Strength, Security and Serenity for YOU in 2002! Part VI (23/03/02)
By Robert H. Schuller
We are continuing our
series of messages on the Psalms, because we want to give you
the strength, security and serenity in
2002 that my son and I have, and we get it from the
security and serenity are found through all the Psalms
and this morning I am choosing selected verses from Psalm 51,
written by King David. Let me remind you about David. David was
a superhero. Who are your heroes? From the movies, some would
say Arnold Schwartzneger, the Terminator or Tom Hanks. Today,
in our country there are many heroes since 9-11, such as our firefighters
and police officers and now our military persons in Afghanistan.
Well, David was a hero of the heroes in his time and in his life.
He was the youngest
of several children. Then one day the prophet, Samuel, was told
that the next king following Saul would be one of Jesse's sons.
So he went to check out the sons of Jesse to see which one was
destined by God to be the new king.
Jesse brought his oldest
son. No, it was not he. Then the second and the third until finally
the prophet had seen all of Jesse's sons, but the prophet could
feel that none of them were anointed by God. Samuel said, "Are
these all your children?" And Jesse said, "Oh, I have
a very young son, but he's out tending the sheep." The prophet
ordered, "Bring him here." So they brought in David
and instantly the prophet said, "This is he. He will be the
next king!" Wow.
So David's life was
only getting started. He was just a simple boy. He loved the sheep.
He loved the country. And he loved to play his harp, even while
he was grazing the sheep. He loved music. Later when David became
king, he would have an orchestra and a chorus of 3,000 musicians.
When King Saul was
in a terrible depression and looked for something to help him,
he said, "Bring me some music!" So King Saul's advisors
brought the little shepherd boy, David, to play his harp and he
sang some of these Psalms that he wrote. They were beautiful.
Many of the Psalms that we are studying and sharing these weeks
are songs that the little shepherd boy, David, wrote. He was a
composer and a musician, and a man of profound and deep spirituality.
The time came when
David replaced King Saul ¡K from the farm to the king! From
a hut to the palace! And it was a palace! David was a great King.
Anything he wanted he had ¡K the garments, the riches, the
luxury all around him. He had only to lift his finger and every
want would be granted. From the humility and the humble background
of a lowly shepherd to the king, that was our hero, David. Then
His power went to his
head, and David lost his humility and he became proud
and dishonest. He looked out
of his palace window and saw this beautiful woman bathing ¡K
he wanted her ¡K and he got her and made her pregnant. Her
husband, Uriah, was away fighting a battle when David discovered
she was pregnant. David conspired and tried to get her husband
to come back quickly, at least to spend some time with her, because
then her husband would never know that her pregnancy was caused
by someone else.
David was in trouble
¡K big trouble ¡K and Uriah refused to come back and
sleep with his wife because, he said, "My job now is to fight
for my country." So David's plan did not work. Then David
got another idea. He said, "Put Uriah on the front line where
the fighting is the worst and where most of our soldiers are being
killed. Put him there." And that worked. Uriah was killed
and his wife, Bathsheba, was now free for David to marry. The
child was born ¡K but the child would die.
Then alone, David takes
a walk mentally, the most treacherous path a person can take.
The most daring journey you can possibly make is when you allow
your mind to go deep into your heart of hearts ¡K to your
secret, sensitive, seared soul which is sick and hurting ¡K
then and there David found God again and he writes this Psalm.
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me ¡K cleanse me
from my sin.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts.
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Make me to hear joy and gladness again.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and
Renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
and uphold me with Your generous Spirit
Then my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips and my mouth
shall show forth your praise.
There are more verses,
but these are the key verses for today. Later on, David is called
by God, "A man after My own heart." How shocking.
I remember my Grandpa
saying to me one day, "Bob, who is the most beloved man in
I said, "I suppose
it was John. Jesus called him, 'My beloved disciple.'"
Grandpa answered, "I think it was David. God said, 'he is
a man after My own heart.'"
the capacity of God's loving kindness is amazing ¡K to forgive,
to forget and to wash out the terrible past to the degree where
He can say to David, "This man is a man after My own heart."
So I invite you this
morning to take a trip, a journey into the most intimate secret
center of your soul. The psychologists call that the subconscious,
I suppose. I call it "the heart of hearts." You know,
we all carry some secrets. And some are heavier than you may know.
But if you take this trip that David took, it is the key that
will give you the emotional security and the subconscious healing
that can give you the spiritual foundation for strength,
security and serenity.
What does this Psalm
do? What does this kind of penitence do? Psalm 51 gives you two
things: Humility and honesty.
You have read of my trials in life in my autobiography, My Journey
. There was a time when I was in a trial so I picked up the
phone and I called my very special friend, J.B. Fuqua from Atlanta,
Georgia. At that time J.B. was chairman of six companies being
sold over the New York Stock Exchange. He is one of the greatest
corporate dealers in the history of the United States of America.
You can read all about him in his book, "Fuqua." 
He has given away over 100 million dollars to charity. He is one
of our nation's most honored philanthropists. J.B. answered and
I told him my problem. He said, "Bob, just be
honest and humble. I have used those two words all my life
and they will always work." Honesty
and humility - I've never forgotten that.
Honest and Humble
Why do some of you
lack the courage to take the trip that this Psalm calls for you
to make? Probably even though you call yourself a believer, maybe
you call yourself a Christian, or maybe you call yourself a follower
of Jesus Christ, but you have never gone into your heart of hearts.
Maybe it is hostility against a father who may be dead ¡K
a mother who is no longer living. Maybe it's against somebody
¡K your wife or an earlier wife or husband.
Joshua Loth Liebman
was the first psychiatrist to call that to our attention in a
book that made the best seller list fifty years ago. It's title
- "Peace of Mind."  He tells about a colleague who
was a professor of philosophy at the University, and he was an
atheist. And Joshua Liebman said, "You know for the fun of
it, let's try some depth analysis." And the professor, against
his better judgement said, "Okay, I'll go under analysis."
And he went under analysis. He went on the couch, took the Freudian
treatment and in that experience uncovered a childhood memory,
a very bad punishment that his father inflicted upon him just
before his father took him to the synagogue where he was taught
about the Heavenly Father. At that point, atheism set its roots.
He didn't like his father and if there's a Heavenly Father ¡K
one father was bad enough ¡K he didn't want two. Emotionally
he became an atheist. When that was uncovered, Josuah Liebman
led him to a warm faith. That's remarkable.
I don't know what you're
carrying with you, but the tendency is for us to push the horrible
memories into our subconscious. Forget about them and walk away.
Act like it never happened. That does not
work. You have a negative element weighing in the collection of
thoughts that make up your subconscious and it's very hard to
be a believer in God if you have some emotional turbulence deep
And it's unbelievable
how that can negatively affect your creativity. You cannot be
creative if you are harboring guilt ¡K or jealousy ¡K
or fear ¡K or resentment ¡K or anxiety. David writes:
in me a clean heart O God,
and renew a right spirit within me."
This kind of honesty
and humility will set you up to be a believer in God again and
that will affect your creativity in a postive way.
Leonardo da Vinci was
painting his famous painting of Jesus, and little children liked
to come in and watch him. A little boy was there and knocked over
some canvases just as da Vinci was about to touch the eyes of
Jesus on the canvas. da Vinci exploded with anger. He scolded
the boy and sent the children out. Now alone, he picked up the
brush again, but he couldn't feel what he'd been feeling. He couldn't
paint. His creativity was gone.
So he put the brush
down and went out in the streets to where the children were playing
to search for the boy. When he found him, da Vinci said, "Son,
I'm sorry. What I did was far worse than what you did. I allowed
anger to come in, and I can't paint anymore. Please come with
me." And the little boy followed Leonardo da Vinci back to
the studio. Now there was a feeling of forgiveness. As da Vinci
looked at the little boy's eyes he picked up the brush and painted
the eyes of Jesus. That beautiful painting is seen by millions
Negative emotions that
aren't discharged live on through all you do, and if you allow
them, they have immortality! Get rid of the negative emotions.
I don't know what they are. For David it was guilt. It was shame
of the highest sort.
Do you know what Psalm
51 is? Did you catch it as you read it? It's a prayer. "Have
mercy upon me, O God. Cleanse me. Create in me a clean heart.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation!"
Do you dare to pray
this prayer? Do you dare to go to the intimate secret center of
your soul where no one has ever been allowed to see ¡K or
feel ¡K or touch? Well, you don't dare to go there alone.
I go there. I go there all the time, but I never go alone. I always
bring with me my Best Friend whom I can trust ¡K who knows
all my secrets and loves me after He's seen me at my worst. His
name is Jesus Christ, and He always goes along with me. He always
reaffirms me, reassures me and tells me He loves me as much as
He ever has ¡K even when He sees me at my worst.
Where does this prayer
lead? This prayer will lead you to Jesus Christ. And do you know
what He will say to you? "Blessed
are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew
Yes, as you unload
your anxiety, your guilt, your fear, whatever it is, you will
you feel the presence of God, alone and quietly with Him.
Where are you today?
Do you want strength? ¡K
security? ¡K serenity?
You'll have that in the deepest part of your being for you know
there is a God and He loves you. And you know He lived in this
world once in the body of Jesus Christ. And this Jesus Christ
has the power, with scars on the palms of His hands, to forgive
you ¡K to Forgive you!
He had the power to forgive those who would crucify Him. No greater
sin was ever committed than that. Jesus Christ is alive! I believe
that! I live that way. I talk to Him. I walk with Him. He whispers
to me. He is my Best Friend.
I invite you to come
and follow Jesus Christ¡K embrace Him. You will be washed
¡K you'll be clean ¡K you will hear joy and gladness.
And the spiritual footings will be there for strength,
for security and for serenity.
How do you go about
it? Simple, very simple, that's what will probably hold you back,
the simplicity of it. It's a mental decision.
You say, "What
if that's wrong?" Well let me tell you, if
I've been wrong for 75 years, I wouldn't change it for anything.
It's been a wonderful life.
Thank you, Lord, that
there is a place where faith happens. Because You love me, You
will walk with me, Jesus, into the center of my heart of hearts,
into my private, secret soul. And there You will wash me, cleanse
me, encourage me and continue to love me evermore. Thank you.