God Is Able!

Psalm 34:19: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."

Is God able?
There are those who might think that other questions are more important.
Such questions as deal with the future.
Many people are making money off of people wanting to know about the future.
Bookstores are filled with books dealing with all kinds of trivia – there is even Bible trivia.
Such as how many children did Abraham have; one of the dimensions of the Ark.
You can add your questions that are so important to you.

I believe that all those questions pale in comparison to this question – is God able?
This is the one question from which all other questions have their start.

Is God able?
The blind person wants to know if God is able, for he or she needs the assurance
that there is Someone to watch over them.
The deaf person wants to know if God is able to help them with all their difficulties.
There are those who really wonder if God is able to respond to the cries of the needy.
The alcoholic or drug addict want to know if God is able to help them out of their very serious addictions.
The homeless person wants to know if God is able to be that shelter for them that protects them
from the storm -- that food when he or she is hungry, that cool drink of water when he or she is thirsty.

Look at your own situation.
Look at some of the things you have faced during the past week.
Look at some of the situations that are constantly in your life.
You have come today to this house of God with a need or needs to be met.
I'm pretty sure that you didn't come to ask about the cosmological discussion for the pre--existence
and immanence of God, and you didn't come to know how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.

I believe that you are here today because you want to know when you get in trouble – is God able?
When your back is up against the wall, and all your hope is gone – is God able?

The words of our text is interesting.
This would be a universal one, but it says "many are the afflictions of the righteous."
Recognize that although you love God, in this life you will have suffering.
You will have calamities and misfortunes that often come from the wickedness of the ungodly.
Storms will rise unexpectedly in your life.
Old problems will bring new problems, which will bring many more, new problems.
Because of these things, the question, " Is God able?" can only be answered
by someone who has a relationship with God.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of all of them.
The writer of this portion of Scripture as a testimony that comes to us across the sands of time.
It is a timely testimony that we need so desperately today
because of the situations we often find ourselves in.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous.

As David experienced many afflictions, he saw through those experiences another side of God's personality.
We are inspired by Joseph and the challenges and obstacles that he overcame
to fulfill God's mission for his life.
We stand in awe of Moses, who led the children of Israel out of Egypt, and who was also able
to see part of God with his natural eyes without dying.
We are also encouraged by Isaiah who tells us of the one who was wounded for our transgressions
and bruised for our iniquities.
We are impressed by Paul who sat at the feet of Gamaliel, and who was a defender of the faith.
We remember that David was said to be a man after God's own heart.
David understands how the power and love of God works in our lives.
He writes these words of our text out of his experiences and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Let us remember David from a historical perspective.
David became a member of Saul's court.
It was his job to play the harp, and cause the evil Spirit upon Saul to leave him.
Saul received this evil spirit because of his disobedience to God.
God said through the prophet Samuel for Saul to go into Amalekite land and destroy everything.

Saul decided that the king, along with some choice animals, should be saved.
When Samuel came on the scene, he had to tell Saul that to "obey is better than to sacrifice".
From that day, God told Samuel that He had a replacement in mind for Saul.

During this time, and under God's instructions, David was anointed king of Israel by Samuel.
Also during this time, David slayed Goliath.
Coming from the battle, the women came out to meet Saul with the timbrel and dance, saying:
"Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands!"
This caused Saul to be jealous of David, and he sought to kill him.

Remember some of the incidents of Saul persecuting David.
He tried to pin David to the wall with his spear.
Saul tried to kill David a second time with his spear.
When he failed, he sent police to his house to arrest them.
But David, with the help of his wife, slipped away.

Saul continued to chase David every time that he received word as to where David might be.
Twice David could have killed Saul, but he took "the high road."
After the last time, David bypassed the chance of killing Saul, he purposely took
Saul's spear and jug of water as a sign of this.
Saul finally acknowledged his error (sin) in trying to kill David, and left him alone from that point onward.

Psalm 34 was written by David to highlight his period of persecution by Saul,
and his running to Philistine territory who were the same people who fled
when he kill their mighty warrior, Goliath.
David was fearful because he remembered how he had defeated his enemies time and time again.
He also remembered how he represented to this king a symbol of the dreaded Israelites.
And most importantly, he was instantly recognized by the Philistines as the one who wrecked havoc in the land.
They said: "Isn't this David, the king of the land – isn't he the one they saying about – "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?"

When David heard and remembered all of this, he became very afraid.
We can see him looking up to heaven, saying, "Father, I stretch my hands to Thee, no other help I know.
If Thou withdrawal Thyself from me, where will I go
."

God delivered David, and with a heart full of praise, David said:
"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise [shall] continually [be] in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear [thereof], and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

They looked under him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard [him], and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
O taste and see that the Lord [is] good: blessed [is] the man [that] trusteth in him…
Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all
."
(Psalm 34:1-19)

The Lord is proving Himself to us today just as He did in the time of David.
The Lord wants to show us just how good He is.
In the midst of afflictions there are three things we must remember.

Afflictions will come, but God is able.

Remember, the rain falls on the just as well as on the unjust.
Remember the afflictions are given to the saints so that they can personally testify to the goodness God,
and so they can see for themselves God's wonder-working power.
Afflictions try a Christian in the fire so that they will come forth as pure gold.
Afflictions brings us closer to God.

Afflictions come as a result of being a Christian.
The enemies of God are used by Satan to become a hindrance to the believer.
Afflictions are used by Satan in an attempt to hinder the work of Christ in the world.
However we must remember that "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."

Your faith will be tested, but God is able.

You remember that famous piece of prose entitled "Footprints in the sand."
One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand – one belonging to him,
and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.

This really bothered him, and he questioned the Lord about it:
"Lord you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me
."

The Lord replied: "My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you
."

Sometimes, we see no light at the end of the tunnel, but God is there
"Isaiah 41:10: "Fear not, for I am with you.
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteous
."

Psalm 30:5: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

Isaiah 43:2: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned neither shall the flame scorch you
."

Romans 8:28: "All things work together for the good of those who love God."
The testing of your faith gives you patience.
The testing of your faith gives you staying power to "hang in there" with God.

You will be victorious -- God is able!

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them from them all.

If God was able to speak and the world came into being.
If God was able to place the stars and planets in exact order around the sun.
If God was able to fashion man in His own image.
If God was able to take a rib and make a woman.
If God was able to command the morning to appear since days began.
If God was able to number the hairs on ever head of man, woman, boy and girl
that ever walked the face of the earth since time began.
If God was able to walk on the water.
If God was able to say "peace be still."

Then God is able to deliver His people from any and every affliction.

Psalm 27:2: "When my enemies came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell."
Psalm 23: 4: "Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me,
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me
."

God is able to deliver you from the fiery furnace.
God is able to deliver what He has promised.
God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.
God is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory
with exceeding joy.
God is able though weeping may endure for a night, joy will come in the morning.
God is able, and they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.

"I've seen the lightning flashing.
I've heard the thunder roll.
I felt sin breakers dashing, trying to conquer my soul,
I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on.
He promised never to leave me.
Never to leave me alone."

Sermon was adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L. White.