Give And Trust
If you're willing to take your perplexity, or your heartache, or your despair, or your uncertainty, or the deep hurt that there may be in your life; if you're willing to take that to Jesus, and trust Him with it, He will do the miracle in your life.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again dear radio friends, how in the world are you? [chuckle] Bless your heart. Well, I’m back to a regular schedule again after some surgery, and boy am I glad to be back with you. Well, you say, “You’ve never been away.” Well, I know we’ve been providing the messages day by day, and thanks to all of the radio stations that have worked with us in making this possible. But I want to come back now and continue with sort of a recap, if I may, of John’s Gospel. We had gotten as far the fifth chapter. And I want to look, just momentarily, with you at John 6. Just hitting, as my father used to say, “Hit the high spots boy.” [chuckle] Just hitting the high spots. Now, the first thing that occurs to me is that in this question, which our Lord Jesus asked of Philip, when there was this great company of people that came to Him. He was up in a mountain and sitting with the disciples. “And He lifted eyes; ‘Saw great company come to him.'” He said to Philip, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” It occurs to me that God faces, you and me, with some impossible situations just to prove, and to develop, not His power, but our faith.
James says, “Count it all joy when you fall into different kinds of testings, knowing that the trial of your faith,” not your performance, “worketh patience.” Our Lord Jesus said to Peter, on one occasion, “Satan hath desired thee, that he may sift thee like one sifts wheat,” when you’re threshing by hand. “But I have prayed for thee,” said our Savior, “that thy faith fail not.” Now, Peter’s performance failed miserably, but Jesus said, “I want you to keep on trusting Me, faith.” Three times in the New Testament, is an Old Testament verse quoted that says, “The just shall live by faith.” Saved by faith, kept by faith, and accomplishing by faith. What is all this? Beloved, the secret of the Christian life is not doing something for God, but obeying God so that He can do something through you. And that involves complete commitment to the way God does things. That’s pretty hard for all of us. It’s certainly has been for me through the years, and continues to be. I still have to learn these basic lessons day by day, with you. It’s not what we do for God that counts, it’s what God does through us. And in order for that to happen, it requires complete commitment to God, and the way He does things.
Think, momentarily, what happened at the city of Jericho. Heavily fortified, indestructible, one would say, in terms of conquering that city state, unless it be by a long and costly siege. What did God say? He said, “You march around the city once a day for seven days. And on the seventh day, march around seven times, and then blow the trumpets and shout.” Well, any person that is operating on the basis of ordinary pragmatics is gonna say, “That’s impossible.” But it worked, didn’t it? The case of Gideon, for example. God said to Gideon, “Now, the people you’ve gotten together are to many, because if they win the battle, they’ll say, ‘We did it ourselves.’ Send everybody home that’s afraid.” 20,000 went home. He says, “Still to many. Let’s test whether or not they’re alert.” And so He brought them down to the stream, and those who stayed alert, watching for the enemy, where those that were picked. And that was 300 people. Well, give them a sword, give them a catapult, give them some kind of machinery. No, He gave them lamps hidden in pitchers, and gave them trumpets, and said, “You follow Me.” God did the rest.
Oh, that’s hard to learn, because we want to do it our way. Every little child has to learn this. “I want to do it my way,” and then immediately gets into trouble. And we’re so like little children, aren’t we? Well, all of that was triggered in my thinking by this question in verse 5 of John 6. “Where are we gonna buy bread, that all of these people may have something to eat?” And the following verse says, “This He said to prove Him; for He Himself,” our Lord Jesus, “Himself knew what He would do.” God has His plans already made. Am I talking to someone today who’s perplexed about the next steps? And you say, “I don’t know what’s happening with me. I don’t know which way my life is moving. I don’t know what decision to make about school, or a job or whatever it maybe.” That’s a miserable condition to be in, isn’t it? Would you like just to back off from your miseries for a moment, and look at the Lord Jesus? In the light of what is said in John 6 verse 6, “He Himself knew what He would do.” God’s plans are already set concerning you my beloved friend.” He knows.
There is no uncertainty at all, in God’s mind, concerning what needs to happen in your life. Now He doesn’t always tell you all the time, does He? He said, on one occasion, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” God’s blessed hereafters sometimes keep us in the dark. But He always knows what He’s doing, and He never makes any mistake. Someone said to me the other day, rather caustically, “Oh, you Christians up there, you keep saying God doesn’t make any mistakes.” Well, you can put it that way if you want. But, I think, your resentment is not against me, it’s against the God who doesn’t ever make any mistakes. And some who’ve gone through tremendous trials, looking back on them, if you’re honest, you can say that God has done something in your life as a result. Hasn’t He really? Trust the Savior who has His plans already laid, will you today? Living by faith does not mean going out and doing something ridiculous, and sort of daring God to see you through, and help you down off of that limb on which you have crawled. That’s not living by faith. Living by faith means yielding to God every minute of every day, in terms of letting God do it the way He wants to do it, and just obeying Him.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, said to the servants in the story that’s recorded in John Chapter 2, “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.” Just do it. The impossible situations of life are often the forerunners of God’s miraculous, blessed, wonderful, thrilling provision. Well, Philip gave Him the predictable answer. He said 200 penny worth of bread. Now, a penny was a day’s wages in Roman coinage, I am told. And so what he was actually saying was, “We’ll have to go into debt for 200 days wages, to give each of them a little. Now, you know how it irritates you when you’re hungry, and somebody gives you an order, a Ritz cracker with a poor little dead herring on it, looking up at you pitifully. And you say to yourself, “Is this all I get?” [chuckle] Years ago, in the days of Youth for Christ, there were a number of us busy in a large meeting framework that had us really working hard. And after the evening meeting was over, there were a bunch of us invited to a very gracious home, on Chicago’s north side. We were sitting there and we were just absolutely starved. Some of us hadn’t had any supper, and we were all hungry.
And the dear lady had done her best. She brought out some mulled cider, and some miniature donuts that she, had evidently, made herself. They looked, and they were delicious. But for people who were just starved and hungry, it didn’t look like a great deal. Well anyhow, the host said to Gregorio Tingson, my dear friend of the Philippines, said, “Gregorio, will you give thanks?” And he looked at this plate with this tiny donut, and this cup, dainty, beautiful China cup of mulled cider, steaming there on his plate. And he said, “Do we pray for this also?” [laughter] Well, that’s what Philip was getting at. He says, “You have to go into debt for 200 days wages just to give each of them an order, and that would just irritate everybody.” Andrew, of course, always looked to see what could be done by His Savior. And Andrew said, “There’s a lad here, with five barley loaves and two small fishes. But,” he said, “what are they among so many?” Still the pragmatic, practical human, and therefore short-sighted view of things. Well, Jesus said, “Make the men sit down.”
“And when they had them seated, He took the loaves and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were sat down. And likewise of the fishes, as much as they would. And when they had been filled, He said, “Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost.” 12 baskets full of fragments of the five barley loaves. God’s impossible answers to impossible situations. Are you willing to trust Him for that today? Now, it’s one thing for me to say this, it’s another thing for you to apply it if you’re short of the money to pay the rent. Or if you’ve just broken up with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Or if you’re facing a job decision, or if you have a thorny, domestic situation that just about breaks your heart. Either husband-wife or parent-child situation that has you just in tears, and you don’t know what to do next. I say, “It’s one thing for Bob Cook to say this, it’s quite another, isn’t it, to do it?” But I have to tell you, if you’re willing to take your perplexity, or your heartache, or your despair, or your uncertainty, or the deep hurt that there may be in your life; if you’re willing to take that to Jesus, and trust Him with it, He will do the miracle in your life.
I thought it was such a beautiful story that Lloyd Ogilvie told in his latest book about the transforming love of God. He said that there was an occasion when he was so covered up with work that he was frustrated, and irritated, and powerless as a result, everything was harder. Harder to do and harder to keep up with, and he was falling behind. Then he realized that he was trying to do all of this in his own strength, and he just laid it all down, and asked God for a new touch from the Holy Spirit, and got it. He said he woke up the next morning with seven words in his mind, “Nothing has changed, but everything is different.” Why? Because God has done something for you. Well, we’ll come back to this the next time we get together. Holy Father today, grant to us to trust Thee with the impossibilities of life, so that Thou canst do the miracle; I ask in Jesus precious name. Amen.
Well, until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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