Psalm 116 – PERSONAL TESTIMONY
You might want to begin your study or sermon (If you are an informal setting.) with the following questions:
What is a personal testimony?
On what occasions are personal testimonies given? (Church, witnessing, encouraging other believers).
Have you ever been helped by another believer’s testimony? Can you think of a particular instance?
Are personal testimonies Biblical? (Psalm 107:2, Hebrews 10:24-25, 1 Peter 3:15)
Thinking of personal testimonies, I want us to go to Psalm 116 and look at the personal testimony of a psalmist whose identity is hidden. We do know that this man faced great peril and was delivered by the Lord. This is a very personal Psalm, with the writer making reference to himself 37 times in 19 verses. Only in 3 verses, 5, 15, and 19 there is not at least one personal pronoun used.
The exciting thing is that we can relate to this man’s testimony. As we study this passage we find that what was true of this man should be true for us as well. Because the Psalmist used the personal pronoun, let’s you and I use the personal pronoun as well. In this passage let’s consider:
MY DEVOTION – Vss. 1-2
Many Psalms begin with praise. This Psalm alludes to praise, but is actually a statement of the Psalmists devotion. – I LOVE THE LORD!
If someone were to ask us, “Do you love the Lord?” our natural inclination is to say “yes”. In this statement of devotion it is something that the Psalmist should have thought about before making the statement. I imagine that he did.
You and I should think about this statement, ” I LOVE THE LORD!”
It’s very easy to say I love the Lord and a lot more difficult to actually practice that love! Matthew 22:37-39
Next the Psalmist the Psalmist says, I love the Lord BECAUSE…
I think we can sum our Love up with 1 John 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.”
The Psalmist’s expression of love is because the Lord heard and answered his prayer. Read Vss. 1-2
The Psalmist was in grave trouble and the Lord came down and heard so to speak. How many times has God done the same for us? When we’ve been in great need and cried out, He has been there for us!
Notice something else here. The Psalmist says, “Because the Lord heard me this time, I will continue to pray.”
That should be our attitude as well. Because the Lord has answered our prayers, we should continue to pray. He has shown Himself to be my God. I should treat Him as such and continue to call on Him.
MY DILEMMA – Vs. 3
A couple of thoughts here:
1. Before being saved we faced the prospects of a Spiritual death and eternal separation from God. This was a problem that no man could possibly solve for himself. Ephesians 2:1- And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2. We have all faced problems as Christians that were so great and so severe that although we may not have been literally close to death we may have felt like we were.
MY DEPENDENCE – Vs. 4
My dilemma concerning sin and death and eternal punishment was resolved when I called upon the Lord in faith, trusting Him as Savior. I became dependent on Christ for eternal life.
My dilemma concerning my daily problems, large and small is solved through dependence on God in prayer. We say we believe the Bible, let’s live like we do! (Philippians 4:6-7, Proverbs 3:5-6)
MY DELIVERANCE – Vss. 5-8
Vs. 5 – Here is a great verse! Why does God deliver?
He’s gracious. Salvation is all of grace. God’s answers our prayers for deliverance in his grace.
God is also righteous. God will do what is right for those who trust His Son for salvation. He will save them. God will do what is right concerning his promises. He’s promised to keep us, and He will. He’s promised to answer our prayers and He will! Whatever God says He will do He will do!
God is also merciful, or compassionate. He has compassion on those who trust Him!
Vs. 6 – Remember, this is a personal testimony.
Here is a humble man here. He refers to himself as “simple”, or “simple-hearted.” The person with child-like faith is the person who is in good standing with God. Mark 10:15
Vs. 7 – The Psalmist is giving himself a little pep talk?
How would you paraphrase this verse into Modern English?
“Relax! God has more than taken care of the problem.” Or “Chill out! God has handled it!”
Verse 8 – First think of this verse as pertains to salvation.
My soul has been delivered from eternal death.
I am going to a land where my God will wipe away all tears. (Tears are temporary.)
God will keep my feet from falling. He will get me securely to Heaven!
Now think of this verse concerning your problems.
The Psalmist may have faced a life and death situation, but didn’t die. There are times when we could have suffered terrible injury or death, but God has protected us. We won’t die until God is ready for us in Heaven. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take care of ourselves, by the way.
MY DECISION – Vss. 9-14
The Psalmist makes several statements here that show that he has decided to walk in such a way that he will please God!
MY DELIGHT – Vss. 15-19
Vs. 15 – What a great promise here we have here.
What a great verse this is. It is a verse to delight in.
Vs. 16 – What a delight and a privilege to say “Lord, I’m your servant!” There is no greater privilege that to be a Servant of God.
Vss. 17-18 – The Psalmist repeats himself, and for him as God’s servant, it was a delight for Him,
To give thanks
To keep his promises
And to do it publicly so everyone knew where he stood.