If you specialize in wanting God’s Will, He specializes in giving you what your heart really wants.
Alright thank you very much and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright? Well, I wish you’d come with me now please to Psalm 107 and we’ll go on in our study of that great Psalm that deals with how, and when, and why people pray and what happens as a result. “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.”
This is verse 21 now that we’re starting in. “Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare His works with rejoicing. They either go down to the sea and ships that do business and great waters, these see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep for He commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind which left it up the waves thereof, they mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths, their soul is melted because of trouble, they reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man on and are at their wits end then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble and He bringeth them out of their distress as He maketh the storm a calm so that the waves thereof still. Then they’re glad because they’re quiet, so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”
Now the key to that passage is the phrase, “they are at their wits end”. You people who do a lot of sailing and boating or some of you who are professional sailors and work on the ocean liners of whatever, you know that you get a certain routine establish in managing a ship or a small boat. There is a routine established, you know what to do. In another words if you a have sailboat you know how to trim the sails, you know how to dock when the yard arm comes across there so you don’t get your head bashed in, you know how to tack into the wind so that you take full advantage of the way the wind is blowing.
If you are driving a power boat you know very well that before you turn on the motor you have to ventilate the engine compartment, get all the gasoline fumes out of the bilge. Many a person is blown himself up because he started the motor without ventilating that engine compartment, right? And so you have routine established, first turn on the little exhaust fan motor that ventilates the engine compartment or maybe even as some of my friends do open the two doors on top of the motor and let the air in and let the fumes out so that there’s no danger whatsoever of an explosion when you start the motor, an explosion from accumulated gasoline fumes that may have seeped out of the carbonator during interval the boat was not used. And then you know how to edge the boat away from the dock. You know that there are certain rules in managing it, either in rough and choppy water or in busy traffic.
In other words, you’ve got a routine established, haven’t you? That’s the way to be a safe and healthy sailor. You learn the routines, oh of course you do. And of the same thing is true in all of life, isn’t it? You get along well if you learn how things are done, of course. Well, then what happens when something occurs that breaks across the process of routine and it’s something that I don’t know how to handle? Here he uses the illustration of a person at sea, the stormy wind, the waves mount up, and they are such high waves that the ship seems to go up toward heaven and then goes down toward the depths.
Have you ever been on the ocean in the midst of a heavy storm and perhaps you were on notion liner? Or perhaps some of you in the military were on a destroyer, or a cruiser, or one of the bigger battle wagons, and so the waves were mountainous, and you watch the bow ship as it went up, and up, and up, and up, and you thought surely it’s going to turn over but no it did not. And now starts down again, down, and down, and down, and down, and you think it’s going take a nose dive right straight to the bottom of the ocean, no it doesn’t. The waves wash over the ship but it recovers again and starts the whole process over again. Does that bring back any memories to any of you? Well, that’s what the Bible’s talking about here. They mount up to Heaven, they go down again to the depths, their soul is melted because of the trouble.
Well, life is that way sometimes, isn’t it? It does seem as though some of the experiences through which we go are just like a storm on the ocean and the little craft of your life is tossed to and fro and you think, oh this is it, it’s going to capsize or else as you go down the other side of wave you think, oh I’m going straight to the bottom. Well, you’re at your wits end, you don’t know what to do next, you don’t know what to do next, then what? Says then, then they cry on to the Lord in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distress, He makes the storm a calm and brings them to their desired haven.
Now I’m talking to somebody today who’s in the midst of the storm and you say to yourself, well Cook doesn’t know what I’m going through, it’s all right for him to talk but he doesn’t know what I’m going through. And you know you’re right, how can I know I don’t leave inside of your skin. You know and God knows, but how can I know in the same way? At the same time I’ve lived a while and I’ve been through some things, and I know that some of the storms in life can be awfully rough on you, and you get to a place where you can’t hurt anymore, and you get to the place where you can’t cry anymore, and you get to the place where you just don’t know what to say anymore, and you sit and look at the situation and you shake your head and you say, “I just — I’m at the end of myself. I don’t know what to say or do next”.
That’s the way it is, isn’t it? Oh, yeah I’ve been there and some of you are there right now. What do you do? It says they are at their wits end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, He makes the storm a calm, He brings them to their desired haven. Now if you’ll pray in the midst of a wits end corner situation — remember the old poem that said are you standing at wits end corner? Well if you’ll pray in the midst of a wits end situation two things will happen: God will ease the storm, and second God will show you direction in your life.
In answer to prayer, beloved, there is always one step that you can take, I’ve found that out. When you pray about a trouble or about a situation, or about a problem, or about a storm in your life, when you pray about these things, God may not change everything all at once. But what He will do is to suggest it to you by his Holy Spirit one thing that you can do by way of obedience. And if you’ll obey him in that He’ll go on and show you some other things. If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.
When I was a little boy on the farm I used to have to get up and help with the milking at four and five in the morning. And you know in the winter time in Ohio, five in in the morning is still pretty dark. And it seemed a long way from the house to the barn and it seemed awfully dark. Now when I went back there some years later I was amazed that how everything had shrunk.
Have you ever tried that go back to a childhood scene which you remember as being so large, and when you get back there you find how small it is? Well, I was amazed on how everything had shrunk but I do remember those childhood journeys to the barn at four or five in the morning, in a wintry time, when it was very dark and the snow is very deep, and you couldn’t see from the house to the barn, but what I could see was the glow of the lantern that was held by my Uncle Frank. And he, with his long outdoorsman strides would be walking along ahead of me making a sort of a path through the newly fallen snow, maybe half a foot or foot of it there, but he had the lantern and I kept my eyes on the lantern and followed along in his footsteps, and I got there safe and sound.
“If we walk in the light, thy word is the lamp under my feet and the light unto my path”, says the wise man. And you my friend and I, can have the blessed experience of taking once step in the light and finding then that there’s another, and another, and another because God will give you guidance. Have you learned that yet? Whenever you pray there are two things that will happen; first, the steam goes out of the pressure cooker so to speak. The storm begins to abate in its effect upon your heart and life. And second, you get a sense of direction something that you can do about it. Dale Carnegie says that, “Worry is the absence of an organized plan.” If you know what you’re going to do next you don’t worry. And so it is with the believer.
If you and I will commit our stormy situations to God He’ll tell us what to do next and the worry goes out of the situation. Isn’t that great? I want you try that in your own life today, beloved. Some of you are in such stormy, and upsetting, and heartbreaking situations, I know that, but today would you just talk to the heavenly Father? Would you just ask Him for His mercy and His blessing on you and ask Him to calm the storm and then would you wait before Him long enough for Him to give you a sense of direction? You’d be surprised at the way worry goes out the window. The storm seems to have abated and you now have a sense of being guided as this passage says, “To your desired haven”. To your desired haven, God gives you a sense of direction in achieving the things that are dearest to your heart. Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give the desires of thy heart.
If you specialize in wanting God’s will, He specializes in giving you what your heart really wants. Isn’t that a beautiful thought? If you’ll specialize in doing God’s will, He’ll specialize in satisfying your heart. Oh let Him do it. And sometimes just to be frank about it, you don’t know what to pray really about the storm, about the need.
Catherine Marshall says that there was one situation where she was so perplexed, she didn’t know what to say or do and so she just lifted her heart to God and said, “Oh, heavenly Father in Jesus name, have mercy on me” and so and so and she named one of the members of the family that was involved in this particular need.
She said, “Have mercy heavenly Father on me and on such and such a one”, and she said strangely and wonderfully that situation began to mend and God’s hand was seen.
And so dear friend and even of you don’t know what specifically to pray, cry out to God and ask for His mercy, ask Him to take control of the situation and then listen carefully for His guidance as He tells you the next step to take.
Dear Father today, calm the storm and direct our lives we ask 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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