On Sunday, we kicked off a 3 week series called Underdog: the Rise and Fall of King David. We will be discussing three topics: facing our future (David’s Anointing), facing our fears (David and Goliath), and facing our failures (David’s Adultery). You can listen to the sermon “Facing our Fear” here.
As I said on Sunday, the main character of these stories is not David; though too often, we put the focus on him. The main character in these stories, as well as our own personal story, is God – the Sovereign ruler over all things.
Though centuries have passed, David’s life and countless other men and women in the Bible, shed light on how to handle these three issues. The stories recorded in the Bible are called narratives.
Kathleen Nielson, director of women’s initiative for the Gospel Coalition (which is a great gospel centered network that provides many resources for the church at thegospelcoalition.org.), says
This fact that narrative is story is obvious and basic, but we should notice it—and delight in it. Scripture’s stories are not a decorative shell for theological truth; they are the revelation of God to us, in all the details of their “story-ness.” Old Testament narratives are true stories, to be sure; these stories give us the real live history of our faith, telling us what actually happened, generation after generation. But these true stories are shaped, selective, full of artistry—great gifts from a Creator God.
The stories of the Bible aren’t just great stories, they’re great pictures of God’s grace. John Piper, in his book, God’s Word, Our Storysays,
There is a point to the narrative—and the point is a person. . . . Biblical stories are no more ends in themselves than history is an end in itself, or the universe is an end in itself. The universe is telling the glory of God (Ps. 19:1). And the history of the world is what it is to show that God is who he is. God writes the story of history to reveal who he is—what he is like, his character, his name.
So from these stories, the main character is not David. In our lives, we are not the main character. The main character in every story is God. The main character in your story is God. And not only that, Hebrews 12 says that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith meaning that God is both the main character and producer of the story we are currently living in.
From the story of David’s anointing (1 Samuel 16), we can see how God uses David’s current situation (his pasture) for preparing/training him for his future role as King over Israel. Even in chapter 17, the story of David defeating Goliath, we see David using tools he developed while watching sheep.
Our future is not uncertain; though we may be in a season or have been in a season where the future seems dim. In the midst of it all, God is at work. He is molding us for something greater. Something distant that we just aren’t ready for. Whatever you are going through now, as difficult as it is, is an opportunity for God to mold you.
As a child of God, the hope of our future is found in Jesus. We don’t have to worry because it is literally in God’s hands, which Jesus tells us in Luke 12:22-31. The reason we fear the future or burden ourselves with worry and anxiety over the uncertainty of what lies 5, 10, 20 years down the road is simply because we lack faith. Jesus makes it very clear to us in Luke 12:28.
Here are three things I want us to remember from the sermon:
1. Because our future is in the sovereign hands of God our Father, we don’t need to fear the future.
Our fear of the future and the anxiety of what it holds is a complete lack of faith in God. There is no other way around it. And Jesus says, all you’re worrying won’t even add a single hour to your life!
Instead of worrying about tomorrow, Jesus tells us to seek his kingdom or to put it this way, the only thing we need to worry about is Jesus. The only thing we can be certain of is Jesus. The only thing that will bring peace is Jesus, not knowing your future is going to be okay because your future belongs to Jesus.
And let me be honest here. Some of us may face a disease or a tragedy that we never recover from, but that God uses for our own sanctification. It’s not that we don’t trust him to heal us, it’s that we’ve already trusted him to heal our greatest disease: our sin. And because of that healing, we can face anything because now, God the Spirit dwells with us.
Bill Gaither wrote a song (listen to the remixed version by David Crowder here) that I think sums this up for us:
God sent his son, they called him Jesus,
He came to love, heal and forgive.He lived and died to buy my pardon,An empty grave is there to prove my savior lives.
I can face tomorrow
Because he lives
All fear is gone
Because i know he holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because he lives
Because he lives
2. Because of who we are in Christ, we don’t have to fear what other people think of us.
For our sake he made him to be sin r who knew no sin, so that in him we might become s the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
As a child of God, the only thing that matters is that we are accepted by Him. He looks on our hearts and sees the righteousness of Christ that was imputed or attributed to us and says this is my child! I accept him! I love him! He is my possession! Man may cast him out, but I see his heart! His heart says that he belongs to me!
This is something we can hope in! This is a promise we can cling to! God – our Father – will never leave us, forsake us, or reject us. Because of Christ, we have God’s approval.
Man sees your flaws, but God sees Jesus. Man sees your struggles, but God sees Jesus. Man sees your inabilities, but God sees Jesus.
3. Because our future is in the sovereign hands of God our Father, we can rest in the reality that he is presently molding us.
Whatever season you are going through right now is preparation for something in your future. I don’t know your future. I don’t know my future. I can’t pretend to believe it’s all going to be peaches and cream.
What you are going through now is the training ground for your future. And maybe what you’re going through now, God is using to draw you to himself.
Our futures may not be easy, but we can face them head on, not just because God is preparing us now for them, but because he is also with us.
Which makes Psalm 23 even more beautiful and hopeful for us today.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing” – Psalm 23:1 (NET)