A Great Peace
You’re operating according to a higher set of principles and so you don’t get upset and offended at things that happen in day to day life.
And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing alright? Oh, I trust so. Bless your heart. Nice to be back with you. This is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I am speaking with you as usual from the little room at the end of the hall on the second floor of the big white house. Well, I trust things are going all right with you. I want to go on with you, if I may, finishing up Romans 15 and going on into Romans 16 in our verse by verse study. What we try to do is put a handle on the Word of God for you so that you can get a hold of it for yourself.
Remember, the Bible is eternally true whether or not anyone reads or believes it. But it becomes of value to you and to me when we apply it to our own lives. That then, is my purpose in being on the radio. I want to help people to apply the Word of God to their own daily lives. And if in the process, in these programs, if there’s something that seems especially suited for your need, you’ll know that God has just answered our prayers, that’s all, because I pray every day that something that is said will be special for needy people. Bless your heart.
Well, Paul winds up this 15th chapter of Romans by saying, “Now may the God of peace be with you all.” A very short benediction there. I want you to notice the three descriptions of God that Paul uses in this 15th chapter. In verse 5, He’s the God of patience and comfort; and in verse 13, He’s the God of hope; and then in verse 33, He’s said to be the God of peace. And you know, as you look at those three passages, you can see how beautifully that describes our relationship with the Lord. “The God of patience and consolation will grant you to be likeminded one toward another,” according to Christ Jesus, “that ye may with one mind and one mouth, glorify God.”
He said, we ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, we ought to please other people, not ourselves, even Christ didn’t please Himself, “He came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life for ransom.” So he says, “The God of patience and comfort will grant you to be likeminded one toward another that ye may with one mind and one mouth, glorify God.” What’s the point? When you get your heart and mind fixed on helping and serving others for Jesus’ sake, God does certain things for you; number one, He makes you patient with people; number two, He gives you comfort in the knocks and nicks and abrasions of life; and number three, He give you areas in which you can agree with others in praising God.
Put the Lord Jesus Christ in the center of your life and get the focus of your life on other people’s needs and what will happen is God will make you more patient with people, He’ll comfort you and give you His balm of Gilead, His healing for the knocks and the nicks and the abrasions of everyday living, and He’ll allow you to discover areas where you can join with others in praising the Lord. That’s the first thing God does when you begin to let Him run your life. He fits you in with other people in a genuine attitude of praise to God.
Everybody who ever ran a committee meeting knows that if your committee members are at odds with each other, they’re crosswise in their thinking and there’s no agreement, oftentimes you’ll say, “Now, let’s back off from this and let’s look at the situation,” and then you begin to describe what they’ve said to each other and you look for areas where they agree and you say, “Well, I think we can agree on this and this and this and this.” And when you pick out areas on which you agree very frequently, you’ll find also other areas in which you can effect either a compromise or an agreement.
Now, that’s the way you manage meetings, oftentimes, isn’t it? Well, that’s precisely what the Lord does for you and for me when He manages us. He gets our eyes on helping others instead of helping ourselves and then He gives us the opportunity of praising Him with other people. As long as you’re praising the Lord, you’re in agreement with other people who are praising Him, have you thought about that? As long as you’re worshiping and praising the Lord, you’ll be in agreement with other people who are also worshiping and praising Him and little disagreements along the way find their proper place of perspective which is pretty far down the line.
Then He’s called the God of hope. He’s the “God of hope who will fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Hope, you see, is much more than just wishful thinking. I wish somebody would die and leave me a million dollars. That’s wishful thinking. But if I have a rich uncle who is now aged 99 and who has said to me, “Robert, I am going to leave you a million dollars,” hey, that’s hope. I’ll look at him every morning and say, “Uncle, how are you feeling?”
Hope has to be rooted in a person. Hope has to be based in and rooted in a relationship with a person. Peter says, “God has begotten us again unto a living hopeÂ byÂ theÂ resurrectionÂ of Jesus Christ from the dead.” He’s the God of Hope and so He wants to fill you with joy and peace in the act of believing God. What happens then is that the Blessed Holy Spirit takes the things of Christ and makes them real to you so that you know that you’re trusting a living savior and you’re not in a dead-end street in life, so to speak, but you’re making progress. He’s the God of hope.
He’s the God of blessed tomorrows because there’s a person in the tomorrows – our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, how do you make that all real when He says he’ll fill you with joy and peace in believing? Here again we have the theme which we talked about yesterday, the theme of committing yourself and the situation to God. Believing is not simply a mental exercise. I believe two plus two equal four, that’s a mental exercise believing in the way the Bible uses it has the idea of commitment of turning the control of a situation over to God in turning your life and all of its destiny over to your Lord, that is believing. That’s what that means.
Commitment is what’s involved. So he says, “The God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace in commitment of your life to God that you may abound in hope.” How? Through the power of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit of God brings Jesus into reality in every area of your life that you commit to Him. Did you get that? The Holy Spirit of God brings Jesus Christ into reality in every area of your life that you commit to Him. And so, when you’ve turned something over to your Lord, the Spirit of God makes Christ real to you and all of a sudden, you have the delight of knowing, not just wishing, but of knowing that things are going to turn out right because Jesus, our blessed Lord, is in control.
A man came and talked with me one day about the fact that through some marital difficulty or other, his wife had left and was now suing to gain control of their one child, a 10 or 12 year old boy, I guess it was, something like that. Been long enough ago that I’ve forgotten the exact details but I do remember the thrust of what happened. Now, this man was a believer. He was trying to bring up his little motherless boy as a Christian. He didn’t want the boy to live under the circumstances which he felt were in effect in the other home and he came and talked to me about it.
“Well,” I said, “Let’s talk to the Lord about it. God’s able to do things.” And so we prayed and I spoke to him as I recall about this matter of really believing God, really believing God about it. I said, “Let’s trust God to do something here.” “Oh,” he said, “I don’t have much hope. I don’t have much hope about it.” And he went out rather gloomily and as he went out, I was still assuring him we’re going to believe God about this, we’re going to trust the Lord. Well, some months later I got a note from him. He said, “Well, see this, Mr. Cook,” he said, “I’m glad to tell you that the God did answer our prayer.” And he said, “I have custody of my precious boy and I’m trying to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
And he said, “The thing was worked out quite apart from my fighting anything,” he said, “evidently, God heard and answered our prayer.” Well, of course God heard and answered our prayer. Now, I’m not saying that every time you pray, a legal battle will be won and I’m not saying that every time you pray, you’ll get what asked for. What I am saying is that when you turn the running of your life over to God and with it a given situation, when you turn a situation over to God, you can know that He is going to do the right thing by you and you can abound in hope because the Holy Spirit has brought the Lord Jesus into reality in that area of your life. You follow that?
Today, take something that bothers you, that bugs you, that burdens you, that breaks your heart, whatever it may be, and give it by faith to Jesus and just let Him start to control it. I can tell you that He is the God of hope. The tomorrows that are filled with a person who knows and who cares and who can make a difference. And then of course Paul calls Him the God of peace, here, “May the God of peace be with you all.” And it’s interesting that he talks about our God being the God of peace right after he has urged them to agonize in prayer for Him, for personal praying for a person, praying for victory over opposition, praying for acceptance by believers, praying for joy in the will of God, praying for rest and refreshment, and then he says “the God of peace be with you all.”
It is a fact that when you have committed something to God in earnest prayer, He does give you His peace. You and I know that because of Philippians 4:6 and 7, don’t we? “Be care-filled or worried for nothing but in everything,” everything, that is, “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” He’s the God of peace. And perfect peace comes when you’ve committed things to Him.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “Though wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.” The Psalmist says, “Great peace have they that love Thy law and nothing shall offend them.” You’re operating according to a higher set of principles and so you don’t get upset and offended at things that happen in day-to-day life. The peace that comes through praying about everything. Would you learn that secret today, beloved? You don’t have to go through life upset. You don’t have to have your life constantly like the center of a storm. You can have peace and the secret is simply to talk it over with the Lord Jesus Christ and give the control of the situation to Him.
Dear Father, today, help us to have that perfect peace that comes from perfect commitment to thee, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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