Lord Of Every Circumstance

God has a way of glorifying Himself through your life, handicapped though you may be.

Scripture: John 9:1-3


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing alright today? Oh, I hope so, bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back to speak with you for a little while from the Word of God. One of the things that encourages me so very much is to get your postcards and letters saying, “You said something today that just met my need, it spoke to the problems that I’m facing.” No human planning could ever take care of that, you know that. For thousands of you whom I have never met, how could I ever know what your problem is? But the blessed Spirit of God, He knows, and He can bring that beautiful truth from God’s inerrant, infallible Word, the Bible, right straight home to your heart. Oh, I pray every day that that may be so. And when it happens, I am amply repaid for any effort that I make, if Jesus speaks to you through His Word by means of this broadcast, that’s great.

Look at John, Chapter 9. “As they passed by,” it says, “There was a man who was blind from his birth.” Now, in those days, many of the dear little babies suffered blindness because of unhygienic conditions in which they were brought into the world. And their eyes were blinded, not through any fault of their own or anything that was done deliberately, but just because people didn’t know better how to care for them. “Blind from his birth.” “His disciples asked Him,” now, this is a perfectly stupid question, I never cease to wonder at it, and yet I’ve asked a number of stupid questions myself, so I better be quiet about it. “His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Master, who did sin? This man or his parents? That he was born blind.'” Now, how could he have sinned before he was born? Did a little kicking, maybe, as his mother was carrying him there under her heart, but he didn’t do any sinning. How, then, could they have asked such a question, “Who did sin, this man or his parents?”

This question, however, goes back into a misconception that is as old as the human race. The three friends of Job had that same idea; the idea being, if you’re suffering it must be because you’re bad. The bad people are suffering, the good people don’t suffer. Well, of course, nothing could be farther from the truth. Good people have their troubles just like anybody else and Job, of course, is a proof of that. He didn’t do anything to deserve all the calamities that befell him. God was in the process of proving something to Satan and all the rest of the world, incidentally. The Devil came and said, “Job fears you because you bless him,” and God said, “Well, you can take away things from him and we’ll see.” And so there came a day when the weather destroyed his buildings and properties and invading, marauding, robbering bands of outlaws killed his sons and daughters. Everything gone; all of his possessions and all of his wealth and all of his family. I think that would have killed me. What a tremendous bereavement, as well as a shock.

In all of this, it said, “Job sinned not with his lips, but he said, ‘The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.'” Well, the Devil came back and said, “Well, all that a man hath will he give for his life, you touch his health, touch his body, you’ll see whether or not he’ll serve you.” And so God allowed Satan to afflict Job with these boils that covered his body from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot. I had one boil at a time when I was a little boy. I remember how painful it was and it had to be lanced by the doctor. Oh, exquisite pain; one boil. To have them all over one’s body would be suffering beyond description. Poor old Job, he took a broken piece of pottery and just scraped his body, to get some of the corruption off of it. Pitiful object, still trusting God. Now came his friends, and they said, “Job, you must be a bad sinner to be suffering like this. Why don’t you admit it?” “No,” he said, “I’m just trusting God.” [chuckle] And throughout that whole Book of Job they were maintaining that point of view: He wouldn’t be suffering like this if he weren’t bad. Now, that, then, is the misconception that you have that has endured through the centuries, and here are the disciples echoing the same sentiment. “This man, either that or his parents, must be bad.” That is, because he’s blind.

No, beloved, you don’t need to ask, is there something wrong with me? Would I be well if I had more faith? Am I somehow in sin because I’ve got rheumatism or arthritis or cancer or emphysema or heart trouble? No, my friend, there are two things need to be said. Number one, many a person has been healed because he trusted God in faith to do it and it was God’s will to heal him. I have prayed for numbers of people and found them beautifully healed. I have also prayed for other people and they died. Now, that may prove that I don’t have the gift of healing, but I notice that that statement that I just made is true of all the rest of the people who pray for the sick. God does heal in answer to prayer.

Hallelujah! I believe that with all my heart, but God also allows illness; when it pleases Him to do so. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. And if you’re in pain today, don’t let somebody come and say, “Well, you must be a bad sinner because you’re hurting so bad.” Now, if you are fighting God on something, get right with Him. David said that he got arthritis and rheumatism when he was fighting God. Read the Psalms and hear him saying in Psalm 32, “When I kept silence my bones ached, because of my roaring all the day along. My conscience was bothering me and I was sick.” So, if you’re fighting God on something, get right with God, beloved. Confess your sin and forsake it and let God cleanse your heart, and I can guarantee you’ll start to feel better. But some of you are ill and there isn’t a thing between you and the Lord. And when you pray, Heaven draws near and you can almost hear the angels wings rustle, but oh boy, you’re hurting.

Don’t let somebody tell you that something must be wrong with you or with your faith. Just look up and trust your God, who never makes a mistake. Jesus said, “Neither this man nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” Is it possible for me to be in a situation I don’t like where I’m suffering or hurting, or ill, and God to be glorified? The answer’s yes. Yes, God heals in answer to prayer. Ask Him, pray and ask Him to heal you if it’s His will and the merciful God may very well indeed answer your prayer. But yes, it’s also possible that God may allow you to be ill so that somebody else’ll find Jesus. Somebody else will find Jesus.

Dolores, a missionary, came from South America and it was found that she had cancer. She went back for about six months and then came up to New York again and now she entered Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital. She was there for 21 days and died. A young, beautiful, gifted missionary mother, and now she’s gone. I felt bad about that and I couldn’t understand until I found maybe two, three years later, someone told me that every day… Every, that is, every day that she was there in that hospital, she led at least one person to the Lord Jesus. And God allowed that beautiful life to be brought there to Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital.

Cancer, pain, and ultimately death, so that more than a score of people could be in Heaven one day. Am I gonna question God about that? No, I won’t. God is the judge who does always right. “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” You understand me? Today, if you’re hurting, number one, you have every right to pray that God will heal you, and I trust He will. But remember, if it isn’t God’s pleasure to heal you this minute, He’s got something in mind that will glorify Him. Jesus said, “Neither this man nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in Him.” “Manifest in Him.” God actually manifesting Himself in the life of a man who is handicapped, terribly handicapped through no fault of his own. I’ve had people who are handicapped say to me bitterly, “I didn’t ask to be born this way.” Of course the answer’s, of course you didn’t. And when it’s somebody else’s fault through carelessness, or malice, or both that you’re handicapped, it’s that much more bitter, isn’t it, beloved? Yes, it is. But do you know that God has a way of glorifying Himself through your life, through you, handicapped though you may be, God has a way of glorifying Himself through you if you will let Him.

Let me ask you this question. Have you really yielded yourself to God as you are, not as you wish you were, not with a half wistful longing that you could be different? But have you yielded yourself to God as you are, so that He can use you as you are? Look at Joni Eareckson, quadriplegic, look at some of the other dear people who are glorifying God through their gifts that God has given them, handicapped and limited though they may be. Oh, listen, the possibilities for you are limitless if God gets into you. Jesus said, “But that the works of God might be made manifest in Him.” God wants to work through you. God wants to work through you just as you are. A pastor friend of mine came to call on a lady who was in great pain. Terminal case she was and she was in great pain. He talked with her a while and then he said, “I’m gonna pray for you.” She said, “What are you gonna pray for, Pastor?” It took him aback momentarily and he said, “Well, I’m gonna pray the Lord will bless you, and help you, and ease your suffering.” “Oh no,” she said, “Not that, not that. Pray,” she said, “that I won’t waste all this suffering.” You know what she meant, “That the works of God might be made manifest in Him,” Jesus said.

You know what He did, we’ll get at the story the next time we get together. Making homemade clay out of saliva and the dust of the ground. And putting that, anointing those blind eyelids with that homemade clay and telling him to go to wash it off in the Pool of Siloam. All of the long journey across the town, blindly stumbling, but finally getting there and obeying that command and coming back gloriously seeing for the first time in his life, what that must have meant. Well, we’ll talk about that the next time we get together. But for you, my friend, if you’re hurting, remember God wants to work through you today, let Him do it.

Oh, dear Father, today work through us whatever our condition and whatever our circumstances. What we want is that God Almighty would be working through our lives, I ask for this in Jesus name. Amen.

Well, dear friends, until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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