A Perfect Plan
Would you tie the destiny of your own life to the fact that God is always right?
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, is your friend Dr. Cook. I’m glad to be back with, you, believe me. I’m so grateful for the modern miracle of radio that enables us to speak with many people, across the miles, and the kindness of so many people at the radio stations that help to put this broadcast on the air. Thank you for being there and thank you, each of you who helps.
We’re looking at Mark chapter one. Our Lord Jesus has successfully resisted the temptation of Satan. He’s given the Word of God in answer to every one of those solicitations to evil that Satan gave. Is it any comfort to you, I’m sure it ought to be, comfort to you, that the Lord Jesus went through every kind of temptation that you and I face, and He did so victoriously, for our sake? “We have not on High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities”, He knows how you feel.
Has it ever struck you when people were visiting you, maybe you were ill or in pain, or whatever it was, and they said, “Oh, I’m so sorry”, and in the back of your mind you are saying to yourself, “They may be sorry, but that don’t know how I feel”. Well, that’s true, you know, other human beings may empathize and sympathize, but they just, they can’t live inside of your skin, so they never do know quite how you feel. But the Bible says, “Christ is touched with the feeling of our infirmities”, He knows how I feel and He cares! “Casting all your care upon Him”, Peter says, “for He careth for you”. That verse means you are His concern. He’s got you on His mind and He’s concerned about you and He cares about you, because He feels how you feel. When you’re discouraged, He knows how you feel, when you’re tempted He knows how you feel. When you’re hurt He knows how you feel, when you’re so tired you can’t put one foot ahead of another, He knows how you feel. When you’re angered He knows how you feel. You can trust Him.
That’s why it’s so safe to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. You can turn your mind over to the Lord Jesus because He knows how you feel. He’s going to think His blessed thoughts through you through the indwelling Holy Spirit. It’s a great truth, isn’t it?
Now Mark disposes of the imprisonment of John the Baptist with a phrase. This is just like him you know-everything is short and encapsulated. He says, “Now, after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the Gospel”. You know why John was imprisoned I guess don’t you? He gave the message out in straightforward truth. “The words of truth that moved many to repentance goaded others to resistance and resentment”. John even challenged King Herod to admit his sin. Herodias, the woman whom Herod had married illegally decided to get rid of this desert preacher, so she was ultimately able to have them killed, but she wasn’t able to stop his message. The Lord Jesus was already on the scene, the one whom John had introduced was there, and the ministry had been completed.
John put in prison. John got discouraged, another of the Gospels said that he sent some of his followers to the Lord Jesus asking, “Art Thou He that should come or do we look for another?” The unspoken question was if you’re the Messiah, why am I here in jail? I introduced you. Why am I here, in this kind of a miserable situation with my life in danger, if you’re the one that you really say you are, and I introduced you? Why do You let me be here? It’s a perfectly normal question to ask.
I had a letter from one of our graduates, distinguished graduate I may say as well, who said that some time ago, they discovered that their eldest daughter, who is a very brilliant student right now in college, is suffering from a rare disease, and it’s just got them so concerned. She said at first you know, why her, us, why me Lord? That was the question that came, but then God began graciously to minister to their own hearts, and that mother’s heart was comforted, and the father’s heart was reassured that God knows what He’s doing He’s able to see them all through.
Precious letter that this dear one wrote to me, but we go through that don’t we? Why me, why am I here in jail if you’re the One, why am I hurting if I’m Your precious child, why do You let me be fired from my job, if I’m so precious to You? Why do You allow me to go through this, to have a husband who walks away from me or a wife who is faithless or a child whose a prodigal, why do You let me do this, why is this happening to me now, if I’m so precious to You? It’s a perfectly normal question.
Now, one thing I have to tell you is that you don’t get the whys, W-H-Y, you don’t get the whys answered when you ask them all the time. Job didn’t. Read the book of Job and find them asking after all these things have. You know what happened to Job, don’t you? The invaders came and killed his whole family, and the storm came and wiped out his property, and he was in one day, taken from being rich with a prosperous family, to being wiped out financially and his family dead. Just he and his wife left. Because God allowed Satan to test him. God allowed Satan to test him, and then of course on top of that, God allowed Satan to take away Job’s health and afflict him with boils from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot. He was completely broken out all over with boils. What a painful ailment. One boil was enough. I remember that. I had a boil on the back of my neck that had to be lanced, when I was a boy, and I still remember the pain of it. It’s a bad business and to have a lot of them all over your body, ooh, is that something! That’s Job. And so in the midst of all that he was asking questions, “Why was I born, why didn’t I die right after I was born, why did God allow me to grow up and get to be a man, why does all this happen to me? Why?!”
God never did answer the question, instead at the end of the book of Job, you find God revealing Himself to him, Job saying, “I’ve heard by the hearing of the ear, but now when I see it, then I repent and abhor myself in dust and ashes”. Job got a new vision of God and that settled all the ‘why’ questions of his life. And lest you think that this is too simple, just preacher talk when I say a new vision of God, a new experience with God will settle the why questions. I have to tell you, if don’t believe it just try it for yourself. This is the way it works- God lets you get hungry so He can feed you, God lets you cry so He can comfort you, God lets you have a need, so He can fill the need, because if He didn’t do it that way, you wouldn’t know that you needed God, right?
Now, that’s not very comforting when you’re going through the ringer. Somebody right now is saying, “Oh Brother Cook, stop it. You don’t know how I feel. I’m hurting and for you to say that just a new touch from God is going to make me feel better come on, cut it out”. I know that’s what you’re saying, I love you anyway, bless your heart, I do. But I’m telling you the truth- it is the truth, that God will give you new reassurance and new comfort and new strength and new blessing, if in your trial and trouble and pressure you turn to Him.
That’s what happened to John the Baptist. Jesus, when the followers of John came with that plaintive question, “Are you really the One? I introduced You, but you’re not acting like it. You’re letting me rot in jail, why”? He said, “You go back and tell him what’s happening. The blind see, the deaf hear, the demons are cast out and the dead are raised, and the poor have the Gospel preached unto them. You tell them what’s happening”. There never was any other word then of doubt. John knew that it was indeed the Lord Jesus and that God was on the job.
Small thought here: does God allow something that I don’t like or to take it to its ultimate, as it was with the John the Baptist, does God allow people to lose their lives, when they would far rather like to go on living? The answer has to be yes. John the Baptist I’m sure, would’ve like to go on living and see the culmination of the ministry, earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, but instead God allow that wicked woman Herodias to have her way and his head was taken off his body and he died. You remember that? Now, why?
Well, I’m going to have to find out the real answers to all of that when I get to Heaven, but I know that in the economy of God the death of some people has resulted in the salvation of many others. I know that and I know that when God is finished with a ministry, it’s not necessary for a person to live any longer, that’s another thing. Even though our timetable may be different He said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts and My ways aren’t your ways”. God doesn’t work on my timetable and it’s fruitless for me to ask, why does He let someone live and somebody else not live? Let God be God. “Let God be true”, Paul says, “Even though every person in all the rest of the world is a liar, God is true, He’s right, He never makes any mistakes”.
Would you tie the destiny of your own life to the fact that God’s always right? Would you tie your daily schedule and your destiny and what happens to you and how you feel about it, would you tie all of that to the fact that your God is always right, He never makes a mistake? He said, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good not of evil, to give you a desired end”. God knows what He is doing. When they ask the Lord Jesus about the crowd and He asked the disciples, “What shall we do, how should we feed these people?” it said, “He Himself knew what He would do”. “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world”.
I can’t understand some things that God does-why does He take a young person and allow that young person to die of cancer and He allows some old rascal to live to age 85? I don’t know, except that, “God is long-suffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to salvation”. But I do know this: that God is right, hallelujah. God always does the right thing, they said of our Lord Jesus, “He hath done all things well”, and John the Baptist learned that, and the way to learn it is to look to Jesus. When John asked, “Hey, are You really He and if you are, why am I rotting in jail? Jesus said, “Go back and tell him what’s happening”. The Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God is on the job, and people are being saved and healed and blessed.
When God is at work, you and I are reassured. Let God begin to work in your life in a new way and you will be reassured concerning the variables and the questions that have bothered you before. Good idea? “Thanks be unto God which comforteth us in all our trouble, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God”. God allows you to need comfort, so that you can reach out a tender hand to somebody else along the way. Well we go on in Mark chapter 1 the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may we look at the tests, and the trials and the tears and the heartaches, as well as the victories as part of thy perfect plan for us, in Jesus’, I pray in His name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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