The Lord Never Fails

Bible Book: Psalms  71
Subject: Old Age; Aging; Senior Adult Day; Faith; Trust in God

The Lord Never Fails

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com

Introduction

Psalm 71

This is Senior Adult Day in our church, so we are honoring those senior members and visitors who are faithful believers and servants of Christ. One question someone asked me was, “At what age is someone considered a senior adult?” Good question! You can get a card from a company that allows you to get senior discounts when you are fifty-five. In fact, I think someone told me that they reduced the age from fifty-five to fifty recently. Now that’s just ridiculous! I consider a person a senior adult when they reach the grand old age of sixty. However, there are some other ways that people have decided whether you are a senior adult.

You know you’re getting older when:

  • You finally reach the top of the ladder and find it leaning against the wrong wall.
  • A fortune teller offers to read your face rather than the lines in your hand.
  • You have too much room in the house and not enough in the medicine cabinet.

One senior adult created this little ditty:

“I like my new bifocals

My dentures fit just fine

I have my hearing aid turned up

But, Lord, how I miss my mind.”

Actually, age is a relative matter in the end. David Jordan has said that the world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going. This applies to those who learn where they are going late in life as well as for the young. Think about a few of these people:

  • At age 53, Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female prime minister.
  • At 64, Francis Chichester sailed alone around the world in a 53‑foot yacht.
  • At 65, Winston Churchill became British prime minister for the first time and started the epic struggle against Hitler.
  • At 72, Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel.
  • At 75, Ed Delano of California bicycled 3100 miles in 33 days to attend his 50th college reunion in Worcester, Massachusetts.
  • At 76, Cardinal Angelo Roncalli became Pope John XXIII and inaugurated major changes in his church.
  • At 80, Grandma Moses, who had started painting in her late 70s, had her first one‑woman exhibit.
  • At 81, Benjamin Franklin skillfully mediated between disagreeing factions at the U.S. Constitutional Convention.
  • At 80, Winston Churchill returned to the House of Commons as a member of parliament and also exhibited 62 of his paintings.
  • At 96, George C. Selbach scored a 110‑yard hole‑in‑one at Indian River, Michigan.
  • And on his 100th birthday, ragtime pianist Eubie Blake exclaimed, "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

Someone has said, "Live your life and forget your age." That is certainly great advice.

Think about the implications of aging in America:

More than 87 million Americans will be over 65 by the year 2040, according to the National Institute of Aging.

Today the over‑65 group accounts for about 30 million people, or 15% of the American population.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) now has over 30 million members. "Age Wave" author Ken Dychtwald notes that if AARP were to become an independent nation, it would be the thirtieth largest nation in the world.

However, the greatest question regarding age is this: What is the condition of your soul? In the end, we all must meet God. In fact, not everyone lives into old age – you can die when you are young. I think we should be as healthy and happy as possible for as long as possible, but the most important thing is to be every ready to meet God.

The Psalm we are looking at today has been titled by some as “The Old Man’s Psalm.” It was written by someone at a time of personal adversity and trouble in life. This psalm is untitled, but it was written no doubt by someone who knew the Lord and His Word very well. The end result of reading this Psalm is confidence in the fact that: The Lord Never Fails.

Note three interesting divisions in Psalm 71.

I. Our Position In The Lord · The Ground of our Salvation  Psalm 71:1-8

A. He is Our Refuge

The Psalmist stated that he had taken refuge in the Lord. This form of the word is used in the Hebrew 36 times and it means “to trust in someone”. It can mean to trust in false gods or the true God. In this text, the Psalmist has put his trust in the true God – whom he titles “The God Who Never Fails.” Listen, you can put your trust wherever you wish – but you better be sure your trust is in the One who never fails.

To take God as a refuge means to experience salvation. It means to trust in Him who will never put you to shame.

We see this also in Romans 10:10-13:

10  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11  For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13  For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

B. He is Our Rescuer

The word here describes God as one who snatches a person away from destruction. Wise is the person who understands that salvation is an act of being snatched from the very jaws of death and hell! Those who have Christ, have the rescuer of their souls. He will never fail them.

C. He is Our Righteousness

The word righteousness is a word which speaks of the truthfulness and purity of God. We are not saved by our righteousness but by His righteousness. When we accept the Lord as sour Savior, we are made as pure as He is pure, for He is our righteousness and He cannot lie. We are as safe as He says we are, for He is righteous and will never break a promise.

D. He is Our Rock

In the Holy Land rocks are prevalent, and they are appreciated. When strong rains come, houses built on sand can be swept away. Tents which are pitched in low areas can be carried away in a storm. But anything attached to a rock is steadfast and immoveable. The Psalmist saw God as the great Rock of Ages in which he could take refuge. God never changes - He is like a mighty rock!

No wonder Christians often sing:

“On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”
E. He is Our Ruler

Our hope is in the Sovereign Lord of the Universe. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is supreme above all authorities.

Earthly rulers rise and fall. They obtain power and might, and rule nations and land. But, eventually, they die and the power passes to another. But, our God is a Forever God. He is the Ruler of the Universe and holds it in the palm of His hand. If you can do that, don’t you think you are safe in His hand as well?

So, we have seen our position in the Lord, now let’s see …

II. Our Plea To The Lord · The Grace in our Salvation Psalm 71:6-13

A. The Fear we Sometimes Feel

As we grow older, we begin to feel that we are being cast away. Perhaps the Psalmist was feeling a sense of being cast away because he was going through great difficulties and he did not have the strength of his youth to aid him in overcoming his hardships. He prayed for God not to cast him away. Dear Christian, you need never fear that God will cast you away. The Psalmist, no matter his age or problems, needed to fear that God would forsake him.

The Psalmist, however, appears fearful; perhaps he was that way because of …

B. The Foes we Sometime Face

He was being persecuted by enemies that he doesn’t name in the Psalm. I don't know what enemies you may be facing, but God is bigger than your enemies. You must continue to call upon the Lord and trust Him with any and every situation. Our lives change – a look in the mirror reveals that. Life has its ups and downs, and sometimes people desert us. Again, some we love are taken from us through death. Yet, God has not left us and He will not do so. No enemy you face is as big as the God who holds you.

In order to have the victory we need in our aging years, and at any point in life, requires what the Psalmist appears to have had. Note …

C. The Faith We must always Focus On

The Psalmist focused his faith upon the Lord. In the midst of all his troubles, you can see and feel him overcoming through faith. He knew God personally (my God). He wants Him to be near (be not far from me).  His faith was strong and fixed and the person and presence of His God.

Are you doing that today? Whatever you are facing, can you trust your God?

Now, let’s note lastly …

III. Our Praise For The Lord · The Glory for our Salvation  Psalm 71:14-24

A. Now we have Praise For the Lord

The Psalmist commits to making known the greatness of God and the great deeds of God. He has praise for the Lord and He wants it to be in the ears of the people. He has a testimony and he intends to give it. No matter how deep the valley he is in, he means to spread the good news of God’s love and grace. That is something we all can do and must do. In fact, praise helps us sense the Lord’s presence in greater and greater ways.

B. One day we will have Praise in the Presence of the Lord

In verses 19-21 we have a record of the faith of the Psalmist. He knows that God will raise him up from the earth. This is faith in the resurrection found right here in the Old Testament! What wonderful faith the Psalmist had – and, it is a faith we can know and express. He knows that one day he will actually praise the Lord in person. Glory, what a day that will be, when we bow at His feet and give Him the glory due His name.

The last four verses of this Psalm speak of praise to the Lord, both before and after the resurrection. The Psalmist has a song for God, and he is going to sing it! He will sing a song of three verses.

  • Verse one will be for the Faithfulness of God
  • Verse two will be for the Graciousness of God
  • Verse three will be for the Righteousness of God
Conclusion

Age? What is it? The child of God is ageless, for the believer will live forever. Why? We will live forever because we have positioned ourselves in the God who never fails. We have prayed to the God who never fails. We will praise forever the God who never fails!

Have you put your faith in the Lord? You can, and He will never fail you. Perhaps you have done that, but like the Psalmist you feel a need today to once again thrust yourself at His feet in humble faith. Or perhaps as you recall how He has kept you from your youth, you have a desire to come before Him with praise and thankfulness. The opportunity is now available to all who will come.

Someone here today, young or old – or in between – has never trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation. Come to Him now – today is the day of salvation.

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AN EXTRA ILLUSTRATION THAT CAN BE USED ON SENIOR ADULT DAY

A Prayer to be Read during the Welcome:

The following prayer for the elderly is worth repeating:

"Lord, Thou knowest I am growing older. Keep me from the idea that I must express myself on every subject. Release me from the craving to meddle in everyone's affair. Keep my tongue from the recital of endless details of the past which do not interest others. Seal my lips when I am inclined to talk about my aches and pains. They are increasing with the years, and my love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Make me thoughtful, but not interfering; helpful, but not bossy. With the wisdom and experience I've gained, it does seem a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends left at the end. So help me to pray more, talk less. And beyond all this, let me continue to flourish spiritually and bring forth fruit to Thy glory even in old age. Amen!"