A Purpose In Everything
God didn't make you to fail. He made you to bring glory and honor to Him.
And hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright? Yes, it’s your friend Bob Cook, and I’m back with you for just a few moments of sharing from God’s precious Word. God’s eternal, inerrant, infallible Word, the Bible. Anytime you wanna be solid in your faith, start with the Bible. Don’t start with your feelings or with somebody else’s opinion. Start with the Bible. Isaiah said, “To the Word and to the testimony, for if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.” Jesus said, “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life and they are they which testify of me.”
So we start with the Bible and we find, don’t we, that it does indeed speak to our condition and to our needs. Thank God for that. I’m glad for this time together with you. What a privilege it is. We’re looking at 1 Thessalonians chapter five. We come down to verse 24 which, logically, grows out of 23. He says, “I am praying that the very God of peace will sanctify you wholly,” W-H-O-L-L-Y. “And I pray, God, your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless under the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it.” He said, “What I’m praying for, I know God is going to do.” That’s the best kind of praying, isn’t it? When you pray according to what you know is the revealed Will of God, you know the answer is on the way.
How can I know I’m praying in the Will of God? Number one, look in the Bible. Anything that is in God’s Word is good foundation for praying. Eric Hutchings told me, when he returned from Korea some years ago, that he had attended an early morning prayer meeting in Seoul, in one of the large churches there with a seating capacity of around 5,000. It was full at 4:00 in the morning, although the prayer meeting was not scheduled to begin formally until 5:00. But there people were, and he saw that many of them were busily engaged in turning the leaves of their Bible and looking at verses here and there. And so through an interpreter, he asked someone. He said to the lady, “Why is it that you are here early, so early? Because the prayer meeting doesn’t begin until 5 o’clock.” “Oh,” she said, “We’re just looking up promises to throw up to the throne of God when we pray.” [chuckle] Promises to throw up to the throne of God when we pray. Pray on the basis of the Word. You’ll know always that you’re praying in the Will of God when you pray on the basis of His revealed Word, the Bible.
Now, there are certain things you deduce from God’s Word that grow logically from the teachings of God’s Word, and you pray on the basis then of the outgrowth of all of those biblical truths. Not your opinion, not somebody else’s either, but whatever the Bible is teaching you. For example, here’s a verse: “Seek ye first, the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. Put God first and put His righteousness first. That means the standard of His righteousness, the reality of His righteousness, and the person who brings His righteousness to you, the Holy Spirit of God. Put all of that first in your life. That’s what the verse says.
Now, when you’re praying on the basis of a verse like that, there are certain conclusions to which you come. One, for instance, is that there may be some things in your life that have been taking first place over against the Will of God, and you have to deal with them, and so you do. And as you deal with them, on the basis of the Word of God in prayer, you find that your prayer is actually in line with the Will of God. You follow me? And so you turn to the Word, you pray on the basis of the Word, and you pray on the basis of what the Word teaches you to do. As you obey, God speaks to your heart in prayer, and the Holy Spirit of God prays through you, according, Paul says in Romans 8, to the Will of God. “We know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us according to the Will of God.”
Now, how do you pray in the Will of God? The Bible, the teachings of the Bible, the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within you, applying the Bible. And then you pray in terms of the absolute commitment of faith. Always in our humans minds, there’s the “what if” factor. I’m praying now and I’m trusting God, but what if the answer doesn’t come the way I want it? People write to me, and their home has been broken up through the faithlessness of a prodigal husband, or a straying wife, whatever it may be. And the person who is writing says, “Oh, I’m just praying that God will bring him back, or bring her back to me. Do you think God will do this if I pray hard enough and in faith?” Well, beloved, I always have to answer, “I don’t know how God may answer your prayer.” God sometimes says, “yes,” in answer to my prayers, and sometimes, “no,” and sometimes, “wait, not yet.”
And oftentimes the answers that God has given have turned out to be so very much better than anything I could have desired. I have to say this frankly. If God had given me everything I asked for in my prayers during the past 50 years, I probably would’ve ruined myself. God hasn’t given me everything I asked for, but He’s given me what I needed. Our Lord Jesus said, “If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give good things to them that ask Him?” Like a father whose little boy reaches for a stone thinking it’s a piece of bread, he gives him bread instead. The little boy reaches for a snake thinking it’s an eel, but he gives him a fish instead. The little boy reaches for a scorpion thinking that it’s a bird’s egg, coiled up there in a little gray thing. He said, “Oh, a bird’s egg.” “No, no, no. That’s a scorpion, it’ll sting you. Here’s an egg.” The father, the human father, gives the good thing to the little boy. The Heavenly Father gives the best things to His earthly children as we pray and as we trust. And so if you’re praying on the basis of the Will of God, it is a prayer of absolute commitment no matter what the Holy Father decides to give you in answer to prayer, because He always gives you the best.
God reserves His very best for those who leave the choice to Him. Praying in the Will of God, then you know that you are going to get an answer. Well, he said, “I pray that your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he which calleth you, and he also will do it.” “I know that this prayer,” said Paul, “is gonna be answered.” Why? Because it’s part of the Will of God.
God is committed to getting you safe home to glory. “Being confident,” Paul says in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Our Savior made it very plain that in Judgment Day, there will be those who claimed to be saved, claimed to be Christians, who were not. And our Lord Jesus is going to look at them even though they profess to have been very busy in His work. “Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name, done many wonderful works,” they’ll say. He will say, “I never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work inequity.” There will be religious people in the judgment who never were saved. That distinction is not yours nor mine to make. We don’t have to judge that. What we do have to be sure of is that we know our Lord Jesus, and that He knows us, and has taken us as His very own.
And if that be so, if you know for sure that you’ve been born again, and that your life is given to the Lord Jesus, and that the Holy Spirit of God is dwelling within you, and at this moment, you’re trusting the merits of the shed blood of Christ, who died for you and who rose again to be your justifier, and who this minute is interceding for you in the glory. If you know that that’s true, then you can also know that God is going to see you through to glory. “Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it.” God isn’t going to dump you now. He didn’t bring you this far to drop you. You follow all that truth? Apply it to your own heart, beloved, and live in the joy and in the confidence that it can bring.
Faithful. God is the faithful God. The emphasis here is on the participle, calleth. “Faithful is the one calling you,” is the way we might translate it literally. And he puts the emphasis not on what God is doing, but the person who’s doing it. You see, “God who cannot lie,” the Bible says, “He’s faithful. And the one who is absolutely faithful is the one with whom you are dealing.” Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the Lord, thy God, He is God. The faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments unto a thousand generations.” He’s the faithful God. He keeps His promise, generation after generation, family after family. Think of all that means. You look back across the years, you can see how faithful God has been to you. I certainly can as I look back over my life. And I’m not done yet, hallelujah. [laughter]
God has been so faithful in guiding, and keeping, and protecting, and blessing, and strengthening, and cleansing, and forgiving, and enabling, and filling my life. Oh, how faithful He is. He is God the faithful God, we read in that Deuteronomy 7 passage. And over in 1 Kings, “Blessed be the Lord that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There hath not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses, His servant.” There hath not failed one word. He’s faithful. He keeps His promises. Do you want to review your own life? Just now, in terms of the variables where there’s a little wobble and where sometimes you are prone to doubt and wonder whether God has forgotten you? Just review some of those areas, and in each case remember that God keeps His promises and He hasn’t forgotten you. “The Lord is not unrighteous to forget,” we read in Hebrews 6:10, “He is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love that you’ve showed toward His name in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister.” God doesn’t forget you. He doesn’t say, “Oh, I’m sorry I forgot that I told you that.”
He keeps His promises, and you can depend upon them. “Thy mercy, oh Lord,” said the psalmist, “Thy mercy, oh Lord, is in the heavens, and Thy faithfulness reaches unto the clouds. I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. With my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations. God is faithful by whom you were called unto the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” “Let them that suffer, according to the Will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to Him,” says Peter, “in well-doing as unto a faithful Creator.” God didn’t make you to fail. He made you to bring glory and honor to Him. And the things that are happening to your life are His effort to make you shine a little more brightly for the glory of God.
Father dear, we love you. We worship you. We fear you. We want to serve you. And we pray that Thou wouldst make us aware of Thy faithfulness and help us to trust absolutely upon Thy promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen. ‘Til I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing.
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