IF DOWN - LOOK UP

Psalm 22:1-5, 25-27


Psalm 22:1-5 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Suffering, Praise, and Posterity of the Messiah

To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Deer of the Dawn.” A Psalm of David.


My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?

2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent.

3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.

4 Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them.

5 They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.


25 My praise shall be of You in the great assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.

26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever!

27 All the ends of the world Shall remember and turn to the Lord, And all the families of the nations Shall worship before You.



Dr. Gough:


"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" A cry!

--A cry of David, in his trials. He was down.

--David asks, "Why are You far from helping me?"

--He says, "I cry (pray) but You do not hear" (v 2).

--Psalm 22 pictures David, but also Jesus - for Jesus prays these words when suffering on a cross.

--When we face a cross, ask God for a resurrection.

--That's what David did, "O Lord, do not be far from me, my Strength, hasten to help me. Deliver me .. save me" (v 19f). When down, David looked up!


We all have tough times but all don't ask for God's help.

--We need be taught, to know the Lord; let Him help.

--Disasters, losses, misfortunes, sickness, job loss, financial or marital problems, can get us down, if we let them. In Jesus be a victor, not a victim!


Some misfortunes, later, can be fortunate for us.

--Facing difficulties in faith, teaches one well.

--It was true of David - and Jesus - all each faced.

--David prospered in the Lord. Jesus? He arose!

--It has been true for me, or ou - as God blesses.

--How? Such things draw us closer to the Lord God!


Jesus knew this great Psalm - all them - for Psalm 22, 23, and 24 are a trilogy about the Messiah!

--The experience of David was paralleled in Jesus.

--Jesus is revealed in each - Psalm 22 pictures Jesus as the Good Shepherd; Psalm 23, "The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want," Psalm 24 He is the "Chief Shepherd," truly "The Great Shepherd of the sheep."


Growing up, our family faced many trials - almost lost Dad with ruptured appendix, family ills, and Mother's passing, or when my brother and I joined the Navy.

--It was good we had learned to pray - look to God!


It was true in our own family. Just different kinds.

--I dare say, you and your famiy have had troubles.

--Do trials and troubles ever get you down? Look up!

--Struggles make us better, draw us close to Christ.


God wants to bless, and use us, to help untangle ourself, and others, from the web of the world.

--For we are in the world, but not to be part of it.

--Because the world, with its sin, can get us down.


David, like most of us, had his faults and trials.

--In the Bible, we see him as a boy tending sheep.

--Courageous and spirit-filled, as a youth in faith.

--When others feared the giant, David declared, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin. I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God .. whom you have defied" (I Samuel 17:45)

--David came with a little sling, and five stones.

--But he came in the "name of the Lord." For God.


We too face giants - "the world, flesh, and devil."

--We face difficulties of all kinds - disease, doubt and fear, discouragements. We have Jesus' name!

--In whose name do you come? Or resources you use?


The world conditions today can get many people down.

--The condition of the nation. The economy. Nature.

--The forces of evil - drugs, drink, immorality.

--Living the worldly life-style, will not win.

--In the end, it will defeat us all. Go with God.

--If down, get down on our knees, and look up!


In the Thirty Years' War, Martin Rinkart was a Pastor in Eilenberg, Germany; many dying of plague, hunger.

--In the year 1637, Rinkart conducted funerals, over 5000 funerals, including his wife!

--A plague took most of the town; Europe suffering.

--Rinkart wrote a hymn - we all love as they did.

--"Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices, Who wondrous things hath done; in Whom His world rejoices ..." He taught many to look up!


Like some of us, David was enduring many hardships.

--Asks God, "Why so far from me? You do not hear."

--"My tongue clings to me jaws" (v 15). Thirsts.

--They pierced my hands and feet .. divide my garments and for my clothing, casts lots" (v 16f).

--Such things were happening in David's life.

--They also happened in the life of Jesus.


Some cost, pain, or problems come along with life.

--No precious child is born, without some suffering.

--Think of the potential good that child may become!

--No building built, or business, without hardships.

--No crops harvested without toil, in the soil.

--No salvation without a Savior's death on a cross.

--So take our struggles and downs, in much faith.


Don't let our downs, get us down. But look up.

--Daily look into our Holy Father's face, and grace.

--God knows what you may be going through; He cares.


I was asked if I ever worried. Yes, I have worries.

--But I don't worry as much as I once did. I pray.

--Turn your maladies of worry into melodies. Pray!

--I am trying to turn my cares over to my Lord.

--For why worry, when you can pray? Prayer pays.

--Prayer, friend, changes things. And changes us.


In a run-down tenement in London a teen made entry in a prestigious flower show, of a plant she grew.

--Like folks do at the state fairs, we used to love.

--No one felt she would win. Was in a broken pot!

--The old, cracked, chipped, yellow teapot she found.

--Yet, this poor young girl got the first prize!


"How did you do it," judges asked, "a child, competing against adults, with such a lovely plant?"

--She said, "I kept it in the sun, and prayed to the Son of God, to help me - and He did." Bless such!


Some think our bodies (the pot) is what matters, and of course, they do - but not as much as inside a pot.

--Indeed, it is what is on the inside, that counts.

--Faith in the Lord! His Spirit. Godliness, trust.


The Psalms teach us to let trials make us better not bitter - not run from God, but to run to Him.

--To not think God has "forsaken you," as His child.

--To know God loves you with "an everlasting love."

--When saved, the Lord is going to care for His own.

--He makes "all things work together for good."

--And they did for the Psalmist, as he did, for God.

--As they will for us, as we seek to live for Jesus.


I have seen God take one down and out, and clean him up and change him by the Holy Spirit, to a success!

--By surrendering all to Jesus, as Savior and Lord.

--My friends, better than anything else, Jesus works!


God takes broken pieces, gives unbroken peace.

--The Christ-like life is yours, as we look to Him.

--There is no need to be down, or stay down, in Him.


A lady in my church in Michigan had many problems.

--Couldn't sleep. Couldn't go to work. Took pills.

--Tried many doctors. She came, "Can you help me?"

--I listened as she shared her heartfelt desperation.

--I opened God's Word to many promises, gave a list.

--We fervently prayed. She needed God's presence.

--I suggested she place a special chair, for Jesus.

--As if in Person, talk to Him, as you have to me.

--Memorize verses of power. Claim God's promises.

--Turn your cares ove to the Lord God, in worship.

--Daily trust Him. Thank Him. Like a prescription.


Before long she called, "It works .. I am a new woman and able to sleep at night, and back to work again."

--She added, "Our home is so much more happier!"

--Why? She earnestly began to look up to the Lord!


If we will yield wholly to God's will, His Lordship, it will work for good. God's way is the best way.

--He may not cure our cancer, or Parkinsons, or ill, just now; but God can give us grace to overcome.

--To accept what we, and He, cannot change for now.

--One day, "no more tears, no more death, sorrow, or crying, and no more pain" (Revelation 21:4). In Jesus!

--So dear one, if you get down, let God lift you up!


Look how Psalm 22 ends, "My praise shall be of You."

--He gives thanks to God. "I will pay my vows."

--Do you have anything to "pay" of vows, to God?

--He is going to "remember and turn to the Lord, and worship" (v 25-27). What did David do?

--He looked up. Prayed up. And paid up. Gave up.

--The upward look to the Lord takes us up to heaven.


Look up, to Him!



Wilbert D. Gough, ThD. DD. 855

INDEX OF SERMONS