We live in perilous times.
I am not going to stand up here and list all of the upheavals and distressing events of just the last few years, because there are too many, and because it's too depressing.
I am just going to acknowledge that we live in perilous times. Above all else, this is because of spiritual warfare.
The devil is playing for keeps. He does not relent. He does not moderate. He does not compromise. And he never surrenders.
He walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and he is out to steal, kill, and destroy... all the time. The pressure never lets up. Our society shows it.
The chaos, the turmoil, the stress of our culture today is an irrational society drunk on the devil's brew.
So the question for you and me as believers in Jesus Christ is simple.
Where do we turn for comfort and peace?
Where do we go when it's just too much? When we're worn out and broken down?
If you have Jesus Christ, you have a place to turn that the world can never know. You have an omnipotent, omnipresent, compassionate, supernatural, and transcendent source of comfort and peace far beyond the reach of the ragings of earth and the powers of hell.
You are held in the palm of God's hand. Shielded. Encapsulated. Provided for. Cared for. Loved.
There is a kind of comfort you can get from God that you can't get anywhere else.
Not from politics. Not from relationships. Not from therapy or counseling. Not from money. Not from anything.
You certainly can find no existential comfort in atheism.
But if you have Jesus Christ, you have a God who is the God of All Comfort and the Father of mercies, and only he can still the raging storms of our times.
My message today is part one in a new series.
The series is called Comfort from Above
We are going hear from God as he speaks to us through the book of Psalms. Over the coming weeks, I plan to talk about the God of comfort, the Promise of comfort, the Conditions of comfort, the Mission of comfort, and the Eternity of comfort.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:8-14)
This 103rd Psalm is one of the most beautiful and comforting places in all the Bible. Along with Romans 8, Psalm 103 is one of my happy places.
I want to focus on verse 8, where David piles ups some important vocabulary about God.
In verse 8 he makes four statements about the character of God. The Lord is...
Merciful and (racham), Gracious, (hanun), Slow to anger, and Abounding in mercy. (Hesed)
Let's take those one at a time.