- One of God’s greatest sources of encouragement for us is His presence found
in other people.
- Our tune: Confidence in Christ.
- The command for confidence included:
- Do not be afraid
- I am with you
- No one will attack you to harm you
- Our song: The message of Christ
- Telling others about Christ requires you to understand who you are in Christ.
- Our reason: For the people of Christ
- “Church” means “God’s called-out people.”
- Sing in the night to help others have the assurance that dawn is coming soon.
- We sing in the darkness because God has put a song in our hearts.
- Psalm 40:3,
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.
- Psalm 40:3,
Well, good to see you all here this morning. Welcome and happy Father’s Day. Thanks for joining us. We’re glad to have you with us. We’re all children, whether you’re a father or not, we’re all children, right? And we have one good, awesome. God who is our Father? So to Him we say happy Father’s Day as well. One of the books that I enjoyed reading, if enjoy is the right word, is a book called Night. It was a, a book that I chose to read on the way to Israel of all places, written by Elie Wiesel. One of the men who has won a Nobel Peace prize for his writing specifically on the Holocaust, he himself as a Jew, who was put into concentration camps, including the infamous Auschwitz at the age of 16. His writing has captivated us in the way that it tells stories that we would never be able to know if it wasn’t for somebody like Elie who survived and then wrote about those stories to tell us what happened and all the evil and the atrocities that took place during the second world war and the terrible Nazi evil regime that did so much to innocent people.
Elie tells one story that caught my attention, perhaps more than any other. It was a story about two adults and a child, a child around the age of 10 or 12 years old that were hiding guns and armaments inside of the camp, they were found out and death was their sentence. They had to be hung from gallows. And the way that the leaders of the camp said it would go down is that they would be hung with everyone in the camp, watching the two adults, and one child. Elie remembers being marched out and standing there, seeing the gallows there with the nooses, hanging the chairs under each noose, and the prisoners brought, stood up on the chairs. The noose placed around their neck. All of them knowing what was coming in, the midst of the silence or the sniffles of tears.
He explains that someone behind him says, where is the merciful God? Where is He? The two adults about to lose their life yelled at the same time, long live liberty. And with that, the chairs were kicked out from underneath them and their bodies hung, swinging back and forth. And eventually growing limp. The two adults died within a matter of seconds. The entire camp was then to walk past these three prisoners. As they hung in the gallows, they were all forced to look at those who had died or were dying because you see the 12 year old boy, he didn’t die instantly. His weight wasn’t enough to kill him. So for 30 minutes he hung swaying back and forth and back and forth with his eyes. Not yet glazed over appearing at the faces of all those who walked past him.
Ellie says that as they passed the gallows, he heard the voice of perhaps the same man ask again, where is God for God’s sake? Where is God? Well, my hope is that none of you ever experienced the type of evil that took place in those Nazi camps. I have no doubt that all of us at some point have probably asked the question or will ask the question, where is God? Discouragement seems to be a part of life. I’ve lived long enough to know that. I’ve also been following Christ long enough to know that discouragement is even a part of the Christian life. We follow God. We believe in God, yet, we still are hit by the waves of discouragement that come in like a tsunami, unexpected, never invited no one ever wakes up in the morning and says, “I hope that I’m discouraged today.”
But when we are discouraged, we have all sorts of questions, including “God, where are you? Where is this merciful? God that we believe in? Why is he allowing this type of thing to happen?” If all asked that question or will ask that question at some point in our life job, perhaps one of the most discouraged men we read about in the Bible went through his moments of discouragement. He lost seemingly everything trial after trial allowed by God. It crept into his life yet he never cursed the name of God. Even when others around him said, come on curse, God say something against God. He, he refused to, he trusted that God was still in the midst of his discouragement.
I want to answer this question today for us. Where is God when discouragement sets in, where is he? And what is he doing when we can’t seem to get ourselves together in the morning? I just read a journal entry. I wrote in 2010. And all it said is this morning, I woke up that in and of itself was no small feat. <laugh> as a pastor, as your Christian brother, as a father, as a husband, as a human, I know what it’s like to have these moments where you wonder “God, where are you? And, and are you going to do something?” And then you look at giants like Job, and you say, “well, he never cursed God’s name.” He seemingly always believed that God had a plan. That God was always in it. And he even says in job 35, verse 10, but none says, “where is God, my maker who gives song in the night?”
In other words, he’s saying, no one should ever ask, “where is God,” you can’t ask that. It’s not even a fair question for God is in all things, he’s working through all things. Every bout of discouragement, every tornado of depression that, that rifts through your life is overseen by a sovereign God in control of all circumstances, relationships, consequences of sin. He’s over all of these things. “None says, where is God, My maker?” Who gives a song in the night? It seems the last few years of my life have been plagued by sleeplessness. Not just because we have six kids, but I struggle with sleep myself from time to time. And I find myself up in the middle of the night, thinking about things, praying about things or somehow my body just assumes that four in the morning is the right time to start the day.
So I most mornings give in while it’s still dark. And I go down and I stand there at the window before I heat up the water from my pour over coffee. And I look out into the darkness and I hear the chirping of birds. If you’ve been up in the night, then perhaps you too, especially in the summer months here, the birds still chirping in the midst of darkness. Still before hours of night are over, the birds sing. They chirp and I couldn’t help. But even this morning at around 4:00 AM standing by the back door going, why is it that they chirp? It’s not morning yet. Everyone should still be asleep, including you crazy birds. Why, why are you chirping? Is their singing, helping something? Perhaps they think that they’re helping the sun rise. The more we chirp the faster it will come. Why do birds sing in the night?
Put in context of job 35, 10. I can’t help but think that perhaps it is because there is a song put within us. In the midst of night, there is a song put within us in the midst of darkness that we still must sing to our maker. We still must acknowledge who He is and sing to Him. So today what I want to do is address discouragement. I want to use a passage in the book of Acts that describes perhaps one of the most discouraging moments or periods of Paul’s life. And I want to point out to you, especially if you’re a Christian, I wanna point out to you what our song is. What is the tune of our song? What are the lyrics of our song and why do we sing in the darkness, our tune, our lyrics, and our reason I wanna get to all of those today.
I want to unpack the context of acts 18, verse one through 11, and then I want to apply it to your life because my guess is you’re either coming out of a season of discouragement. You are in a season of discouragement or you’re about to enter a season of discouragement. And my hope is that the truth of the Gospel in God’s Word will greatly encourage you today. Will you open up your Bibles with me to acts 18? We’re gonna look at verses one through 11 in its entirety. And if you’ll remember, if you’ve been studying this with us or you’ve read it recently, you’ll remember that Paul is the main character, especially by this point in the book of acts. This book is compiled for us by a man named Luke. Who’s recounting the missionary journeys of Paul. So if you’ve always wondered, how do I use that map in the back of my Bible?
This is a great time to use that. We’re engaging with his second missionary journey as he’s continuing to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ, but no doubt. He’s had all sorts of roadblocks things standing in his way. Beatings that have happened, shipwrecks, that will happen. Things that have tried to take away his joy yet he perseveres and is encouraged by the Lord. I wanna show you that from this passage and then apply it to your life. Follow along with me as I read out loud, acts 18, one through 11. It says,
“After this Paula] left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, 3 and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.
5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue.8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. 9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”
This is God’s Word. Let’s unpack a couple things related to context. First of all, he’s in a new city named Corinth, a new to us. We’ve not been there yet. We haven’t experienced this on our Pauline studies in the book of acts. He moved from Athens, which is some 50 miles away from Corinth. And he now arrives at this town, not only to preach Jesus, but also to do some side gigging, uh, to make some tense, to support his own ministry. He was waiting for Timothy in Silas while he was in Athens. You can read about that at the beginning, at the end of chapter 17, but maybe he couldn’t wait anymore. Fine. I gotta, I gotta move on. I gotta keep going. So he leaves Athens with all of its opposition and indifference, and he comes to this place, Corinth. He finds two people there, Priscilla and Aquila, which we’ll come back to in a moment.
He begins making tents with them and, and, and making a living there. And on the weekends, his, his real job, his main job is to preach in the synagogues to preach the truth of Jesus Christ. Now, Corinth was no small city. It would’ve been a, a great city for him to hide out in for him to be able to find some work in because it was a main merchant city. The main things that they made in Corinth was pottery, and they did all sorts of metal work as well, even minted some coins. He wasn’t in that business. He was in the tent making business, or quite literally the leather business. He would really make nice things out of leather. And he finds this other guy who’s doing the same thing. So he joins business with him. Corinth had its own money. It was a rather wealthy town.
Uh, the, the pottery, there was very fine. If you had Corinth pottery in your home, people were like, oh wow, you have Corinth pottery. That’s unbelievable. Wow. That’s nice pottery. It was a place where you would go to buy really fine goods, really good tents. So he’s there in this town waiting for his two partners to arrive. Now he writes to them the Corinthians later, he writes to them and tells them that he arrived in weakness. He arrived, perhaps even in a sense of discouragement, in Corinthians, chapter two, verse one, he says,
“2 And I, when I came to you, brothers,a] did not come proclaiming to you the testimonyb] of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
In other words, he’s saying, listen, I arrived. And maybe I wasn’t the boisterous preacher in the streets that I was in Athens, but I lived amongst you. And I had one main goal to know Jesus and him crucified.
He says in verse three of 1 Corinthians 2,
3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of menc] but in the power of God.
He’s saying I was nothing to listen to. I was broken, beaten, fearful, weak. That’s how I arrived to you. And yet I was encouraged by finding some people to encourage me. He mentions Priscilla and Aquila. These this couple, not only with cute rhyming names, but this couple that were gifted, that were encouraging to him. They mentioned several times in Paul’s writing as being the ones that housed the church that, that allowed not only here, but in Rome as well, allowed the Christians to meet in their home.
He also says of Priscilla and Aquila that they risked their necks for him in Romans chapter 16, verse three through four, he says, greet Priscilla. And Equia my fellow workers in Christ. Jesus who risk their necks for my life to whom not only I give thanks, but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. We’re still in Equia. We’re an incredible encouragement to a rather discouraged apostle. They housed the church. They housed the apostle. They went into business seemingly with this apostle Paul. And they were a source of encouragement for him. And not only did they encourage him, but they protected him, all change agents, all good preachers of the gospel need somebody who protects them, who stands up for them and says I’m with them. I’m gonna protect them. And so far as they risked their own necks to say, I got this brother, I’m gonna stand for him.
There’s a man in our body named Brian Moe, who has served faithfully as an elder. And we’ve walked together on streets here in America or on streets in Israel and whatever. We’re walking down the street. If I’m closest to the street on the sidewalk, he literally will move me away from the street and put me on the, uh, furthest place away from the street. And in Israel, one time I remember he moved me and I thought, why did he just do that? I said, why did you just move me? And he said, because if a car accident’s gonna cream, any one of us, it’s gonna be me. I’ll die for you. I remember Tom Taylor, one of our security men who served here every single week to watch over my safety here on Sundays. He said to me, he said to me, every single Sunday that he served, he said, I will take a bullet for you today. And I’m thinking, oh man, I hope it doesn’t go down like that. Like, that’s not what I want to happen today. I’ll take a bullet for you.
I have other men in my life, a mentor who I’ll spend time with today at three o’clock who I, I can’t wait to be with because he he’s a protector protector, not just of me physically, but he’s en encourager to me. Do you have that person? Do you have the people in your life who, who they pour into you, who they love you, who they they’re all about, making sure that you are rising and not only your, your, your stature in life, but spiritually, they’re doing everything they can to present you as complete in Christ related to Priscilla and Aquia. I wrote this down. One of God’s greatest sources of encouragement for us is his presence found in other people. One of the ways that God will give you the shot in the arm, that you need, the encouragement that you need to climb over.
Whatever it is that you’re in front of is the other people who are the, his presence, who are Christ in bodily form to bring you encouragement. As you face opposition. It’s one of the greatest gifts he gives us. So here’s the apostle Paul showing up in Koth. After he’d been beaten in Philippi, I’m gonna guess that his bruises were still healing. I’m gonna guess that he still had scars that were not yet fully scarred over. He had all sorts of rejection in his mind that he experienced in Declan AICA. He had Bea who came against him. He had the indifference of what happened in Athens. And he’s showing up in weakness and brokenness, nothing eloquent to say. And yet he’s accepted by these people and begins to continue to be faithful to the call of God on his life. He’s a discouraged man. Where is God?
In the midst of that discouragement? I heard one commentator say it this way. Related to Paul. He said, Paul probably felt like a football that had taken all the right bounces and refused to be fumbled. Every time his team scored, he was spiked to the turf mercilessly. And not only that, then he was kicked the length of the field again. And in fact, the better he performed, the more he was spiked. And the more he was kicked, this man knew discouragement, but he had encouragement. He had Priscilla, he had Aquila, he had Timothy and Silas. They finally show up on the scenes, they’re back with him. And not only do they come to encourage him, but they come with gifts. We’re told that they bring a gift from Philippi so much so that now he doesn’t have to make tents anymore. It says that he became occupied with the word.
What it means is that what they brought him from the church in Philippi, the monetary support that they brought was enough for him to quit his other jobs and just be so occupied with preaching. He had gifts. He had friends and then he has encouragement straight from Jesus Christ. Look at verse nine and 10. Jesus speaks directly to him. If you have a red letter edition Bible, these letters are in read to show that this is Christ. Speaking to him. Christ says to him, do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent for, I am with you. And no one will attack you to harm you for, I have many in the city who are my people, whereas God, in the midst of discouragement, he’s right in it with Paul. And he gives him this incredible message that is of great encouragement to his own heart.
This phrase has been so meaningful to me this week. I was even golfing yesterday with Chandler and my dad. And, uh, I was at this point of feeling discouraged about some things. It was my time to putt. And I said, Chandler, do you know how to work? The Bible app on my phone? He’s like, yeah, I think I do. I was like, will you look up acts 18, nine and 10, please? Not because my golf game was so bad. All right. But I was dealing with things even in the midst of playing with my dad and my brother-in-law, my son, I just needed encouragement. And he read these words do not be afraid. Do not be silent. I’m with you. No one will harm you or hurt you. There are many in this city who are my people. It’s incredible statement. It’s meaningful to me, but no doubt.
It had to be the greatest of meaning to Paul, for him to know, okay, I can do this. I can keep pressing in. Christ is in this with me. Christ was giving him a song and I wanna apply it to your life. Now, what is the song? It’s, it’s a song that all of us can have in our hearts. A song that is sung because of the salvation that is given to us by Jesus Christ, the presence that is ours. If we will grasp it by faith, our tune, our song, and our reason, our tune is this confidence in Christ. He was to have great confidence. The Christian life, my friends is marked by assurance. We don’t walk around like a wet wash cloth or a piece of toast soaked in milk, but we walk around with shoulders up, chest out, chin up because our assurance is that Jesus Christ is ruling over every discouraging circumstance we ever face.
Assurance is a mark of a Christian. So the tune of our song is confidence. We have confidence, not in our own ability, but in Christ and in Christ alone, the command for confidence that Christ gives him here in this dream is threefold. First do not be afraid. I don’t think he was trying to say, don’t be afraid of me because sometimes when Christ showed up in a Christoph or there was any kind of, uh, epiphany, these, these shows of divine revelation before a person, an angel, even they would often say, don’t be afraid to say, don’t be afraid of the vision. Don’t be afraid of the dream. I don’t think that’s what’s happening here in this text. I think what he’s trying to say is don’t be afraid of your circumstances do not be afraid. And then he says to him, I am with you.
The greatest of all the promises that he could have given him was the very promise that Jesus’ presence was with him as a minister of the gospel, as a Christian, going on against opposition. He’s saying I’m with you the best ghost Buster pack that could be ever hitched to the back of Paul or any Christian is all of the presence of Christ. All of the goodness of Christ, all of God’s presence with us. And anytime we see the be with promises in the old Testament, which we see many of them, Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10, Jeremiah, chapter 3, these are be with passages. It’s when God says I will be with you. I’m with you. I’m not far off watching you and protecting you. I, I don’t just have my, my bow pulled tight and I’ll get your enemy. If they come after you, he says, no, I’m standing right in it with you.
You see Paul would’ve understood. He’s in Christ. He says it many times in Colossians and in Galatians. He doesn’t just say that Christ is in me. He says, I’m in Christ. And my confidence comes from being fully with him. And then this third part of the command for confidence is amazing. He says, no one will attack you. No one will harm you. Or literally it can be translated. No one will lay their hand on you. Now I started studying the passage this week, read this early in the week. And I thought, is that true? Did no one touch him? I started looking all through the passages. And of course there are many other instances where Paul’s going to experience all sorts of other discouragement. People are gonna come against him. People are gonna try to beat him. He’s gonna have other, uh, ways where his life is gonna be threatened.
But in Corinthians this promise is true. He basically says, I love you and I know your needs, and I know what you’re afraid of. And I’m protecting you. I’m gonna give time for those wounds to heal. I’m gonna give time for your confidence to come back sticks and stones will break my bones and words. Most certainly will crush me. Yeah. His physical life had been threatened, but he’d had other things said to him that probably shook him to the core. And God’s saying, listen, listen, listen, no matter what said to you, no matter who comes against you, no one will hurt you or harm you. No one will lay a finger on you. That is amazing confidence.
I’m pretty convinced that part of the reason that I struggle at times to have confidence over situations I’m going to face is because I think too much about the situation before I’m there does that resonate with anyone. Abraham Lincoln was asked many times as he was taking on the presidency. Do you think we’re ready for a civil war? And he answered the question this way. He said, when I think about, are we ready for what we might face? I recount the times when I rode as a circuit writer with other men, and we would ride the countryside going across the different streams on horseback. And one time we rode and crossed so many swollen streams. He said that we were afraid of the largest of the mall, the Fox river, one night we bunkered down. And what he said was a log Tavern in there. They met a Methodist circuit rider, a Methodist preacher who also rode across all of those rivers in streams, Lincoln, and his men gathered around the Methodist preacher. And they asked him about the present state of the Fox river. And this is what the circuit writer said. He said, oh, yes, I know all about the Fox river. I crossed it often. And I understand it. Well, then he said, I have one fixed rule with unfixed rule, with regards to the Fox river. I never cross it until I actually reach it.
I think there are many times in my life where I cross Fox rivers far before I’m ever standing on their banks. I’ve been called to worry warp most of my life because worry in my life seems to continue to come back. No matter how many times you get rid of it, I’ve dealt with my own flag of anxiety against the reason I wrote a book on it. But worry and anxiety is kind of like trying to go somewhere in a rocking chair. It never gets you anywhere. It certainly plagued my life because I think about things far before I get there. And therefore I lose confidence because what happens is I start thinking about how insufficient I will be or how bad things will get for me. That’s never the call of a Christian. The call of a Christian is to trust and obey, to not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow. We’ll take care of itself. And to let the tune of our song, our heart song, be confidence, confidence, confidence, Christ has everything under control.
Our tune is confidence in Christ. Our song, the lyrics of our song are the message of Christ. Jesus says to him, keep on speaking and do not be silent. Keep telling them the truth about me. He was doing that faithfully on the weekends when making tents, he’d still go over to the synagogue and he’d preach the truth of Christ. I don’t know when Priscilla and Aquila came to know Jesus Christ. I don’t know if it was under Paul’s teaching, but they even came to the place of believing in trusting in the full story of Jesus Christ. So much so that Priscilla and Aquila had memorized the lyrics. If you will. They knew the song, the gospel of Jesus Christ, that they were used later to help Apollos, which will read about this in acts 18, to help Apollos get the rest of the story. Apollo was a great preacher, but he was only preaching up to John the Baptist.
He didn’t know the whole story. So Priscilla Equilar like, Hey, come on over to our house, have some good hummus. We’ll hang out. We’ll have some bobs falafel, whatever it was. We’ll tell you the full story. They knew the song. Paul knew the song, the message of Christ was what had to be spoken of. There was no backing down from it. We have to tell the truth of Christ, no matter how discouraged we get, I don’t know about you, but when I’m discouraged, usually I react in silence. I’m gonna guess that when discouragement sits in, in your life, though, you may have your own bouts of anger at times, and want to control your way out of it. Discouragement usually produces silence. And what Christ was saying in no uncertain terms to Paul was listen, don’t be silent. Don’t let this discouragement win. Keep on speaking.
I think that he could do that only if he understood who he was in Christ. First, the only way that Paul could have continued to open his mouth to finally get to a place of being totally obsessed or obtained or occupied with the word, as the passage says is because he knew who he was in Christ. And if you know who you are in Christ, then you’ll be better equipped to tell others about Christ. I wrote it down this way, telling others about Christ requires you to understand who you are in Christ. It isn’t just about reciting lyrics, but it’s letting your soul sing. It’s saying, man, I I’m saved the core of my being. And I can’t keep this in. As a pastor. I’ve had people come to me and say, I’m not sure how to lead my neighbor to Christ or my coworker to Christ or my child to Christ.
What should I do? And I said, well, first of all, do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior? Yes, I do. Then start there tell them about how he saved your soul witness. As the Bible says, give witness to what he’s done in your own soul. And Beline it for the cross and the empty grave. And you tell them about Jesus Christ, but start with your own story. No one can argue with that. You see, if you understand who you are in Jesus, then you’ll be more equipped to then speak of Christ. Even in the most intimidating of circumstances. Recently, I had someone tell me a story of how they were Le able to lead their oncologist to Christ. As they go through cancer treatments, their doctor said, how is it that you have so much joy? And this person was quick to speak of the hope they have in Jesus.
I sat with other men who’ve been in jail recently or are in jail. And they said, listen, I’m sharing Christ here. I got myself here. I did some really bad things. I’m discouraged, but I still have Christ and I’m not gonna stop speaking about him. My friends, our tune is confidence in Christ. Our song is the message of Christ, but why then do we sing in the midst of discouragement? The reason, our reason for singing like a bird in the night is for the people of Christ. Jesus says to him, there are many in this city who are my people understand up to this point. There hasn’t been a massive harvest. We heard about the president of the synagogue who came to Christ. That’s amazing. Paul actually grew frustrated with the synagogue so much so that he took his garment off and he’s like, fine blood be on your own hands.
I’ll go preach to the Gentiles. And he leaves the synagogue. And it says that he goes next door. I like that. He just set up camp next door, wherever there’s a McDonald’s, there’s a burger king, wherever there’s a synagogue, you’ll find Paul. And he continued to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The president of the synagogue came to faith, which that’s amazing. Priscilla Aquia. Obviously they believe, but it doesn’t seem that there’s dozens and dozens, hundreds of people who are God’s people. But yet God says to him, Christ says to him, there are many people in this town who are mine. That’s unbelievable. Paul, you don’t even know what’s happening. You don’t even know the harvest that is to come. You don’t know what I’ve predestined already to happen in the souls of this town. So you keep on speaking. You don’t back down and you do it for my people.
You see Jesus had the whole in mind. He wasn’t just focused on Paul as the individual, he had the whole in mind, he had the church in mind. What is the church? The church is God’s chosen people. It’s, God’s people marked off for his purposes. So he says, you go on and you preach for the sake of the church. My people marked off for my purposes, speak to them, speak for the sake of them, hearing the gospel clearly and articulately and don’t stop speaking. Certainly God knew who he would call and to himself by using Paul’s continued speaking. <affirmative> Jesus could have done it without Paul, but he said, if you’ll just keep on singing, if you’ll let the song within your soul, be heard, then I’m telling you I will bring many of my people to my purposes and to salvation in my son.
Why do discouraged Christians keep on singing? Whereas one man wrote an article, Carl Truman. He said, what can miserable Christians still sing? We can sing about the gospel and we can sing for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of Christ people in context, thinking of a bird singing in the night. I, I put this down, sing in the night to help others have the assurance that the Dawn is coming. Perhaps one of the reasons that the birds sing in the midst of the darkness, isn’t to get the sun to come up again because heaven knows God doesn’t need help with that. But maybe it’s for one bird to chirp to another bird and say, it’s coming, it’s coming. The Dawn is coming. The sun will rise again. So in the midst of the darkness we sing and we sing to say, the sun will come again. It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming. And in the same way, Christians constantly speak of Christ. The message of Christ to one another and to an unbelieving world around us to say, he’s coming the Dawn of the true son, S O N he’s coming. He’s coming.
So let me ask you, what song is your heart singing? Are you allowing the song that God has placed in your heart to be heard by everyone around in the darkness? Or are you singing a song that’s so far below the greatest song ever written. And that is that God so loved us, that he sent his one and only son for us is your song more about what you do or how you love or what you accomplish. You see my friends, we sing in the darkness because God has put the song in our hearts, a song of salvation and a song that the world desperately needs to hear.
We sing in the darkness because God has put a song in our hearts. Psalm 40 verse three says he put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God, many will see in fear and put their trust in the Lord. What is the new song that he’s putting your mouth? And is he using the song you are singing about his son to the tune of confidence in him. Is he using it so that many will see and fear and put their trust in Christ? Perhaps what you need to do this week is quite literally hum, some of the greatest songs, the sing of God’s faithfulness to us be thou my vision great is th faithfulness
Maybe this week, you need to put away all secular music and just listen to worship songs that will encourage your heart to sing all the more in the midst of darkness. Listen, I like music with the best of them. I love my country songs that are all about broken hearts, but the song that God’s put in my heart, that’s about a restored heart. That’s a new song, a song of salvation that not only I must hear every single day, but so must the world. And so must other Christians. So come on, sing a new song.
Will you pray with me? Heavenly father, holy God. In heaven, you thank you for being a God who puts a new song in our hearts and specifically the song about your son that we’ve been saved by him and him alone. I pray that the joy of our salvation will return to us. If we find ourselves Lord in a place of discouragement, even in the next few days, will you remind us of what you’ve said here? Will you remind us of the way that the circumstances in Paul’s life and the message of Christ to Paul can resonate in our own souls, that we have no reason to be afraid that we must keep on speaking and that we must realize that you have greater purposes than we could ever know or imagine for the people around us, including in this city that we call home. Lord, we love you. And we want you and your glory to be the very melody of our lives. So please help us live in such a way that we proclaim your son. Even in our darkest moments, it’s in his name. We pray and all God’s people say and amen.