Satisfaction and Joy in Days of Toil and Trouble

On January 4, 2015, pastor Darin preached a sermon from Psalm 90 entitled Satisfaction and Joy in Days of Toil and Trouble. During the New Year we take inventory of our lives. And it is also a time for us to take inventory as a church. So, over the next 3 weeks we will explore 3 things that are foundational to Iron Works Church: 1) we exist for God’s glory (devoted to God); 2) we exist to love one another so that we grow in our joy in God (devoted to one another); 3) we exist to see Phoenixville change (devoted to the city). Our passage, which is  a prayer from Moses, brings these three things together.  He served many different roles for the people of Israel, and at times life was very difficult. Yet, Moses focused on God’s eternal nature and the favor that God has for those who trust in Him. The key point of the sermon is that even though life is short and hard God brings us joy in Christ. 3 points to see:


1. Life is short:


           a. Verses 4-6: Three metaphors are seen to describe the shortness of life:

                       1) our life is like a watch in the night, i.e., as brief as a 4-hour guard shift.

                       2) our life is like a dream: fades away and is quickly forgotten.

                       3) our life is like a flood: in a flash it is swept away.


           b. Life is characterized by temporality:

                       1) Verse 10: we live70 to 80 years (more or less), and then die.

                       2) Things in our lives wear out and become outdated.

                       3) Atheist philosopher Sartre: we fill our lives with busyness to distract us from the meaninglessness of life.


           c. Dig deeper: Do you ever stop to think about how brief life is, and what the meaning of life is? What are ways that you waste time on things that don’t matter?  Read and reflect on Psalm 90:12 with Eph 5:16. Let this be a new year of making the most of your time for Christ.


2. Life is hard:


           a. Verse 10: our years are short but full of toil and trouble. We experience dysfunctional relationships, difficult circumstances, and pain.


           b. Verse 6: Our years end in a sigh. The lie of the prosperity gospel tells us that if you believe in God, you will never experience suffering. But life is full of toil even for the unbeliever.


           c. Life is short and hard because of sin.

                       1) Genesis 3: man rebels against God; comes under the curse of death: physically he will die eventually (after 70 – 80 years); spiritually, he dies immediately and is alienated from God, himself, and others, and the ground produces thorns and thistles (man must now toil).

                       2) Death now shows itself in every part of our lives: relationship with God, others, work, etc.


Life is short and hard, but it is possible to experience a satisfying life in the midst of those circumstances:


3. God makes us glad

           a. 2 Corinthians 6:10 – Paul lets us know that it is possible to be both sorrowful yet always rejoicing. Dig deeper: how is this possible? Paul points us to God’s grace and committed service to God (2 Cor 6:1, 4) through faith in Christ and His perfect life and death for us (2 Cor 5:1-21).


           b. John 4 – Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that he provides the true water that eternally satisfies, which is through faith in Christ.


           c. Luke 4:18 to 19 Jesus calms to bring God’s favor upon God’s people. He would do this by restoring our relationship with God through his perfect life and death on the cross where he bore our griefs and carried our sorrows and experience the temporary nature of our physical lives so that we could now freely receive the abundance of God’s grace—God’s favor—upon us, and live forever.


           d. Verse 17 – in Christ our work and time are redeemed. Everything in Christ has meaning, and our time has eternal significance. Even the mundane and seemingly trivial things of life have tremendous value in Christ. God creates us for work so we must view our vocation as a calling from God and do it to His glory.