Always A Victor
God always protects you when you are doing His Will. Trust in His promises to see you through.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Well, I trust so. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. I look forward to these times of sharing from the Word of God.
We’re looking into the 91st Psalm during these few days, as sort of a break in between studies of various books of the Bible. We finished the Gospel of Mark and I have to start somewhere else after a while. I don’t really know which book to choose, but we trust the Holy Spirit of God to guide us.
In any case, every individual broadcast is bathed in prayer, the prayer being, “O God may there be something in this broadcast that is especially suited for the needs of people.” And the Holy Spirit of God can do that. He dwells within the believer and He can take the Word of God, the inerrant eternal, infallible Word of God, and tailor it to your needs. That’s what I pray for every day. I hope that may be so today, as well.
We’re looking at Psalm 91. We got into verse six, “Thou shall not be afraid,” it says, in verse five. That’s the key phrase, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night. You’re not gonna afraid for the arrow that flieth by day. You’re not gonna be afraid for the pestilence that walketh in darkness. You’re not going to be afraid for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” As I look at it, this passage tells me that I may have to go through some of these experiences. Look around you and you can see people who went through dreadful trials during World War II, and the Korean War, and the Vietnam conflict, and other types of human experiences that were filled with anguish and pain and danger.
Jesus said, “In the world, ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor,” that means fragrance, “The fragrance of His knowledge by us in every place.” And if God puts you through the wringer, it’s because He wants you to be His perfume. That’s the figure of speech that’s used there. “Thou shalt not be afraid. Perfect love casteth out all fear.” Whatever situation you’re in today if you love my Lord, you can look up and say, “Lord, I don’t particularly enjoy this, but I’m gonna do it for your glory and go through it to honor you, so that you can make me a winner.” “He always maketh us to triumph in Christ.” You’re never a victim of the circumstances. Always a victor in Christ. That’s the truth that God would have us learn today.
Now, we come to verse seven. He says, “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord which is my refuge, even the most high thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee. Neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Now, how are we to take this? Every word of God is true. That’s where we start. Every word of God is true and it’s eternal. “Heaven and Earth shall pass away but my word shall never pass away. Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in Heaven.” So however we look at this, this passage, it’s absolutely true, isn’t it? We start there, don’t we? Now, then what does he mean? Well, it is true that God does protect you in situations where everyone around you is falling.
The man who was… Well, he served in various positions at the college. He was Dean for two different sets of years. He was a professor for many years, and he was Director of the Library for years before his retirement, Dr. Waldron. Cal Waldron, we called him affectionately. Cal is short for Calvin. Dr. Waldron told me of his experiences during World War II. There he was in an area with other of the GIs. If I recall the story correctly, and I think I do, he was stationed at Clark Field near Manila in the Philippines. And for no apparent reason, he got up and moved to another position several feet away, and just after he moved, a shell fired from the hills surrounding the airfield, crashed into that area, precisely in the spot where he had been.
Now, what is that? Well, he had been praying day by day that God would keep His hand on him, and you and I know that God does protect. Now, the fact remains that there are other people who get into all sorts of situations, some where they lose their lives. We call it accidents. Well, you have to balance that out with this promise. This promise says, “Only with thine eyes, you’ll see the reward of the wicked. A thousand at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, you’ll see what God does while He protects you.” It is a fact that God protects you while you’re doing His will. When your work is done, He has the right to say, “Come on home.” That balances it out, doesn’t it? We don’t give God any direct orders. We don’t demand that He take care of us.
I fly all the time. And I’m quite aware of the fact that the law of gravity is still in operation, and if something happens and the airplane drops, well, I’m gonna go to glory. And I’ll greet my father and mother and the other dear ones and fall before the pierced feet of my Savior, and there will be that glad reunion with our blessed Lord. That could happen. At the same time when I… I assure you, when I’m flying somewhere and we get into some turbulence and the place is bouncing around, it’s a funny thing. Anytime they serve coffee, you’ll hit turbulence. You people who are stewards and stewardesses, you know that. That’s a saying in the trade. Anytime you start to serve a meal, you’ll hit turbulence. Well, the things are bouncing around and the coffee cup is hitting the ceiling, you know what Bob Cook is doing? He’s saying, “Lord, I’m your boy. Take care of me now.” [laughter]
Sure, why? Because you balance out the idea that God knows where you are and what you’re doing and that He is perfectly able to preserve your life through all of these dangerous situations. And you balance that with the idea that when He’s done with you, He’s gonna call you home, because you belong to him. Does that make sense to you? It certainly does to me, and it gives me a vast and ineffable sense of peace when I’m traveling here and there to preach the Gospel. Jesus said, “Go ye and preach and lo, I am with you all the way.” When you’re busy doing His will and preaching His word and trying to win souls to Christ, you are in His care. Hallelujah.
Now, the same thing is true in trusting God for protection against disease. He said, “There shall no evil befall thee. Neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling for He give His angels charge over thee.” Well, how does that work? Does that keep Junior from getting the chicken pox? No, it really doesn’t. What does it mean? Well, I think the key may be in the word “plague.” I have a boyhood memory of the flu epidemic in, what was it, 1918? I would’ve been just about six years old. My mother had been dead for four years and more. My father and my sister were raising this little stroobly-haired, runny-nosed boy, me. And the flu epidemic was on. People were dropping like flies. I remember my father praying and reminding God that we were trusting Him to keep us. Now, no one of us three got sick, and in addition, I just had a visit with my sister, Mildred. She came to be with us for a week or so and has now gone back to California.
But during that visit we remembered the fact that while that flu epidemic was on, this girl of 16 took charge of the cooking in a kitchen of a hospital on 79th Street in Cleveland. I don’t know if the hospital’s still there, but it was then. A small, independent hospital where they couldn’t get anybody to work, because everybody was sick or dying, and here was this slip of a 16-year-old girl who did the cooking. And God kept her, and my father, and me well throughout all of that time. What does that prove? It proves that He did it. It doesn’t prove that He had to do it. Nor does it prove that you won’t ever get sick if you’re trying to serve the Lord. It does prove that God reserves the right to see you through impossible situations.
People may be dropping around you like flies, but God reserves the right to see you through if it’s for His glory. Now that’s where I’m coming from. Does that make sense to you? Trust Him today, trust Him, trust Him. He knows what He’s doing. “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” God knows what He’s doing. Trust Him completely as He leads you. Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” Now, here we come to the passage that the devil quoted in the temptation of Christ. “He shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Satan quoted those two verses to our Lord Jesus during the temptation, as found in the fourth chapter of Matthew, and so on.
It’s possible to misapply Scripture, isn’t it? Satan tempted our Lord Jesus to make a spectacle of Himself so that people would look at him gaping open mouthed in wonder as He came down from the parapet of the temple, jumping unharmed to the Earth below. “He shall give His angels charge over thee.” No, Jesus said, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” This is not what God meant. The promises of God are never meant to show off. Put that down in the notebook of your mind. God’s promises are never given to us so we can show off and say, “See what God does.”
The promises of God are given to you and to me that we may trust Him in every situation knowing that He doeth all things well. He says, “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adder, the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.” This is either real or figurative and I think maybe a little of both. It is possible for God to make you victorious over wild, attacking animals. Every missionary has known this. David knew it as well. He said, “I kept my father’s flock in the wilderness. There came a lion and a bear and so on. I went out and I went after them and God delivered me from the paw of the lion, the paw of the bear, and He delivered me from this Philistine Goliath as well.”
God reserves the right to keep you in situations where the very forces of nature are against you. You can trust Him to be the God that is in control. Do you want to begin trusting that way? This is not a passive, laid back, kind of a nothing matters business. This is active trust, where you’re busy sharing your blessed Lord with everyone you can and where your life is yielded to the Spirit of God who fills the believer. Then you can say, “I’m trusting the God who knows what He wants to do through me. I’m gonna trust Him all the way.” An active trust in the God who keeps His word, that’s what we learn, I think, from these verses.
Dear Father today, grant us to trust Thee actively as we go on through life doing God’s will. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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