles to change the situation.
We have failed to look at this as we should, and that is why
today we need to take a long look at a statement in The Desire of Ages
about John the Baptist. "Not Enoch who was translated to heaven, not
Elijah, who ascended in a chariot of fire, was greater or more honored
than John the Baptist, who perished alone in the dungeon. "For to you
it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in
Him, but also to suffer for His sake." Philippians 1:29. And of all
the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in
His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor"
(Desire of Ages 224-225).
It is not God's will that people suffer. But it is God's will to
have an honor guard who will continue to love Him and trust Him,
regardless. In fact, in most cases he needs them to endure and does not
usually intervene with miracles. This is my major premise. It takes a
lot of faith to not be healed. It takes a lot of faith to not be
delivered, to not have your prayers answered the way you would like.
Let me share with you a story. It happened last year near
Travis Allen was diagnosed with leukemia ten months before
Thanksgiving. They did the usual, but there was little hope. His classmates at
Auburn Adventist Academy began praying for healing. Area churches
prayed. Travis was anointed. But nothing changed.
Travis became concerned about his eternal destiny. Our son, Lee,
who is the pastor at the Academy church shared, with Travis the good
news that our eternal destiny is based not on our behavior but on
what Jesus has done and our continuing acceptance of him. Travis
thrilled to this good news and stopped looking at himself. He looked to
Jesus instead and rejoiced. But his health continued to decline.
Our grandson, Chris, was best friends with Travis. On one of his
visits, Travis said to him, "Chris, we've been best friends ever since
fifth grade. I want you to promise me something. Promise that you'll
meet me in heaven, because I want to hang out with you up there." A
stronger "call" than Chris's grandpa ever gave! Chris promised.
Several weeks later while visiting Travis, Lee asked him, "Have
your thoughts changed much since you've been sick?"
"Yes." Travis answered. "I used to think it was most important
to have fun, to get things and to be cool. Now I'm convinced there
is only one thing that is important--to know Jesus."
However, in spite of having peace about his eternal destiny, he
would still sometimes awaken his mother at night, overcome with fear.
"Mom, I am scared, I don't want to die at 18."
More than once she said to him, "Son, if you go to sleep, you
will wake up right away and look into Jesus' face. Can you visualize
that? Just think about that moment, when you look into His face and He
looks into your face."
"OK Mom, I feel better."
Another thing happened as time passed. Travis would wake up at
night wondering "Why me?" It was like a voice pushing him toward
discouragement and darkness. One night the Holy Spirit got through to Him with
another perspective. Travis found himself thinking, "If God needs
someone to go through an experience like this and still trust Him, why
not me?" From then on, whenever the big "Why me?" question would
come up in his mind, he would counter with "Why not me?"
One day, very late in the illness, Travis said to Lee, "Pastor,
I'd like to be anointed again." Lee froze. They'd done this already
and nothing had changed. What was the use of doing it again? But
Travis continued, "No, no, I don't want another anointing to be healed.
I'd like another anointing service to celebrate the peace that God
has given me."
Scheduling the service was tricky because by now Travis was
having times of great pain and unconsciousness. On the appointed day,
two hundred friends were at the church praying while Travis's
parents, Lee and the academy Bible teacher went to the hospital for the
Travis was in a coma, but when they began to pray, he sat up,
his mind perfectly clear. As they prayed he put his hand on his
father's neck and Lee's neck and rejoiced over the peace and even joy
that God had given him.
Five doctors came by to share with him what the remaining
options were. None were any good. He said, "Don't do anything special. I
am going to go to sleep, but I'm going to wake up right away, and
I'm going to see Jesus."
One of the doctors said, "I'm glad that concept brings you
Travis answered, "Doctor, it's not just a concept, it's in your
Bible." An oncology social worker came by to help the family face the
inevitable. The doctor told her, "You're not needed here." I kind of like
that part. There were stronger forces at work.
Some began praying that as Travis approached the end, God would
do something special, would give him a moment of comfort. Sort of
like Stephen looking up and seeing Jesus standing up on His behalf
Not long before Thanksgiving, Travis was able to leave the
hospital for several days. On Sunday Chris, with Travis in a wheelchair,
did the mall!
Monday morning Travis woke up and said, "I'm not doing good,
Dad. You'd better get me back to the hospital." They put him in the
car and started for the hospital. They didn't know that he was
bleeding to death internally. This process made him feel like he had to
stop at a restroom. They stopped at Denny's, and his parents helped
him walk in.
The receptionist asked if they wanted a table, then, "Are you
OK?" She showed them to the restroom. It had two stalls; both doors
were open; nobody was in there. Travis' mother stayed outside the
door while his father took Travis into the handicapped stall. While
Tom was trying to help his son he noticed under the partition, dress
shoes and the trousers of a dark blue suit. It sort of irritated him
because he'd have preferred to be alone with his sick son.
Travis said, "I am not doing good, I can hardly breathe."
Right then a voice came from the other side of the partition,
calling him by name. "Travis, it's all right. You're going to be OK."
Travis said, "Dad you'd better call 911, I can't breathe." His
mother came in, trying to help him. Again, the voice came from the
other stall, "Travis, it's all right. I am here. You're going to be
The paramedics arrived within minutes and placed him on a
stretcher. At this point the stranger came out of the other stall, went to
the head of the stretcher and looked into Travis' face. Travis, who
had been looking at his mother, was suddenly riveted on the face of
the stranger. The paramedics asked, "Are you his father?"
"No, I am his friend." He continued to lean over Travis,
reassuring him as they wheeled him out. When they got to the ambulance,
Travis was unconscious, and then the stranger was gone.
(When they compared notes later, none of them--parents nor
paramedics--had seen the stranger's face. They went and asked the receptionist
if she had seen someone in a dark blue silk suit. The receptionist
replied, "People in silk suits don't come into Denny's.")
Travis died in his mother's arms in the hospital at 10 o'clock
Travis had asked that they have the service on a Friday and he
wanted it to end at sundown. The church was packed. There were
classmates from other years, some from Walla Walla College and even from
Southern College in Tennessee. Thirty-four doctors and nurses came from
Children's Hospital. Travis classmates, the Auburn Academy seniors, came
down the aisle and filled the choir loft, leaving one chair in the
center vacant with a rose on it.
The pastor, who had taken notes for months, tried to share with
the people what Travis had said in answer to his questions,
including how his thinking had changed. Through Lee, Travis delivered a
message to his friends: "I want to see you all in heaven, and if any of
you are not there, I am really going to be bummed."
They had hoped and prayed for a revival on campus. They did not
know it would come that way. There has been a revival on the campus,
because someone had enough faith to not be healed.
"There is a peace that cometh after sorrow,
Of hope surrendered, not hope fulfilled,
Peace that looks not on tomorrow But calmly on the tempest that
is not stilled.
In unfailing strength the heart possesses,
While learning to endure. A life subdued,
From will and passion free,
Is not the peace that over Eden brooded,
But that which triumphed in Gethsemane.
Thy will be done."
Thy will be done is the truth that triumphed in Gethsemane.
Is there pain or hurt in your life that seems to say that God
doesn't like you? Have people around you, good people, suggested that if
only you had more faith, if only you were more obedient, then you
wouldn't have this trouble? You would not be sick any longer? Have you
wondered if God has abandoned you?
Listen, neighbor, Jesus is looking for an honor guard of
Christians who will trust him regardless. Your hurt and pain are not a sign
of God's disapproval or neglect. Just maybe they are evidence of
God's confidence that you have faith enough not to be healed. God has
a special place for you in his kingdom.
No matter who you are, whether life for you is tranquil or hard,
God wants to hang out with you in heaven, to use Travis's words. If
you're not there, he will be really bummed. Won't you join Travis and
make knowing Jesus your No. 1 priority? It's the only thing that
really matters. by Morris Venden