When we find ourselves in overwhelming circumstances, asking for help is important--but it's not the only step. A walk through our essential commitment to faith in our daily prayers to God.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Well, I trust so. Hope everything is alright at your house. I’m fine. Going on trusting God day by day, and so grateful for the privilege – believe me – so grateful for the privilege of being with you in these precious moments that we invest together around the Word of God.
We’re just winding up our study of the 37th Psalm. I have certainly enjoyed it. I hope you have, too. And the Psalmist is saying “salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: He is their strength in the time of trouble.” Now, if you look at your Bible, you’ll see that some of the words in that verse, 39 of Psalm 37, are in what we call italics. And that means that they’ve been added so as to make sense in the English translation – the King James Version – done back there in, what was it, 1611? Never been a version that’s been better than that, in my opinion. Majestic prose.
Anyhow, “the salvation of the righteous” – “is” in italics – “of the Lord” – “He” in italics – “is their strength in the time of trouble.” Now to get the real meaning of this for yourself, just drop out the italics ’cause they weren’t there in the original text anyway, and you got it this way: “the salvation of the righteous of the Lord is their strength in the time of trouble.” Now, He said, “I’ll show him My salvation,” He says in the Psalm 91. You remember we studied that.
“The salvation of the righteous of the Lord is their strength in the time of trouble.” Chew on that a little bit in your own soul. Where is the ultimate source of your strength and endurance under pressure?
Now, some people are able to stand more pressure than others. Some are sensitive by nature and the pressures of life oftentimes just do them in. And others are little tougher by nature; your real extrovert is tough, but he oftentimes acts like a human bulldozer, running roughshod over the feelings of others, so I guess there’s no easy solution to that. So, we’ll take in to account the fact the people do differ, alright? If you’re shy and sensitive, so be it. If you’re an extrovert and got a very tough, thick skin, alright.
But in either case, under the pressures of life, there comes a point at which you have to have something beyond what the British called the “stiff upper lip.” You have to have something beyond that – you know, “head up, chin up, knees straight, stand tall, be tough” – no, you have to have something more than that. We all, all of us, get to a place where we have got to have a source, an ultimate source of strength, or else we cave in. Now you know that’s true, don’t you? What is the condition of your reservoir of strength under pressure? “Well,” you’ll say, “Brother Cook, ‘I am what I am, and that’s all I am,’ as Popeye said.” Ah, you just can’t make me any different and that’s how it is. Well, I understand that. All my talking isn’t going to change any part of your personality. I know it.
By the same token, when you look at this verse, it says quite plainly that the ultimate source of strength under pressure – what the Bible calls “in time of trouble” – the ultimate source of strength under pressure in time of trouble is God’s salvation. The fact that you threw faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – have been connected to the eternal purposes of God – makes you unsinkable, makes you unflappable, makes you calm under pressure, makes you non-vindictive when the human temptation would be to strike back.
“The salvation of the righteous of the Lord their strength.” The person who has come into your life through the Lord Jesus Christ is the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit. He brings all of the blessing, all of the power, all of the holiness, all of the divine potential of God into your life. Think about it. Believe it. And begin to act on that basis. God sees your strength.
How is it mediated to you? Because you have made the Lord Jesus Christ Lord of your life. The salvation of the Lord is the process by which Jesus Christ becomes Lord of your life. You’re born again, the Holy Spirit indwells you, and all the promises of God are yea and Amen for you, through Christ Jesus your Lord.
As I say all that I say to you in these words, it isn’t going to change your feelings nor indeed your circumstances, but beloved, listen to me. You take this truth to your own heart and say, “I do trust the Lord Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and because I do, God’s Word tells me that the Holy Spirit dwells within me, and that process of being connected by faith to Almighty God.” Paul says, “All things are yours, and ye are of Christ, and Christ is God’s.” By faith connected to Almighty God. That process becomes my ultimate source of strength when the troubles begin to pile in. How do you cash in on that? If I had a place to pray, commit the problem to God, and then go on. It’s that simple. Find a place to pray, commit the problem to God in faith, and then go on and obey him. He has the answers.
Someone said long ago, in a little pamphlet I read, “Don’t pray about the problem too long, pray toward the answer.” Pray in faith toward the answer. Don’t make the mistake of telling God how to answer. Just pray in faith toward God’s answer. “You can tell God,” this writer said, “you can tell God in seventeen words or less what the problem is, then pray in faith toward the answer, and believe God for it.”
It’s a great truth there, “the salvation of the righteous of the Lord their strength in the time of trouble.” Now, of course it is just as true if you put the italics in. It says, “He is their strength,” because all through the Psalms and other parts of the Scripture, you have referenced, “the Lord is my strength.” “Strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man,” said Paul. “Strengthened I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” So “He is their strength” is perfectly correct. All I wanted to emphasize is the fact that the process that had resulted in the forgiveness of sins, beloved, is also the process that hooks you up to the dynamo of Heaven.
God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think according to the power that worketh in you. It’s great stuff.
Well, he says “And the Lord,” and besides that, “the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him.” Now, he says “help, deliver, save.” “Help” has to do with the process of what you are trying to accomplish. “Deliver” has to do with rescue. “Save” has to do with making of all life a miracle of the grace of God, and the Lord does that in each case.
Isn’t it great to have expert help, now you don’t want the other kind? I remember, a good many years ago now, I was told that someone was vacationing together with another family, and the lady who was the wife and mother of the other family was fluttering about the kitchen and saying “How may I help?” and I’m told – I wasn’t there of course, but I am told – that the first lady said, “Now if you’ll just get out of here, I can get something done!” I’m sure she bit her tongue after she said it.
But you know the kind of help that doesn’t help all of us could happily give up. You’ve been there, I’m sure. You have company at your house and 3 or 4 people come out in the kitchen and say “What can we do to help?” You don’t need that kind of help. Bless their dear hearts. They want to help, and you give them credit for that. See, there are different kinds of help, is what I am saying. What God gives is the kind that enables you to get the job done. “The Lord shall help them.”
Have you given thought to divine assistance in some job, some work, some assignment that has been immensely difficult for you? And you just haven’t been able to budge it, to make it go, to have succeeded in it, to complete in it? Divine assistance. You know anything I tell you, I’ve been there. I’m up against a copy deadline now and again. Not as often now as I used to be, but every now and then I’m supposed to write some copy for a letter to go out to our radio listeners or something like that, and there is a deadline to be met. And I am the victim – as many people are – when they sit down at a typewriter of what they call “writer’s block.” That is to say, everything stops. You don’t have a creative thought in your head. You tried to write something and it comes out like literary sawdust. Have you been there? It’s not a happy experience. And I have to tell you, in experiences like that, I have bowed my head and said “Oh God, I haven’t got a thought in my head, and I have to come out with something. Please help me.” And then after I’ve finished my prayer, I started again, and miraculously there came out some concepts that were really, they were worthwhile.
Now, God will help you. If there is a job that you can’t manage, a job you can’t complete, work that doesn’t seem to be successful, He’ll help you in a way that will enable you to complete the assignment or to be successful on that particular job. The Bible says “commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established.”
You pray about your job and God will change you in your job. What a precious promise. That is “the Lord shall help them.” Now, there is no substitute for absolute commitment, the commitment of faith. You don’t ask God to help you commit yourself to the Lord, you just do it. But if you’re up against work that has to be done, and you don’t know how to complete it, God Almighty will help you in answer to prayer.
And we get at this again the next time we get together.
Father God today, oh will Thou help us in the work we strive to do for Thy glory, 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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