Hope in Our Affliction

Hope in Our Affliction


PSALM 119:49-56

INTRO: Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD,

and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the

waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see

when the heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be

careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

Of all the things which mankind must have to survive, there is one

which is a vital necessity. That is HOPE. "Man can live about forty

days without food, about three days without water, about eight

minutes without air…but only for one second without hope."(Albert

M. Wells, Jr. Inspiring Quotations-Contemporary & Classical. p. 90).

Bishop Arthur Moore told of a man who jumped to his death from the

window of a high-rise. A janitor in the building knew the man and

commented on his suicide by saying, "When a man has lost God,

there ain't nothing to do but jump." Fortunately, God will never be

lost as long as we "seek Him with all our heart." (Jeremiah 29:13). A

great Scottish preacher said, "The most profane word we use is

‘hopeless.’ When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are

slamming the door in the face of God." (Raymond McHenry. The Best

of In Other Word. p. 132). At the famous Menninger Foundation, Dr.

Bruce Larson asked some of the staff to identify the single most

important ingredient in the treatment of the emotionally disturbed.

The entire staff was unanimous in singling out hope as the most

important factor in treatment. Regardless of one’s mental status,

hope is necessary for survival (Raymond McHenry. The Best

of In Other Word. p. 133).

The Christian, according to 1 Peter 1:3, has a "living hope" in Christ

Jesus! "Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices

in an endless hope." (Albert M. Wells, Jr. Inspiring Quotations-

Contemporary & Classical. p. 90). The hymn-writer wrote: "My hope is

built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not

trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ,

the solid Rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, all other

ground is sinking sand." Unless a person, then, has Jesus Christ he

has no hope for the future! Job 8:11-14 says, "Can the rush grow up

without mire? Can the flag grow without water? whilst it is yet in his

greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb. So

are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrites hope shall

perish: Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's

web." During the most trying times in your life, where does your hope

lie? Although the author of this Psalm is not known, it is evident that

the psalmist found himself in a trying time in his life. Where did he

find the strength to endure this? He found his strength in GOD’S

WORD! Let us look at this subject, "Our Hope In Affliction." Let us

see that…


PSALM 119:49—“Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which

thou hast caused me to hope.”

A. THE PEACE GOD’S WORD GIVES. Psalm 119 is the Old Testament's

greatest expression of love for God's law. The psalmist meditated upon the

law, loved it, and delighted in it. To him, it was something to be obeyed.

By obeying it, light and guidance were given, and fellowship was

established with the living God! (Alton H. McEachern. Layman’s Bible

Commentary. Volume 8-Psalms. p. 140). Later in this same psalm in v165

the psalmists declares—“Great peace have they which love thy law: and

nothing shall offend them.” God’s word produces peace and gives hope!

ILLUS: Charles Spurgeon wrote concerning this verse: “What a charming

verse is this! It deals not with those who perfectly keep the law, for

where should such men be found? but with those who love it,

whose hearts and hands are made to square with its precepts and

demands. These men are ever striving, with all their hearts, to

walk in obedience to the law, and though they are often persecuted

they have peace, yea, great peace; for they have learned the secret

of the reconciling blood, they have felt the power of the comforting

Spirit, and they stand before the Father as men accepted. The Lord

has given them to feel his peace, which passed all understanding.

They have many troubles, and are likely to be persecuted by the

proud, but their usual condition is that of deep calm - a peace too

great for this little world to break… That peace which is founded

upon conformity to God's will is a living and lasting one, worth

writing of with enthusiasm, as the Psalmist here does.” (Charles H.

Spurgeon. The Treasury of David. e-Sword. Version 7.7.0.

Copyright 200-2005. Rick Meyers. All Rights Reserved Worldwide).

The Psalmist here says—“…thou hast caused me to hope.” God will never

disappoint us! God will never let us down! This brings great peace to our

hearts! As believers, "We rest with assurance upon the impregnable rock of

Holy Scripture." Winston Churchill, British politician and Prime Minister.

(1874-1965) (Bible Illustrator For Windows. Version 3.0f. Copyright 1990-

1998, by Parson’s Technology. All Rights Reserved). Isaiah 26:3 assures

us—“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:

because he trusteth in thee.”

B. THE PROMISES GOD’S WORD GIVES. The Psalmist requests God that He

would keep His promise to His servant, for this was his hope! He realized

that the LORD'S promises are sure; therefore he has hope! The Palmist

declares, “All the hope which I have has been excited by thy word; thy

promises. I have no other source of hope; I cherish no other hope. I pray

now, since that hope has been thus excited in me, that I may realize all I

have been led to desire and to expect.” The word of God is the only

foundation of hope for people; and when our hopes are fairly built on that,

we have a right to appeal to God that he will make it good. (Albert Barnes’

Notes On The Bible. e-Sword. Version 7.7.0. Copyright 200-2005. Rick

Meyers. All Rights Reserved Worldwide).

ILLUS:Vance Havner remembers, “Many years ago, my father and mother

put into my hands an Old Book. They said, 'It'll be a lamp to your

feet and a light to your path.' There were times when the winds of

doubt blew pretty hard. The storms seemed to dampen the glow.

Sometimes the darkness was frightening, but that old Light has

seen me through to this good hour. I heard about a camp meeting

back in the old days. One night, it looked like a storm was coming

up, and they had no lanterns. The preacher had to walk down by

a dangerous cliff to where he was staying. So an old farmer got

together some "lighters," as we call them in the Blue Ridge

mountains. He got a branch of pine wood, set it on fire, and

brought the torch to the preacher, 'This will see you home,' he

said. The preacher said, 'I don't know about that. What if it

rains?' 'It'll see you home.' 'But what if the wind blows it out?'

But that farmer knew his pine lighters. 'It'll see you home.' And it

did. 'Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already

come." (Vance Havner. The Vance Havner Notebook. pp. 167-168).

Friends, if only we will rest in the promises contained in this Book, we will

have HOPE as we travel this pilgrim way! Psalm 19:7-8 tells us—“The law

of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure,

making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the

heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” I want

you to notice the words there: “the testimony of the LORD is sure…”. The

word "sure" is translated from a Hebrew word that means "firm, stable, may

be safely leaned upon, certain, and true." “The testimony of the LORD

(which witnesses for Him to us), is sure, incontestably and inviolably sure,

what we may give credit to, may rely upon, and may be confident it will not

deceive us. It is a sure discovery of Divine truth, a sure direction in the way

of duty. It is a sure foundation of living comforts and a sure foundation of

lasting hopes." (Matthew Henry) (Matthew Henry. The Quotable Matthew

Henry. p. 17).

GOD’S WORD PRODUCES HOPE but let us also see that…


PSALM 119:50—“ This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath

quickened me.”

A. THE REALITY OF COMFORT. The psalmist declared that God's Word

brought him comfort during his suffering. The word "comfort" here means

“consolation and peace of mind." God's Word has become his symbol of

hope and it is his source of comfort (Colossians 3:16)! God’s Word was his

only encouragement. It was God’s Word that brought him HOPE! It was

God’s Word which gave him comfort!

B. THE REASON FOR COMFORT. I want you to look at those words in the

last part of v50—“ for thy word hath quickened me.” He had this comfort in

God's Word because it had "quickened" him. The word "quicken" here

means "to make alive." That is what God's Word is and what it does

(Hebrews 4:12)! God's Word made us alive when we were dead in sin; it

has several times made us lively when we were dead in duty; it has made

us alive to that which is good, when we were far from it; and it has

quickened us in that which is good, when we were cold and indifferent."

(Matthew Henry). Why does God's Word bring us comfort? :

It Reveals To Us Who We Are (John 15:5).

It Reveals For Us Who He Is (John 1:1-5; 9-14).

It Reveals To Us What Our Duty Is (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 2:5, 9-10).

“God’s Word is an enemy for depression, an escape from temptation, the

promise of the future, as well as a guide, hope, and inspiration for now and

always.” (Al and Brenda Taylor) (Albert M. Wells, Jr. Inspiring Quotations-

Contemporary & Classical. p. 16).

But God's Word can be of little comfort to us unless we receive it and

remember it (v52). If the word stays not in the memory, it cannot profit.

Many can remember better an article they read in the newspaper, or a

scene from a movie than they can remember a line of Scripture. That is

why the Psalmist declared, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might

not sin against thee," (v11) and "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light

unto my path" (v105).

Someone has said, "A Bible that is falling apart probably belongs to a

person who isn't!"

ILLUS:What does your Bible mean to you? A man was injured in an

explosion in Kansas City resulting in a badly disfigured face and

the loss of his eyesight. He also lost both arms in the explosion.

One of his greatest disappointments, however, was in his

realization that he could no longer read the Bible as he had done

for years. He heard of a young lady in England who had learned to

read the Bible in Braille with her lips. Much to his dismay, the

nerve endings on his lips were so severely damaged in the fire that

he could not utilize them to read. Accidentally, he brushed the

raised Braille characters with his tongue and discovered that he

could learn to read Braille with his tongue. At last count the

disabled man had read the Bible through four times! And we have

difficulty reading the Bible? (Dr. David Sylvester. Great Stories.

Volume 12. October-December 1996. p. 6).



PSALM 119:54-56—“Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my

pilgrimage. I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and

have kept thy law. This I had, because I kept thy precepts.”

A. THE CONSOLATION IN OUR WALK. The Psalmist said that God's Word

consoled him even in the pressures of life so that he could sing the praises

of God (v54). God never promised us that our Christian life would be easy,

but He did promise us His presence and has given us a song as we travel

along life's way (Psalm 40:2-3)! The song He has given us praises God

even in adversity (Philippians 4:4). Think about Paul and Silas shut up in

that prison. What were they doing? Feeling sorry for themselves and

having a pity-party? No, The Scriptures tell us, "And at midnight Paul and

Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them."

(Act 16:25). They rejoiced in the God of their salvation and sang from their

hearts! The Psalmist realized like all of God’s servants that this world was

not his home but he was a pilgrim in it seeking a better country. But he

did not sigh over that fact, but rather, he sang about it! “Thy statutes have

been my songs…” he said. God’s Word had been the source of his joy!

They were his happiness, consolation, and delight. He found pleasure in

meditating on them. He found joy and peace in them in times of trouble

and despair.

ILLUS: "I wish I could sing; I think I'd feel weller then!" said a little seven-

year-old lad in Bellevue Hospital while a surgeon was examining

him to find out what injuries he had sustained in a fall into a 12-

foot deep excavation. "All right, laddie; you can sing if you will

sing something nice," said the kindhearted Dr. McLean. The little

fellow began to sing in a high, clear soprano, "Nearer, My God, To

Thee." As the childish notes rang out, nurses, doctors and

attendants from various parts of the hospital began to steal in

until there were fully a hundred people in the room. "Well, I guess

you are right, little man," said the doctor as he finished his

examination; "I can't find any broken bones." "I guess it was the

singin' that fixed me," replied the boy. "I always sing when I feel

bad." If we grown-ups would do as this little boy did--sing when

we "feel bad," no matter what our loss or misfortune or trouble--we

would certainly "feel weller." --The Sunday School Banner (Bible

Illustrator For Windows. Version 3.0f. Copyright 1990-1998, by

Parson’s Technology. All Rights Reserved).

B. THE CONSIDERATION IN OUR WALK. The Psalmist said, “I have

remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law. This I

had, because I kept thy precepts.” When you consider something you think

about it, deliberate upon it, weigh the options, and to reflect upon it. As the

Psalmist considered his walk with God he said—“I have remembered thy

name, O LORD…and have kept thy law.” We see in vv. 54-56 three things

the Psalmist had:

A Readiness To Rejoice (v54).

 A Readiness To Remember (v55a).

 A Readiness To Respond (vv. 55b-56).

If we are going to have a walk that is sweet we must do the same! We must:

1) Be ready to Rejoice in The LORD and His Word, 2) Be ready to remember

the LORD at all times, and 3) Be ready to respond to the LORD'S Word and

keep it!

This Christian life can either be sweet or burdensome; the choice is ours.

We can either rest in God's Word and go singing along life's way, or else, we

can reject and resist God's Word and be burdened down with worry and


In Psalm 104:33-34 the Psalmist said—“ I will sing unto the LORD as long

as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of

him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.” Friend, will you do that?

The trials, troubles, and cares of this life are hard enough! But they are

especially hard when Satan has stolen your song! When you cannot rejoice

in the Lord, then friend, Satan has you precisely where he wants you!

CLOSING: One of the greatest things God has given us, apart from Salvation

and unlimited access to His throne in prayer, is the Word of God!

In it we can find the answer to all of life's most pressing problems,

in it we can find strength to serve Him in all situations, and in it we

can find comfort and consolation during our trying times. But

unless we hid in our hearts and rely on it during our affliction, then

this precious Old Book means little to us!

God's Word brings us hope when there seems to be no hope! I ask

you today, "where do you find your hope during affliction?" It can

be found in the pages of this precious Old Book!