Finding Real Peace

God knows what He's doing and He says so. Oh, real peace comes then from turning-things-over to your blessed Lord. Make a habit of yielding the situations as they arise to your Lord.

Scripture: John 16:29-33


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well, I know some of you listen in the early morning hours, and some late at night, as well as other times during the day because of the different placement of the programs. And so, I have a mental picture of the circumstances under which different listeners are laboring. Somebody’s just awaking because you set the radio alarm so that it would come on just when I said, “How in the world are you?” And somebody else is shaving, and somebody else is making a lunch for the kids, and somebody else is driving to work, and someone else is already at work, but you have a little radio somewhere that you’ve turned on so you can listen with half an ear, and then someone else is just finishing the day. And just before you drop off to sleep you’re listening. Whatever it is, God bless you. I’m glad you’re there, and I trust that you sense even in this moment the presence of your blessed Lord.

I always pray before I start these broadcasts that God might put something into my voice. You can’t see me, so you can’t see how I look, but that God might put something into my voice that brings His love, His precious love and His presence, and His power, and His truth close to your heart. I trust that may be so today, beloved. You and I are looking at John 16, and Jesus said, “Do you really believe me now?” The disciples said, “Now we believe.” So he said, “Do you really? Well, the fact is you’re all going to leave me, all of your professed believing will not keep you from running, but some things are still true.” I wanna just stop on these things as we finish John 16. “Some things,” he said, “are still true regardless of your performance and your failures.” He says, “I’m not alone. The Father is with me.” Now, that was true of him and it’s also true of you. I quoted the last broadcast from Hebrews 13:6. “For he hath said, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.'” See, it is still true that as our Lord Jesus was aware of the Father’s presence even in an hour of betrayal and being forsaken, so you and I can be aware of His presence in times when every other human resource has failed.

I have in my wallet a tiny little card that says, “When you are down to nothing at all, then for the first time you will be aware that God is enough.” He’s there. “The God Who is There”, Frances Schaeffer used to talk about. I’m not alone, the Father is with me. That’s something that never changes regardless of circumstances, and in this case regardless of what people do. Paul said in his epistle, “At my first hearing no man stood with me but all men forsook me, but the Lord stood with me, and I was delivered from the mouth of the lion.” God stands with you. Somebody needs that today. I don’t know who you are or where you are, but people have failed you terribly, and that hurts, doesn’t it? It hurts with a deep, lasting hurt that no amount of good advice takes away. And friends say, “Oh well, cheer up.” And you tend to look at them and think, if you don’t say it, you think, “You don’t understand.”

And so there’s that deep hurt of having been either betrayed, or forsaken, or wronged in some way, people. So what are you gonna do about it? You’re gonna sit and just let that fester in your soul? No, turn it over to your blessed Lord. I’m not alone. He’s there. “I’m not alone,” Jesus said. “You leave, you run away, you forsake me, Judas betrays me, Peter denies me, the crowd gets after me, crucifixion is waiting, death and a broken heart, but I’m not alone. The Father is with me.” Learn this secret, beloved. Learn to count on the presence of God every split second of your life. That’s what living by faith really means. We talk about living by faith, that doesn’t mean quitting your job and expecting God to support you. Living by faith doesn’t mean taking unnecessary risks and then blaming the results on God. Living by faith means depend on Almighty God for His guidance and protection and for His blessed reassuring presence. Every split second of your life, depend on Him because He’s there. I’m not alone.

Oh, somebody needs to say that today. You’re shut away in a retirement facility or in a tiny rented room somewhere, and arthritis may have anchored you to a wheelchair, or you are just making it by yourself on Social Security and what you can get here and there. And the kids never come to see you, and the telephone doesn’t ring, and you’re lonesome, and you think, “Well, that’s how life is. They just put you out to pasture and forget you.” Listen to Jesus saying, “I’m not alone. The Father is with me.” Beloved, you can pray clear around the world before breakfast. You, by prayer and faith, can be connected with what God is doing all over the world. And, by the way, if you want a little outreach for your life to compensate that aloneness, start sending a birthday card to people who have a birthday. Start looking in the newspaper for items about folk who are mentioned and write to them and say, “I’m proud of you.” Start using your telephone, if you have one, to call somebody up and just cheer ’em up. You’d be surprised how much better you feel as a result.

Life is cruel, people oftentimes are cruel. And you may be tempted to doubt and to give up, and at that moment, just remember God is there. I’m not alone, the Father’s with me. Now, the second thing that never changes is that what Jesus says to you gives you peace. “I have said this to you so you might have peace.” Not in yourselves, obviously, but in him. “These things I have spoken unto you that in me you might have peace.” What is this business of peace? It is the result of a right relationship with God. “Be care filled for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and as a result, the peace of God that passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. That in me,” he said, “You might have peace.” You see, real peace comes when you turn the running of your life over to somebody that knows how.

I remember the feeling of relief I had when I turned the controls of that Beechcraft Bonanza back to Paul Hartford. One day as we were flying from Jamaica to some other island in the Caribbean, I forget where it was, and I said, “Paul, give me a little dual instruction,” and so he was telling me this and that about how to keep the airplane straight and level. It so happened that we ran into a front that had a little rough air in it and I could feel my grip tightening on the controls, I could feel my palms beginning to sweat. And I said, “Paul, you better take this back,” and we swung the wheel over on his side and he began with his practiced pilot’s ability, thousands of hours in the air, to pilot that little aircraft through the front. Oh, how relieved I felt because I had turned the controls over to somebody that knew what he was doing. God says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good and not of evil to give you a desired end.” God knows what He’s doing and He says so. Oh, real peace comes then from turning things over to your blessed Lord. Make a habit of yielding the situations as they arise to your Lord.

That’s what I tried to teach the young people at the college as I was with them through nearly a quarter of a century. Pray your way through the day. Pray before you answer the phone then you’ll be poised and ready no matter who it is and with what information. Pray before you open a letter. You don’t know what’s in it but you can be ready, you can turn the situation over to God. Pray before you make a decision. Pray before you enter upon an office conference or a conversation. Pray before you go on a date. Pray before you make the major decisions of life. Pray and turn the situation over to God, your blessed Savior won’t fail you. You’ll have peace. I have noticed that the circumstances don’t change too much. Sometimes they do but not always. They don’t change too much in answer to prayer but God gives you peace. I remember praying so earnestly over a period of hours in Tokyo, Japan in 1953 because we had rented the great Korakuen Baseball Stadium and we were gonna have a big outdoor rally and the whole city was plastered with posters announcing it, and we’re gonna have many thousands of people there. And I woke up at 5:00 that morning and it was raining. It wasn’t just a brief shower, it was one of those rains that keep on. Immediately, I sprang out of bed and I prayed, “Oh, God, turn the rain off. It’s gonna ruin our meeting.”

I went through all the scriptures I could get about answered prayer, I looked up Elijah and had him praying with me. [chuckle] And it kept on raining. I went over about 11:00 in the morning, we were gonna have a parade from Meiji University all over to the stadium. Palmermo’s called, said, “Should we have the parade anyway?” I said, “Yeah, have it anyway. Let’s have faith.” So I got to the stadium in time to see them coming with a couple of thousand of soggy saints soaked to the skin singing “Heavenly Sunshine.” [laughter] And there were the Palermo’s under a poncho singing and playing their guitar and accordion “Everybody Ought To Know Who Jesus Is.” Well, it was still raining. The manager finally came out and said, “Would you like a rain date?” I said, “Yes. I guess we better have one.” And so he gave us a date two weeks hence. This date was the 14th of August and he gave us the 28th, and so all of the dear faithful people were notified and we went on our way, all the Gospel teams scattering to the islands of Japan to hold meetings; my meetings were in Osaka. Had good times and many people saved.

Came back on the 28th. It was a sun-shiny day and thousands of people jammed into the place and there were hundreds saved. And the next day, it rained. Listen, God doesn’t always change things but He always has better things in mind when you turn them over to Him. Would you learn that lesson with me? “In Me,” said he. “You gonna have peace. In Me, you might have peace.” So, He’s the person, it’s not the circumstance. It’s the person that counts. Turn your concerns and your need, and your heartache, or your loneliness, or whatever it may be, turn it over to Him and He is the answer, Himself. We get at the rest of this truth the next time we get together.

Dear Father today, may we have the good sense to turn our needs over to Thee and to depend upon Thy presence. 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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