During last week’s sermon David preached on Revelation 12. We heard that the devil makes war against the followers of Jesus with all the authority, strength and wealth that has been permitted to him. However, despite this, he is a defeated enemy!
This week Gordon focused on Revelation 12:11:
He asked, “What does it mean to overcome the world?” and answered this question by looking through the lens of Psalm 119.
We face brokenness in our world, our church family and even in our own lives. However, we can look forward with confidence, due to the accomplished work of Jesus. As verse 11 tells us, our testimony will help us overcome this brokenness.
We can see the effect of testimony in Psalm 119. The psalm has 22 sections with each section representing a character of the Hebrew alphabet. Nearly every one of the 176 verses contains a reference to God’s Word. Throughout the psalm we hear the voice of a person who has listened, opening his heart to the One who has spoken. It is very personal with nearly every verse containing “I” or “me” and “you” or “your”.
Gordon highlighted four ways God’s Word and our testimony shape our lives:
1. Saying what we see about God
The psalmist speaks of the character of God using God’s own words, thereby deepening his relationship with Him.
During worship we speak truths about God by echoing creeds that affirm our faith. We need to let these affirmations affect our heart and our relationship with God – our professions should become a personal testimony:
- I believe in God the Father – You are my Father
- I believe in Jesus Christ – You are my Saviour
- I believe in the Holy Spirit – You are my life-giver
The truths in Psalm 119 can also become personal confessions.
We can keep God’s Word in our hearts and let it become our testimony by speaking plainly to God, responding to the world and ourselves by remembering the Creator, and by acknowledging the authority of God to speak into our lives.
2. Saying what has gone wrong
We sometimes believe that God’s Word will protect us from having to experience pain; however, Psalm 119 is full of cries that show this is not the case (vs 23, 39, 50, 71).
Pain may arise due to our own sin, from the sin of others or from the troubles of life. Words may seem inadequate when we are hurting; however, the psalmist remained aware of God in his distress and called out to Him:
We can do the same by being honest with God and remembering that Jesus suffered as we do – He understands and is compassionate. He will draw us to Himself if we speak to Him. He may also bring others to walk alongside us in our pain.
3. Saying what we need
When we speak to God about who He is and about what has gone wrong, the result is an outpouring of requests. Throughout this psalm there are 89 requests – including requests for support, strength, wisdom and wellbeing (vs 9, 28, 66, 116, 122):
We too can bring our requests to the only One who knows us fully and loves us completely. Even in the intensity of the battles of life we can overcome by talking to the One who made us and who cares.
4. Saying who we will be
The psalmist receives his requests from God and experiences grace. He is a changed person and, in faith, he expresses his love for God’s Word (vs 18, 54, 103, 113, 127, 148):
- Where do you need Psalm 119 to become your word of testimony?
- Whether facing temptation or suffering, whether expressing joy or in any other experience of life, God’s Word will enable us to overcome!