If you're troubled with doubts, and I suppose everyone is at sometime or other in his or her life, get into God's Word, and read the promises that He's made and the prophecies that have been fulfilled.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Yes, you can be in the world, but not of it. That’s the background of that little greeting that establishes the fact that this is, indeed, your friend, Bob Cook. And I am with you for the next few moments, to share from God’s Word, try to put a handle on it, so that you can get hold of it for yourself.
We’re in the last chapter of the Book of Mark, the last few verses. Our Lord Jesus has appeared to the disciples. He appeared first to Mary Magdalene and He appeared in another form unto two of the disciples, as they walked and went into the country. “Afterward… “, we come now to Verse 14, “Afterward, He appeared unto the 11, as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief, and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.”
Now, unbelief, it comes from certain causes. One of which, I think, is quite plain, as you look in the closing chapter of the Book of Luke. The appearance to which Mark refers, where the Lord Jesus appeared to two of them, as they were on their way from Jerusalem to wherever they were living. As they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, He said, “What manner of communications are these that you have as you walk and are sad?” They said, “Are you only a stranger? You don’t know what’s been going on these days?” He said, “What things?” They said, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet indeed and the chief priest who condemned Him to death, and crucified Him. And we thought that it would have been He, who would have redeemed Israel. We said all of this. Today is the third day, since these things were done and certain women of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher. They said they didn’t find the body, but they saw a vision of angels, which said He was alive.”
And He said, this is Luke 24:25, “Oh, foolish ones… ” King James version said, “Fools.” What He really was said, “Little foolish ones,” like you’d say to a little child, “Foolish little children, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken, ought not… ” He uses a little verb form there that means, “Didn’t it have to be?” “Wasn’t it absolutely necessary that Christ should suffer these things, and then enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses, and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Well, He made Himself known to them when He was blessing the food, after they’d invited Him in for supper. And then it says He vanished out of their sight. And then they said, “Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way and while He opened to us the scriptures?” They returned the same hour to Jerusalem, found the 11 gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.” And they told what things were done in the breaking of bread, and as they thus spoke, Jesus Himself stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be unto you.”
My, my. Wonderful, wonderful occurrences there, huh? Now, unbelief. “Oh, foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” The Bible says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” The way to banish unbelief is to get into the Word of God, and to read it, and believe it, and obey it. If you’re troubled with doubts, and I suppose everyone is at sometime or other in his or her life, if you’re troubled with doubts, get into God’s Word, and read the promises that He’s made and the prophecies that have been fulfilled. See, as the Holy Spirit quickens your own heart, see how you begin to trust God more. Faith cometh by hearing, hearing by the Word of God. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another,” said Paul.
There’s one thought. Unbelief comes from a lack of dwelling with the Word of God. The more you’re in the Word, the more you’re gonna be able to believe God. People say, “I wish I had faith.” Well, you got all the faith you need, just like you got all the breath you need. There’s air around you and all you need to do to breathe, is to fill your lungs with air. To say, “I wish I had more faith,” it’s a redundant business, because you got all the faith you need. You need to exercise it, that’s all. And the way to tune up your soul so you can exercise faith, is to get into God’s Word. The more of God’s Word, the more you’ll believe Him. The less of God’s Word, the less you’ll believe Him. Now, how does that square with the way you’ve been living? Have you been spending any time with God’s Word, the Bible? This is the inerrant, inspired, infallible Word of God, the Bible. Have you been spending any time with it? Or you say, “I read my Bible every night, just before I fall asleep.” Well, that’s good, but it doesn’t go far enough, it seems to me.
You and I need to spend some time with our Lord in the Word. And the best time for that is when you begin the day, not when you end it, when you’re completely exhausted and your eyelids are drooping with weariness. You’re just about falling asleep, sometimes you do fall asleep over your Bible reading, don’t we? Well, try it in the morning. Get up 10 minutes early, and just spend some extra time with your Lord in the Word. You’ll be surprised what it’ll do for you. It’ll set your mood for all day long. The feeling tone for the whole day is set in the morning. If the boss has a fight with his wife before he leaves for work in the morning, he’s gonna be hard to deal with all day long. Isn’t that true? [chuckle] The morning sets the feeling tone for the whole day. So why not get with your Lord in His Word, so as to start the day right, and in the bargain, to understand something of the presence of God and be able to believe Him for greater things in your own life? Does that makes sense?
Now, there’s another cause for unbelief. I think just now of the nobleman on whose arm the king leaned. It says… That story concerning the siege of Samaria. Do you remember that? There was a siege, so much so, that people were just actually starving to death. And Elisha… I’m looking now at Second Kings Chapter Seven… Elisha the prophet said, “Hear ye the Word of the Lord. Thus sayeth the Lord, ‘Tomorrow, about this time, shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel, right here in the gate of Samaria.'” Then a nobleman, on whose hand the king leaned, answered the man of God and said, “Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?” See, there’s the ‘what if’ factor. What if it never happens? “Behold,” Elisha said, “You’ll see it, but you’ll not eat it.” You won’t have a chance to eat the good food that God is going to provide. Well, you know the story, don’t you? The leprosy, these dear leprosy people were sitting at the entering into the gate and they said, “Why should we sit here ’til we die? If we enter the city, the famine is there, we’ll die of starvation. If we sit here, we’ll die also.”
“Now, let’s fall out of the host of the Syrians. If they save us alive, we’ll live. If they kill us, we’ll die, and we would die anyway.” They rose up in the twilight to go unto the camp of the Syrians. When they came to the uttermost part of the camp, nobody there. The Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots and horses, even the noise of a great host, and they said to each other, “Lo, the King of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the Egyptians to come upon us.” They arose and ran away, left their tents, and their horses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their very life. When those lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat, and drink, and carried out silver, and gold, and clothing, and went, and hid it. Came again, entered into another tent, carried thence, also went and hid it. “Well,” they said, “We’re not really doing the right thing.” They said, “They have good tidings and we’re holding our peace. If we tarry ’til the morning light, some mischief will come on us. Now, let’s come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.”
They came, and called the porter of the city, and they told, saying, “We came to the camp of the Syrians, and there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and the tents as they were.” Well, the king arose in the night and said unto his servants, “Well, they’re playing a trick.” But they went out and found it exactly as these leprosy persons had said. “A measure,” Verse 16 of Second Kings Seven, “A measure of fine flour was indeed sold for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel. And the king appointed the nobleman, on whose hand he leaned.” That’s that same guy, the one that said, “Oh, it couldn’t happen, even if God made windows in heaven.” “He appointed that same man to have the charge of the gate, and the people trod on him in the gate, and he died, just as the man of God said.” He said, “You’ll see it, but you won’t eat of it.”
Unbelief comes from the ‘what if’ factor. It couldn’t happen, therefore, what if it doesn’t happen now, even though God said so? You wanna learn to guard against that, beloved, because it’s the basis for all kinds of defeat in your life. I’ll pray for God’s blessing, but what if I don’t get it? I’ll pray for the salvation of a loved one, but what if nothing happens? I’ll pray for the supply of a financial need, but what if it doesn’t come in? I’ll pray for God’s touch upon my body, but what if I don’t get better? Now, it goes without saying, that we don’t get everything we ask for. 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?” The point He was making there is certainly relevant here, namely, that a parent will give the child what’s good for him, not always what he asks for.
God, our loving Heavenly Father, will give us what is good for us in His sight, not necessarily what we ask for. Always in our praying, we have to say, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done.” That’s not unbelief. That is submission. The fact remains, however, that if you really believe God, you’re gonna ask confidently, not hesitatingly, or not saying, “Well, if nothing happens, well, I thought so anyway.” Spurgeon greeted one of his young preachers on a Monday morning, many years ago in London. This preacher boy had been out the day before in some rural church preaching. And Charles Haddon Spurgeon greeted him and said, “Well, what kind of a day did you have yesterday?” “Oh, not very good.” And he said, “I suppose nobody got saved?” And the boy said, “That’s right. Nobody got saved.” And the great man of God said, “Well, did you expect anything to happen?” He said, “No, not really.” “Well,” said Mr. Spurgeon, “That’s why nothing did happen.”
You go into God’s work, not expecting anything to occur and you won’t be disappointed. You’ll get a big, fat nothing. But if you ask God confidently and in faith, “He that cometh to God, must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Let’s learn to believe God. Unbelief comes from neglecting His Word. It also comes from the ‘what if’ factor. Unbelief also has another root and that is the ‘show me’ factor. “Let Him come down from the cross,” the crowd said, “And we will believe Him.” The ‘show me’ factor. “Show me first, and then I’ll believe. I’m from Missouri, show me.” Well, God doesn’t do that. He says, “You believe and I’ll show you.” That’s the other way around. And that’s what God wants you and me to do, as we approach His blessed will, to yield to Him, so that He can demonstrate His power. God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Guard against unbelief. Trust your blessed Lord, all the way.
Blessed Father, today, make us people of great faith, as we believe God. In Jesus’ 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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