God is always there. We need not to feel alone, especially in the hardest times. Christ bears with us through our pain and gives us the strength to wait on Him through it.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing alright? Oh, I’m fine, thank you. I’m happy in the Lord. It’s very early in the morning where I am; it’s still dark outside. I do these broadcasts, oftentimes, quite early in the morning because I realize that many of you hear the broadcast in the early hours of the morning, and I kind of like to get what I call a “morning feeling.” This is so that I can approximate how you feel when you’re waking up and just stirring around and groaning your way through those first few moments of semi-sleep/semi-wakefulness, and you say, “Oh, I’ve got to get up.”
Well, bless your heart, I trust that the day that lies before you may be blessed of God all the way, and if you’re listening in the late night hours as some of you do, around midnight for some and ten o’ clock for others, well, you’re finishing the day. May God give you His rest and His peace, I pray. You and I have been looking at the 37th Psalm. It’s a blessed passage and I’ve been blessed in it, I know. I hope you have too. We’ve finished verse 34: “Wait on the Lord; keep His way and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.”
How do you ultimately succeed in life, including your situation, the place where you live, the whole bit? He says, “Wait on the Lord; keep His way. He will exalt you to inherit the land.” This principle is found in different places in the Word of God. I think just this moment of James: “Humble yourselves, therefore, in the Sight of God and He shall lift you up.” Peter has the same concept, that you wait on God, you humble yourself before God, and then He does the exalting. Do you remember that?
Now, this is a principle, then, that you can depend upon. I turned momentarily, while I was talking to you, to 1 Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time. Cast all your care on Him. He cares for you.” And then, “Be sober; be vigilant, because your adversary the devil is a roaring lion walking about seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.” So, it’s to humble myself under God’s hand, to cast all my care on Him, stay awake because my adversary is walking around, resist him in faith in Jesus, and God, who has called us to His eternal glory, will make me perfect, (that’s grown-up), establish and strengthen and settle me. That is 1 Peter 5.
The same principle, you see? And as I said, James has the same idea about humility under the hand of God: waiting on God, obeying His Word, humbling yourself under the hand of God, and then He takes care of the results. Think about that in your own life. It’s important. It’s a principle, I mean to say, that works, and you and I may very well use it. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up.” That’s James 4:10. If My people which are called by My name (2 Chronicles 7:14, a very familiar verse to all of you) shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and forgive their sin, and heal their land.” That’s always the order. Here it is in Psalm 37: Wait on the Lord, keep His way, and He shall exalt thee.
See, the way up is always down. That’s the point that God makes here. The way up is always down on your knees, down before God, down in humility, down in repentance and confession. Down before God, waiting on Him. Much of my praying is “hurry-up” praying, and that oftentimes of necessity. I try, as I have told my young people at the college through the years as I served there up until 1985 as President, “pray your way through the day.” Pray about everything. A lot of our praying is, as we would say, “on the run.” But if you’re going to have any real change in your life and character, it takes more than that. It takes waiting on God in His presence, to be quiet before Him, to be honest before Him.
Just the other day, I was praying, and all of a sudden, God’s Holy Spirit smote me and convicted me about something, and I was just amazed at the depth of need in my own heart. I had to cry out to Him for help and forgiveness, and cleansing, and strength. You never get through learning the lessons that God wants to teach you as you go along. This is part of growing up in Christ. You never get to the place where you can say, “Well now I’ve got it made.” No, the Holy Spirit of God keeps on working with us, doesn’t He? He keeps on showing us in our hearts those things that need to be pruned away. “Every branch in me that beareth fruit, He prunes it,” Jesus said. “That it may bring forth more fruit.” Oh, that’s what I want. Beloved, wait on the Lord and keep His will. There are two things: waiting on God (which means to give God time with you and humble yourself before Him) and keeping His way. Obey what you know to be the will of God. It’s that simple. You don’t know everything about God’s will, but you know enough to keep you busy from now until breakfast, I’ll tell you that. Obey what you know to be the will of God and give God time with you. It’s a simple formula, isn’t it? But it works. Oh, but I want it. Believe me, beloved, I want it to work increasingly in my life and in yours.
Now, we come to verses 35 and 36. The psalmist says, “I have seen the wicked in great power, spreading himself like a green bay tree, yet he passed away and lo, he was not. Yea, I saw him, but he could not be found.” What about this? Why is it that people who are wicked and godless seem to prosper? Well, I can’t answer that question completely. I’ll ask it when we get to heaven. I think the best way for you and for me to face that question is to face it just as the Scripture does: realistically. That’s the way it is. But the law of the situation is not only that sometimes wicked people prosper, but they come to an end, and that’s all there is of it. “I sought him and he could not be found, he passed away, and lo, he was not.”
The influence of those who are prospering, as we say, without God, is doomed to failure. You may have a monument erected to you in Trafalgar Square or somewhere else, but if you have lived a godless life, there’s nothing there. Just a place for the pigeons to roost. Do you want your life to really count? Invest it for the Lord Jesus Christ. You think of the lengthened shadow of lives of people who really gave themselves to God: Hudson Taylor in China, Adoniram Judson, William Carey in another part of the world. D.L. Moody in our country and around the world. Thousands and multiplied thousands of people serving God effectively as a result of a vision of that one man and the creation of the Moody Bible Institute. Do you want your life to last and your influence to last? Wait on God and start obeying Him. Isn’t that something? It’s so simple, and yet so profound. Give God time with you and then do what He tells you to do.
I heard the life story of a precious servant of God just the other day on cassette. This dear person was praying about the future. She had a couple of young children as I recall and her husband had died. She was just eking out a living while trying to go to school, praying for the future, for someone to share her life. And she tells how God directed her to a place to live, and then how He directed her to a job, and then how when that job closed up because she was sharing Christ with her patients, another job opened up. Then God directed into her life the person who became her husband and her partner through many years of life. And in each case, it was a matter of waiting on God, and waiting before Him and being directed, and then obeying Him. Does God care about what happens to you today? Yes, He does. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” God cares about how you feel.
We have a high priest, the writer to the Hebrews says, “Who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” You break a leg and you’re there in the hospital with your leg in a cast and in traction because it’s a compound fracture, and they have to hold it in a certain way so the bones can knit, and someone who’s never even broken anything, (except the rules) who is hale and hearty and healthy and has never had a broken bone comes in and says, “Well, cheer up!” And you think to yourself, “Oh boy, he doesn’t know it feels.” Well, the Lord Jesus knows how you feel today, beloved.
That really is something, isn’t it? He can be touched, it says, “with the feeling of our infirmities.” You feel weak, you feel tired, you feel down, you feel discouraged, you feel happy, you feel enthusiastic or fearful; we have feelings, don’t we? Yes we do. Jesus knows how you feel. I must tell Jesus all of my troubles. I cannot bear these sorrows alone. Jesus will help me. Jesus alone.
“Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear/ All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer,” the songwriter said. He knows; He cares. So, he says, “Wait on the Lord and keep His way.” He’ll do the rest. Would you try that today in your own life? I’m going to do it in mine. Let’s see what the Lord will accomplish as we go on with Him.
Dear Father, today help us to wait on You and then do what You tell us. 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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