From Anguish to Victory

February 25, 2024
From Anguish to Victory

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 22: 23 - 31 (NIV)

You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him—may your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!

Message: From Anguish to Victory

The God that intervenes 

The last part of Psalm 22 tells the story of a God that intervenes in the lives of people…

Everyone will recognize God’s interventions… eventually 

He is not a God that turns his back on people

He is not a God that looks away from the suffering that the people He loves so dearly endures

He is not hiding his face from the troubles people have

He hears the cries and He listens when people cry out to Him

That is the theme of praise in this Psalm - poetically constructed to honour God for his interventions in the lives of his people

A well known Psalm in Jewish religion, as they often reminded themselves about God’s interventions in the history of the Jewish people

I invite you think about God’s interventions in your life today 

Remember intentionally how God intervened in your life

Jesus and Psalm 22

Is there anyone that can tell me what Psalm 22 is most famous for?

In Matthew 27: 46 Jesus quoted Psalm 22 on the cross - at 3 in the afternoon He cried out:  “Eloi, Eloi, Lema Sabachtani!?” - a direct quotation of Psalm 22: 1!

Jesus cries out on the cross:  “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!?”

Jesus says these words in his deepest moment of anguish - alone on the cross, at the height of his suffering

Because that is what Jesus did - He suffered being forsaken by God so that we will never be forsaken by God

Being forsaken by God is the best definition of what hell is (Apostle’s Creed:  “He descended into hell”)

Psalm 22’s words of “Eloi, Eloi, Lema Sabachtani!?” echoes as a reminder of what Jesus did for us on the cross

Anguish of being God forsaken

It is the deepest kind of anguish imaginable - being forsaken by God

I don’t think we have the intellectual capacity of what it means to be forsaken by God

We don’t always recognize it, but God is always there - even in the moments when we turn our backs on Him

Knowingly or unknowingly we land up in places of our lives where we choose to cut God out of our lives

I believe that we have anguish in our lives because of these times we land up in God forsaken situations

Have you ever felt to cry out:  “My God, My God - why have You forsaken me!?”?

We land up in these places of anguish, don’t we?

The times when cannot keep up the mask of having it all figured out

The rawness of really feeling God forsaken… pure anguish

That feeling of “there’s no way out of where I find myself now”…

The Victory of God’s involvement 

This is what Lent is all about - making connections with the suffering of Jesus

Because He went further through this anguish to achieve the victory over death

He went to real God-forsakenness so that we would never have to endure being forsaken by God

How does that help me today?

The answer to that is:  It brings hope for the anguish that I experience in my life!

It reminds me that there is victory on the other side of suffering - through Him

It reminds me that I am not God forsaken - even though I land up in situations feeling like it

The victory of Jesus on the cross gave true meaning to Psalm 22

Because what Jesus did on the cross for us - echoes in this Psalm that tells the story of a God that intervenes

The story of a God that takes anguish and turns it into victory

I don’t about your moments of anguish - those times when you feel like crying out “My God, My God - why have You forsaken me!?”

I do know that your anguish will not be the end of it!

I know of a God that intervenes in your anguish

I know a God that will take you from anguish to victory!


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