If God’s Timing Is Perfect
Faith is the willingness to risk a situation on God. Patience is the willingness to wait for God's timing.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? I hope everything’s alright at your house. Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is, indeed, your friend, Bob Cook. And I’m glad to be back with you to share from God’s Word and to put a handle on it so that you can get hold of it for yourself. God’s Word is forever true, whether or not anybody reads or believes it, but it becomes of value to you and to me when we apply it to our own lives. And that’s my task, day after day, as I come to you with these short broadcasts. Try to put a handle on the Word of God so that you can get hold of it.
We talked at some length, the last time we got together about the danger of money and the things it can buy becoming your God. And so I trust that we’ll all be warned along that line and realize that to have our blessed Lord Jesus Christ as the very center of all of our life and our motivation is the only safe and productive place for a believer to be. So he said, “Oh man of God, you run away from these things.” What is the “these things”? The desire to be rich, the love of money, the coveting of things. He said, “You run away from that.” And follow after… Follow after righteousness, righteousness and Godliness, and faith, and love, and patience. That’s a great word, hupomone, means stay down, don’t blow up or give up. Patience and meekness. Well, you wanna talk about that for a while? That’s a big order, isn’t it?
Small thought here, everything depends on what you pursue in life. Now that verb “follow after,” is a Greek verb diókó, which means pursue, like a hunter pursues his quarry, or a military person pursues an enemy, or a lion or lioness stalks their prey. That’s the word. It’s a word that means “keep on and don’t give up until you’ve gotten what you’re after”, pursue. Righteousness, righteousness.
How do you pursue righteousness? Number one, you take advantage of the miracle of the grace of God. The righteousness of God is reckoned to you and to me through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And then that righteousness is not only imputed, but is also imparted to us, so that day by day we begin to live out the very will of God and the character of our Lord Jesus in daily life. Righteousness, pursue it. How do you pursue it? Number one, reckon on the righteousness of your Savior. Number two, listen to His commands through the Word of God or through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Number three, make a practice of instant obedience; whatever God says to you, obey it without delay. Righteousness, righteousness.
Then, what else? He says you pursue Godliness. Godliness, that’s the quality of God in the ordinaries of life. Pursue Godliness… what does that mean? That means you’re gonna invite God in to ordinary living. College student? Invite him into your studying. Not just say, “Lord, help me pass this test, amen.” Invite God into your study processes when you’re doing your homework. Invite God into your dating life, you’ll have much more joy and less to regret. Invite God into your handling of your finances. Invite God into the way you drive your car. Invite God into the decisions you make about the various things in life: Where to get the car serviced, whether to get a new suit or get this one patched, or whatever it may be. Godliness is the quality of God in the ordinary processes of living, so invite Him in. “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as for the Lord,” Paul says, “And not just for people. Knowing that of the Lord, ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Do what you do for God.
How long has it been since you prayed about anything that was non-religious? How long has it been since you prayed about anything that was non-religious? Most people’s prayers are couched in religious language and they deal with blessing, which is a very fine term, but kind of an omnibus term that doesn’t mean an awful lot by itself. And they deal with Heaven and with faith and hope and peace and joy, and all of these different terms that are great. And they’re real because God makes them real in our lives. But so many people, I would say most people that I know, do very little praying about non-religious things. To pray about that job you have there that involves cutting $100,000 out of your advertising budget. To pray about an interview with a prospective employee. You don’t know whether this is a real, true, gold nugget or just a gold brick; [chuckle] there’s a difference. God is the greatest personnel manager in the world. Pray about these things.
I have been delivered a number of times from a disastrous hiring procedure simply by praying, because God opened up the way and showed me. I remember there was one occasion maybe 15, 20 years ago when I was interviewing a person, and every answer to every question seemed to be just exactly right, but I felt uneasy, felt uneasy. Prayed, and in a matter of two hours, in a matter of two hours after that interview, there came unsolicited some information that told me why I had been uneasy. God knows these things, and so you invite Him in to the areas of life. Pray about hiring. Pray about management. Pray about budget. Pray about sales. Pray about disciplining the children. Pray about how to manage all your household bills. There’s always too much month at the end of the money, isn’t there? Well, Godliness involves all of this. Godliness involves all of this. Now, you pursue that. How do you pursue it? You pay attention to it all the time. You never let go of it. What else?
He says, “You pursue faith.” How do you pursue faith? Either you have it or you haven’t it, isn’t that true? Well, not exactly. To pursue faith means to apply the principle of faith to every decision and every point of need in your life. Faith is the willingness to risk a situation on God. Faith is the willingness to risk a situation on God. And so, if you’re gonna pursue faith that means you are going to apply the principle of risking everything on God, and doing His will in every situation of decision or need in your life.
That’s a big order, isn’t it? And yet what a joy it is to turn things over to your blessed Lord when there’s a decision to be made. What a joy it is to realize that you’re laboring together with God. You’re not just living your life and hoping to make it successfully through to social security. Hey, there’s more to life than that. Oh, to know that when you decide a thing, after praying and trusting your blessed Lord to guide you, you are part of the eternal purposes of God. And that what you do this minute has a ripple effect that will keep on throughout all eternity. Oh, that’s tremendous, isn’t it? Faith risks the situation on God.
If you’re gonna pursue faith, that means you’re going to apply the principle of faith to every decision process and every area of need in your life. “My God shall supply all… ” not some, “All your need, according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.” Then he says, “pursue patience.” I remarked as we read that verse a moment ago, that’s an interesting word, Greek word hupomone, which means to stay down. Don’t pop up, blow up, or give up. [chuckle]
Oh, that’s hard to do, isn’t it? Hard to do. When we first got our Doberman pup, a good many years ago now, he died a little over a year ago, and he was 11 then, so it would’ve been 12 years. He was just so full of bounce and springs that whenever you came anywhere near him, he would jump up and be all over you with an affectionate greeting. Which was very nice, except that if his paws were dirty or he was jumping a little too excitedly, why something was apt to be damaged, and so we would oftentimes say, “Stay down, Rusty. Stay down.” [chuckle] It got to be kind of a byword in the house for awhile, until he was trained. “Stay down.” Well, that is precisely what God is saying to me and to you, beloved. You don’t have to defend yourself. Have you discovered that you don’t have to defend yourself? You don’t have to answer back. You don’t have to argue. You don’t have to win over people. Have you discovered that? Patience is the willingness. Now, faith is the willingness to risk a situation on God. Patience is the willingness to wait for God’s timing.
A man wrote me a red-hot letter a good many years ago now, it would be like 40 years I suppose, and oh, he told me off. Well, I discarded it. You don’t answer letters like that, you just commit them to the Lord. 20 years went by, and then I got this letter from the same man. He said, “Dear Bob, I was cleaning out my files and came across a carbon copy of a letter I can’t believe I ever wrote you. But I guess I did because there’s the copy of it in the files.” And he said, “I want you to forgive me.” He said, “I was so wrong.” Well, it took God 20 years. [chuckle] “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.” That’s what the Bible says; God’s timing.
Mary and Martha thought that the Lord Jesus Christ should come running when He got the news that Lazarus was ill. He stayed two days in the same place where He was. Then He took His time about getting to Bethany, and arrived there four days after Lazarus had died and been buried. And oh, they came bitterly to our Savior and said, “Lord, you blew it. You should’ve been here. If you’d only gotten here sooner you could’ve healed him.”
Now, they had their lesson in God’s timing. For our Savior was waiting for Lazarus to pass away so He could raise him. Our Savior had in mind, not a healing, but a resurrection! God’s timing, beloved, is beautiful. It’s exquisitely perfect. Wait on God’s timing. Faith is the willingness to risk a situation on God, patience is the willingness to wait for God’s timing. And He’s never late, He’s always on time. Wait on the Lord. And rest in the Lord… The Psalmist says in Psalm 37, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” You’re never late when you’re waiting for God.
Father God, today, may we pursue righteousness, and faith, and patience, and God? I pray in Jesus name, amen.
Til I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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