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“I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. 2  In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. 3  I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. 4  Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5  I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. 6  I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. 7  Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? 8  Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? 9  Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. 10  And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.” Psalm 77:1-10.

I find the premise in this Psalm of David.  Transition simply means that you have moved away from where you used to be, but you have not yet arrived at where you are supposed to be.  It means you are in a state of flux.  You are in transit.  You are somewhere in the middle of your life’s journey. 

But, there’s more to it than that.  Transition also implies that you are going through a metamorphosis.  You are changing.  And, you are doing all of this in a climate of adversity.  Everything around you is resisting and opposing this change.  And, if that is true, then the next step you take is likely to be in an atmosphere of hostility and fear.

If I were to draw a picture for you, it might be something like this: we are on a rickety, swinging footbridge that swings over a deep chasm between two cliffs.  One side is called carnality; the other side is called spirituality.  Not only is the bridge tenuous and uncertain, but there is a wind howling through the canyon below us that threatens to blow us away.  Some of you may get nauseous just imagining yourself up on that bridge!  If the truth were known, every person here lives in a constant state of transition. 

All of us know about the David who killed the lion and the bear; about the David who single-handedly slew Goliath with a sling; about the warrior David fought in hand-to-hand combat until his fingers had to be pried from his sword.  We know about the David of whom it was said that Saul killed his thousands while David killed his tens of thousands as he rode home amidst the singing, waving of flags, the pageantry and spoils of victory.  But I submit to you this evening that David’s greatest enemy was not the lion or the bear.  It was not his jealous brothers.  It was not even Goliath or any of the fierce enemies of Israel on the battlefields.  David’s greatest enemy was located beneath his thick armor, locked up inside his ribcage.  When you read about David’s exploits in 1 Samuel, you might think he has arrived safe, sound and smug at the destination called total victory.  When you read his Psalms, however, you see him struggling to put one foot in front of the other on the footbridge of transition.

And so, in light of this, there is a quality of the character of David that situates him in the middle of the human experience, that extremely sensitive place where few other writers in the Scriptures dare to go.  It is this quality that endears the sweet Psalmist of Israel to us.  It is his introspection, his brutal honesty, his boldness to talk to God about things that really are that shows his depth of understanding.  He does not engage in sugar-coated expressions that are nothing more than contrived impressions, trying to make himself look good in the eyes of his Creator.  He has more questions than he does answers; he has more lamentations than he does rejoicings.  When he does rejoice, he reveals his God to be the source of his joy, not himself.  More than anything else, David teaches us to be real.

One of the hardest scripture passages to grasp is Romans 7:14-25. “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Somewhere in the middle.  That’s where most of us are.  Another portion of scripture written by Paul captures the essence of this predicament.

 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14   

Just in case you think you are all alone with your feelings, understand that this is exactly what prompted this 77th Psalm of David—and probably a few other Psalms as well.

There are three stages of the 77th Psalm—which is actually a prayer—that provide the framework for David’s case. 

1) I cried unto God with my voice;

2) I am so troubled that I cannot speak; and

3) I commune with mine own heart. 

The first question is, then, how do I make this transition?  How do I even get started? 

I cried unto God with my voice.

The place to start is prayer.  David believed in prayer. Psalm 55:16-17  “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. 17  Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.  Brother Kinzie used to preach a sermon every year called “The Mighty Power of a Little Faith.”  The main point of the message was that you don’t need the faith of Moses or Elijah.  You don’t need enough faith to move a mountain.  You just need enough faith to keep on praying!

Never get discouraged about the power of prayer!  Prayer works.  Pray through your trials.  Pray through your troubles.  Pray through your irritation, your disappointments, your defeats, your difficulties.  Pray through your nights.  Pray through your sicknesses.  Pray through your tragic losses.  You will never, ever meet a problem that you cannot confront and overcome with prayer!

Remember Cornelius.  Acts 10:30-33  “And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31  And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 32  Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. 33  Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.”

If God hears the prayer of a pagan man, how much more is He going to hear the prayer of the righteous?  James 5:16  “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  Never let the devil steal your voice of prayer!

God hears your prayer.  But, let me take you a step further.  David confessed something else.

I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

“I’m awake all night—not a wink of sleep; I can’t even say what’s bothering me.” Psalm 77:4 (MSG) Pardon me for using a reference to a pop song of the sixties, but Simon and Garfunkel’s song had some lyrics that are very relevant to the human condition.

The Sound of Silence

In restless dreams I walk alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.

You started on this journey.  You left your former life with abandon.  You were happy to get free from the chains of the past.  The way of the transgressor is hard.  You were eager to rush into the arms of God, casting all your care on Him because you knew He cared for you!  But there are times in the middle of your transition footbridge when you stop, you grab the side rails and fear and doubt seize your soul.  What is happening?  You look down and get dizzy.  You don’t want to go back, but you think you can’t go on either.  What makes this happen?  Why do people stop in the middle of their walk with God?  I submit to you that there are some here tonight who have stalemated, plateaued, stalled out.  They haven’t taken another step in years!  Why do people stop praying, fasting, searching, reaching? 

Confusion silences prayer.  When you let confusion dictate to you your mood, your agenda and your actions, you are expressing more confidence in your flesh than you are in God. 

David was often confused. 

Psalm 69:1-5 “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. 2  I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. 3  I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. 4  They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. 5  O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.  

Colossians 1:27-29 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 9  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

You may have perceptions about God that are stopping your prayers.  (God does not care; does not hear; is not accessible, or even God is against you, God hates you, God doesn’t think you are worthy of His time.)  There is a silence that is deafening.  No words are coming out, but your mind is going a hundred miles an hour.  You wish you could put your feelings into words, but it just won’t happen.

David said in Psalm 39:1-2 “I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.  I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.”

God hears your silence.  God hears your groanings.  We emit groans when we have emotions that cannot be expressed in words. 

Romans 8:26  “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

I commune with my own heart.

            When no one understands what you’re going through, you retreat into the confines of your own heart.  When you have committed a transgression too great to be confessed, you turn inward and commune with your own heart.  When you become disillusioned with people in your life, you lose confidence in anyone but your own self. 

            The problem:  your heart will deceive you!  The world says, “Listen to your heart.”  But you are the worst interpreter of what your heart is saying. 

I want to help you tonight.  I want you to find a reason to take that next step.  Don’t stand out there on the bridge of transition, just hanging on to the rails.  You have a better fate than just hoping not to fall off into the chasm

Three steps to get you through the transition:

1)           The ability of God to do what he promised he would do.

2 Timothy 1:12-14 “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. I am persuaded that HE is able! 

2)           Hold fast to the Word of God!

13  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

3)           Remember the good thing that was committed unto you.

14  That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

I do not ask if you are going through a transition, because all of us are.  Just remember, you have to keep walking!

Psalm 23:4-5 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

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Reader Comments (1)

Great article! I printed it, so I can read it again and again.

December 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRene Jordan

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