Settled & Sustained in God’s Word

*(We are beginning a new sermon series for the summer, preaching through Psalm 119. Last summer we went through the first half, and this summer we will preach through the second half.)

 

Text: Psalm 119:89-96

The psalmist is praising God for His word that is settled and unchanged, yet at the same time God’s word is near and sustaining in the lives of God’s people. And we are meant to come away with this central encouragement: The same God that created the world with His Word will keep and sustain you with His Word.

1. God’s Word is fixed and faithful.  (vv. 89-91)

God’s word is firmly fixed. That means it is unchangeable. God keeps His promises. What God says comes to pass. And that His word is firmly fixed “in the heavens” means it is in God’s domain – man can’t touch it, man can’t destroy it.

[90] Your faithfulness endures to all generations. God’s word never changes because God’s character never changes. He always has been faithful, and He always will be faithful. His Word has always been true, and His Word will always be true.

[90b] …you have established the earth, and it stands fast. In affirming God’s faithfulness, the psalmist points to Genesis and Creation. With a word, God made everything. The Bible says that God spoke, and it was. God said “Let there be light”, and something that had never existed before, it suddenly was. And not only did He create everything with a word, but He actively sustains it – He keeps it together with a word. And He does that through His Son, Jesus Christ who is the embodiment of the Word of God (John 1:3; Hebrews 1:3).

This reminds me that in a world full of passing fads and fickle hearts, God’s word is a fixed foundation. It does not change. When everything else is shaken, God’s word will never be shaken. When you think you’re falling apart, Jesus holds you together. When you think you can’t go on, when you’re struggling to find a reason to hang on, Jesus holds on to you, sustaining you with the power of His word. His word is faithful because Jesus is faithful.

2. God’s Word strengthens and gives us peace in our trials.  (vv. 92-95)

Throughout this entire psalm, the writer experiences deep suffering and persecution. In many cases, that persecution comes because he is holding to God’s word. So here, the psalmist affirms that God’s word is his delight. He finds joy in Scripture. Joy and delight in knowing God’s word, God’s promises, God’s covenant. And he says having that joy, that delight in God’s word helped save him in his affliction, in his trial.

How does God’s word do that – give us strength in a trial? In a moment of suffering, we need something to remind us what’s real and what’s not. What’s right and what’s wrong. What God is saying vs. what the devil is saying. So, when emotions and thoughts and feelings start to overwhelm us in the middle of our trials, a heart that is full of God’s word will be able to navigate those emotions with wisdom, to discern feeling from faith, and instead of being confused, our minds will be clear and at peace in the Lord.

We already saw how Jesus sustains our very being by the power of His word – not only by Him speaking and holding our molecules together. But it also means He has given us the Bible – His written word – that our hearts would not be riddled with fear and worry, that we would not be overcome by anger and doubt. But when we hold to Scripture, when we remember what God says in His word and apply it, it gives us life. It puts encouragement back into our minds, and hope back into our hearts.

3.  God’s Word is perfect and our source of perfect freedom.  (v. 96)

[96] I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad. The psalmist is saying, “I’ve seen all of man’s efforts and endeavors. I’ve seen what man calls perfection, and it has flaws. It is limited. I’ve seen what the world calls beautiful and good, and deep down, it is meaningless and it all comes to nothing.

But then, he contrasts all of that with God’s word. “But your commandment is exceedingly broad.”

-That means that unlike the world, whose idea of perfection is flawed, God’s word truly is perfect. God is perfect, therefore what He says is perfect.

-It means that God’s perfection knows no limits. His power and his perfection are boundless, limitless – which means there is no situation in our lives that the Bible can’t help us with.

-And it means that through the power and truth of God’s word is where we will find our ultimate freedom. God’s word is “exceedingly broad” – it provides freedom and liberty like nothing else. Before Christ saved us, we were locked in a dark prison of sin and shame. All we knew is what we could see around us.

Then, Jesus broke in. He did something we couldn’t do for ourselves. He rescued us from our self-imposed prisons. He forgave us and freed us. He led us into the light of His love and the joy of His Word. He showed us for the first time what it meant to be fully forgiven, and fully accepted by God. He opened our eyes to the beauty of His cross, the wonder of being forgiven for every sin – past, present and future. And he let us experience the boundless, limitless love of God like we had never known before.

So go to His word. Find your hope there. Find your joy there. Find your peace there. Find your strength in your trials there. Find perfect freedom there…Knowing that the same God that made and sustains the world with His word will keep you and sustain you in your life. And He always will.

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