God is not going to let you down. He’s not going to forsake you. He’s still on the job, He’s still God, He knows your name, and He knows all about you.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? Oh, I’m fine, thank you. Nice of you to ask. I feel great! Now we’re looking at Psalm 23 and verse two, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters”, the waters of quietness. How do you get, what I want to talk about for a while this morning is, how do you get quietness of soul, when you are in the midst of turmoil, and busyness, and demanding circumstances? How do you achieve that? Well, anything I tell you, I’ve been there. I’ve had my share of turmoil, I assure you. There is a way to do this. Let’s go for example to Isaiah 26:3. Are you familiar with that passage? Wonderful, wonderful verse. My old friend Wendell Loveless has written a chorus that uses those words, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.” The Hebrew Bible, if you were to read it literally, goes like this: “I will keep him in peace, peace whose mind is stayed on Thee”, isn’t that interesting? Whose thought or imagination is stayed on Thee. The word “peace” is repeated there, peace in other words, real peace whose mind is stayed on Thee. “He leadeth me beside the still waters.”
So how do you achieve inner calm in the midst of turmoil? Maybe you’re a young homemaker and you got two or three toddlers around your feet, getting in the way, and all of them crying at once, and the screen door bangs and needs fixing, and the dog gets out gets in the mud, and brings it all in the house, and the baby has the chickenpox, or whatever- everything is happening all at once. The dishwasher breaks down, the disposal is clogged up, and life has just fallen in on you. Alright now what? You say, “Well, Brother Cook, prayer isn’t going to help fix the screen door, or fix the dishwasher. You pray all you want”. I know, but the person, you that is, who is in the midst of that turmoil, can be at rest even while you’re fixing things. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace.” See the person, the person is what really counts. Happiness is not a matter, it’s not a matter beloved, of the circumstances, it’s a matter of the person IN the circumstances. People say to me, “I’m not happy because this and that or the other happened” Well that has nothing to do with it. Of course, circumstances may be unpleasant or things may have turned out different from the way you planned them, or people may have displeased you, or betrayed you, or misunderstood you, or lied about you or whatever, and none of these things is pleasant. But your attitude inside can be unsullied, it can be calm, it can be content in the Lord, and it can be joyful in the Lord. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee”.
Over in Psalm 119 verse 100, I think it is 165, the verse says, “Great peace have they that love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them.” When your life is full of the Word of God, you are proof against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, as Shakespeare said it. How, keener than the winter wind, is man’s ungratefulness or whatever it is. I remember some of those passages from the college classes. Say, how do you respond to the conduct and the attitudes of other people? Not everybody knows that you and I are as nice as we really are, right? So, they don’t treat us the way we think they should. So, then what? “Great peace, have they that love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them”. To be full of the word of God gives you a protection for your feelings. Now, this is something a lot of people don’t understand. A lot of people go through life being hurt, in my opinion unnecessarily, because they have not absorbed enough of the word of God to protect their feelings. If you know that God is on the throne, and that He’s interested in you, and that His purposes are perfect, and that He makes no mistakes, and that He is at this very moment in control, and all of this is guaranteed by the Word of God, which you have memorized and meditated upon, your experience with the Word of God is going to protect your feelings, and you’re not good to get hurt, or offended, or upset in the midst of circumstances around you, which may indeed be contrary to what you wish they were. It’s an interesting concept there, isn’t it? “He leadeth me beside the still waters”.
How do you have a still, quiet soul beloved, in the midst of turmoil? Number one, fix your mind upon your Lord; number two, fill your mind and heart with the word of God; third, have a love affair with the Lord Jesus. “Blessed is he, who has whatsoever shall not be offended in Me”. Fix your attention, and your emotions, and your love upon your wonderful Lord Jesus, and you’d be surprised how all of the other distracting influences and experiences find their proper place of subordination to His Lordship. “Bring every thought”, Paul says in Corinthians 10, 2 Corinthians 10, “Bring every thought into captivity, to the obedience of Christ”. To be quiet means to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. “Peace I leave with you, My peace give I unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid”, said the Lord Jesus.
Peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, keep your mind on God. “Peace whose life is full of the Word of God, great peace have they that love Thy law, nothing shall offend them”. Peace in fixing your love upon your Lord Jesus Christ, who gives His perfect peace, in the midst of a world of turmoil, and then peace in praying specifically about the things that bug you. He said, Paul said in Philippians 4, “Don’t worry about anything, be care-filled for nothing”, don’t worry about anything, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God, and as a result the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep”, like a garrison of soldiers roundabout you, “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. So, peace, the still waters, so to say, it comes through praying specifically about the matters that concern you. I wonder whether you’ve had this experience beloved. Do you know about it? And, if you have, have you heard about it at least? If you, if you know about it, have you applied it to your life? Some people, I think, would rather fuss, than trust God to keep them calm, but if you really want to be calm in the midst of turmoil, you follow these said three things, four things that I’ve said, and you’ll find that you have indeed, an experience of what the psalmist calls, the “still waters.”
Then he says, “He restoreth my soul”, now the problem is that we come to the give up point, we come to the cave in point. When they test the steel girder at the mill, they subject it to torsional stress, and all sorts of weights hung upon it, until it collapses, so they find out what the collapse point is for that particular steel girder. Every one of us has his or her point of collapse. What then? Do you give up? Do you fold up, do you cave in, do you say it’s all over, I blew it, that’s it? No, you don’t do that. What you do is you turn to your blessed Lord, wait upon the Lord, and He shall strengthen thine heart. “They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength”, says Isaiah, “They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint”. So, when you get to the breaking place, and we all do let’s face it. You get to the place where there isn’t any more strength left, you don’t have strength enough to believe, strength enough to pray, strength enough even to obey, you’re just done in. At that point, then what? Beloved, you just turn to your blessed Lord and let Him restore your soul.
Now, this word soul, has in it, at the idea of the stuff of life, the breath of life, the power to go on living, that’s the connotation there. When he says, “He restoreth my soul”, what he’s actually saying is he gives me the power to go on living for God. Oh, that my friend, is very, very, very important. “He restoreth my soul”. Do you want to try that today? What is the point in your life, at which you’ve been giving up? What is the area that you simply haven’t been able to cope with? Where is it that you say, “I have had it, I can’t handle this, I can’t do anything about it, I give up”? Now, bring that area to the Lord, let Him restore the power to live. Let Him restore the ability to cope. Let Him restore the motivation to go on! Jesus, our blessed Lord, can do that. He can refresh your spirit by the precious indwelling Holy Spirit that comes to every believer. He can refresh your spirit and give you the power to go on. “He restoreth my soul”, somebody needs that today. I don’t know who it is, but oh, how you need to realize, that God can make a difference in your ability to cope. You don’t have to hang in there.
I saw a sign, not that long ago saying, “Lord, help me hang in there”. Well, let’s that’s a good prayer to pray, you know. We know we all have to hang in there, as we say, but you don’t have to do it by your own strength, He can help you. Hallelujah for that. “Be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, I will help thee I will uphold thee, with the right hand of my righteousness. God is not going to let you down, He’s not going to forsake you, He’s still on the job, He’s still God, He knows your name, He knows all about you, and He says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good and not of evil to give you a desired end”. God has His plans all laid for you, and so He says, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths”. Hallelujah for the God who never fails, and He can restore, that is to say, refresh, refurbish, re-strengthen, revive, re-orient, re-motivate, all that is within you, so that you feel as though you had a new start in life. To your knees beloved, seek your Lord, and as you seek Him in prayer and meditate upon His Word, the precious Holy Spirit of God is going to refresh your soul, and give you a new start for the new challenge of every day. Oh, how precious that is to my heart, “He restoreth my soul”. Would you trust Him to do that today? God bless you in doing it.
Dear Father today, teach us the secret of quietness because God is in control, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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