Our services have temporarily been put on hold, but we will continue to encourage you with God’s Word. The following sermon was prepared by Ps Lucas Stoltz this week for your edification and uplifting.

Click here Psalm 90:12-17, to download or stream the sermon, and follow the notes below. May the Lord speak into your hearts as you worship.

Psalm 90:12-17, Contentment in a Pandemic:

  • Last week we briefly touched on a practical lesson of wisdom, and he result was two truths of Godly wisdom we ought to live by. But this isn’t the only truth we should take away from the Psalm.
  • Near the end of the Psalm, Moses turns his attention to a jewel we often overlook in our Christian lives. The Puritan writer, Jeremiah Burroughs, wrote an encouraging book titled, “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment”, why rare? The truth is, it is uncommon for us to be content.

 

  • In our fast-pacing way of life, we find ourselves stuck at home. Honestly speaking, how many of you listening to this are truly content with their situation? In some odd way, each of us, right now, could be expressing discontent.
  • Negatively, you could say: I don’t want to be locked up for 21 days, I didn’t buy enough food, I’m not going to earn enough for the next month. Positively, if I could call it that, you could; I’d rather be at church right now, etc.

 

  • However, Paul wrote, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Therefore, contentment isn’t an ability you wake up with. On the contrary, being born in sin, we’re naturally discontent. We’re not satisfied with what we’re given or have, we’re unhappy about the way things are.
  • Paul says he had to learn how to be content. Philippians 4:12, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

 

  • Moses seems to recall similar circumstances in Psalm 90. His plea is that we’ll be satisfied (content) in the Lord, in His goodness and love. Therefore, in order for us to be content in this pandemic, we need to be taught by, reminded by, and preserved by our Lord. This is ultimately how we’ll grow in Christian contentment.

 

  1. Teach us to be Content:
  • Text – 90:12-13
  • Explanation – Contentment is the inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, freely submitting to and taking pleasure in God’s rule in every situation. It’s a great statement, but it means nothing if you do not fully and truly trust that God’s got this!
  • If you do not believe that God is completely in control, you won’t find any satisfaction in His grace. Yet, in our defence, our culture teaches us that if you’re not happy, move on! Move until you find what makes you happy…

 

  • Illustration – Imagine what would’ve happened to the Israelites if they were discontent… oh wait, they were! They complained about their way of life, Exodus 5:1-22. They complained about God’s provision for food, Exodus 16:1-4, and water, Exodus 17:1-4.
  • And then? When the people complain once again about food, the Lord sends a very great plague, Numbers 11:33. When the leaders of Israel rebel against Moses in Numbers 16, God opens the earth and they are swallowed by the earth!

 

  • Application – Therefore, there are great consequences for our discontentment. In verses 12-13, Moses prays to be taught contentment. Even in his cry in verse 13, he asks for grace.
  • This is very important! A discontent heart is dishonouring to God. It corrupts us from trusting in the Lord, and it takes away our joy from worship. We often think that it is not such a big deal to grumble, but this is rebellion to God’s will for your life.
  • Therefore, the Lord teaches us contentment, especially in a pandemic! As Christians, we must learn contentment, we cannot “do” contentment. It is taught by God. We need to be schooled in it and Moses highlights two lessons:

 

  • 1) teach us to number our days: our faith will always be tested by fire (1 Pet 1:7), this is the school of Christian growth. Trials, pandemics, discomforts are the subjects in this school, and when we learn to be grateful for God’s grace in these times, not only will we grow more in Jesus’ likeness, but we’ll also be glorifying God, the teacher of contentment!
  • 2) have pity on your servants: both Moses & Paul (2 Cor 12:8-10) prayed for grace. Yet, in the school of contentment, God’s grace doesn’t necessarily come in the form you would’ve liked. This when we express discontentment once again! The Lord teaches us contentment in the ways He provides grace: ways such as giving us the resources to overcome, a heart of trust, the necessary insight, & sometimes by revealing the end from the beginning.

 

  • Conclusion – But when we respond in sin and ungratefulness to the Lord, we haven’t learned anything but distrust. We teach ourselves not to believe in God, we teach ourselves that life is unfair and that God doesn’t care.
  • While God is teaching us the opposite. He reveals His purposes for us in His Word, He has given us His Spirit, He has promised us the finishing of His work in our lives, and still; we’re not satisfied.

 

  • Bridge – Therefore, God teaches us contentment, not just in this pandemic, but through every trial. He goes beyond just teaching us…

 

  1. Remind us to be Content:
  • Text – 90:14-15
  • Explanation – It is a sad reality that we are not consistently satisfied in the Lord. We even sing it, “Prone to wonder, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love…” why? Because sin is what we do when we are not satisfied in the Lord!
  • More so, when we are actually content, we give God the worship He is due. But we need this reminder regularly, because those who are content experience rest, joy, and satisfaction in God.

 

  • Illustration – See as Moses prays to be satisfied in the Lord’s love, his desire is for contentment in the Lord. And it is this love that reminds him to be content as he reflects on the many evil they have experienced.
  • As the nation experienced opposition from enemy nations, or experienced dread as they turned on each other, the Lord remained gracious to His people.

 

  • Application – despite His grace, discontentment makes our prayers ineffective. When you are discontent, you stand in opposition to your requests, denying the sovereignty of God over your life.
  • Therefore, the Lord reminds us to remain content through His love for us, especially in our suffering! Moses’ response to God’s grace is to rejoice!

 

  • God’s Word serves as a guide to remind us to be content in the Lord during our suffering. Therefore, we need to have His Word imprinted on the forefront of our minds, Scriptures such as 1 Peter 5:10, “…the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
  • Jesus’ younger brother reminds us too, James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

 

  • Conclusion – God reminds us, but when we choose to remain discontent about our situations, we should expect miserable consequences, as we ‘rob’ God of service and devotion.
  • Discontentment is a foolish sin and carries with it an attitude of folly toward God. It provokes the wrath of God, as Moses recalls in verse 15. Therefore our hardships are nothing compared to the grace were given on a daily basis!

 

  • Bridge – And so to remain discontent even though God reminds us of His grace, is sinful! His mercies cost us nothing, but God will humble us in our suffering, and for now, it is through COVID-19.
  • Yet, God doesn’t just teach us to be content, nor does He just remind to be content in His grace! He also preserves us

 

  1. Preserve us to be Content:
  • Text – 90:16-17
  • Explanation – In the context of our Psalm, Moses prays for God’s grace and asks that his “beauty” may rest on his people. The fact that the Lord accepts his own, assures us that our works would be durable and accepted, perhaps works of righteousness. In Moses’ case it was both physical and spiritual.
  • None the less, when we are truly content, our prayers will reflect our trust in the Lord, and He will surely accept our work and establish it as valuable.
  • Friends, yes; we are frail, limited, and sinful as all are! But it is the love of God that transforms what is weak to his own glory! Our God is in the business of saving and preserving His people.

 

  • Application – But when we are not true to this reality, our discontent hearts will come up with a pyramid of excuses to hide our sinfulness as we refuse to acknowledge God’s grace and mercy in this time of various trials. We’ll look past His willingness to preserve us in our suffering, and we’ll have no peace!
  • Friends, God does not withdraw Himself from us in trials. You may feel this way. The world seems to think that if there is a ‘god’, he has withdrawn himself, why would ‘god’ allow this pandemic? Surely he should know that the vulnerable will die? That essential workers are at greater risk…

 

  • Conclusion – Such foolish thinking and sinfulness are worse than our
    And it is because of such a discontent attitude that our burdens become even harder to bear!
  • Therefore, you and I will not experience peace in this time, or in any other circumstance, if our hearts cling to the sin of discontentment. We must learn to continually depend on Christ. Our souls must be reminded that He alone satisfies. And our hearts need to look to His willingness to preserve us in our hardships.

 

  • Bridge – This is how we’ll be content during the pandemic. Whether we are directly affected by the virus, or if those we love are affected, we must learn to be content in our Sovereign Ruler.
  • Therefore, I want to conclude by looking at how we can become content:

 

Application:

  • There isn’t a secret method, or a list of do’s and don’ts… contentment is within reach when our hearts consider the greatness of God’s mercies. All our wants and desires, good or bad, are insignificant in the face of God’s gracious blessings. Contentment is a position in Christ!
  • Therefore, we should be willing to suffer, to be used by God, to be refined through earthly trials. Why? God uses adversity for our good and to accomplish His will. Through this, we grow in humility, patience, character, and hope!

 

  • As we take a step back to consider where we are in our Christian walk, as we’re locked up in our own homes, let us consider the many gracious blessings we should be thankful for! The Lord has graced you with so much more than you need.
  • When you make your requests known, does He not fulfil it with so much more? Surely He does! And yet, He still chooses to teach us contentment, He reminds us to honour Him with this attitude, and He preserves us so that we may be content in our daily walk!
  • Therefore, in this is the school of Christian growth, where we face trials, pandemics, discomforts, and other burdens, we need to learn to be grateful for God’s grace by being submissive to our Teacher.