Perfectly Timed

God does not always work in the way or on the schedule that you and I have in mind.

Scripture: John 11:6, Philippians 2


Hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook. I am so glad to have the privilege of being back with you for a little while. Look at the Word of God, share from the precious pages of this book, the inerrant, infallible, eternal Word of God, the Bible. The longer I live, the more sense it makes to believe the Word of God rather than the theories that unbelieving hearts propound. You have to chuckle if you can look back a ways to see how often science, so-called, has changed its mind.

I thought, perhaps, I might sell some of the books I used in school. College books, they were, and a few even from high school, I had dragged them along through the years. Now, I was pastoring a small church, had just been married. Money was very scarce, I was making all of $32 a week and trying to spell out my income by preaching everywhere I could for a small offering here and there, on the radio, every morning, live at 7:00, I guess it was. And so I was busy and broke. [chuckle]

And I thought, “Well, I’m gonna sell all those books that I had in school. Maybe I can get some money out of them.” So I put them all in a huge box and went downtown, downtown Philadelphia, to the bookstore, the second-hand bookstore. And I said to the man, “Sir, I have some books here that I’d like to sell.” And he said, “Alright, we’ll take a look at them,” and very crisp and competent he was. And so he started throwing the books out of the box into two piles. He would look at a book and say, “Can’t use that one. Can’t use that one. Can’t use that one. We’ll take this one. Can’t use that one. We’ll take this one,” and the pile of books that he thought were worth something was very small indeed. And the pile of books that he was rejecting grew larger and larger, and I was dismayed, and I said, “Sir, why are you putting all of these good books?” [chuckle] I could have said, “Scarcely used.”


“Why are you putting all of these good books into the reject pile?” He said, “Because we can’t sell them anymore. They’re out of date. We don’t believe that stuff anymore.” We don’t believe that stuff anymore. But it was taught to me as being absolutely the truth. Science has changed its mind. The leaders of society, centuries ago, preached sermons against use of bathtubs. They said it would ruin your health. And they thought it was very harmful to open the windows of your house. You must sleep with the house entirely closed up. We know better today, I guess, don’t we? Well, the point I’m making is… And I’ve spent four minutes doing it, I guess, haven’t I? The point I’m making, is that you can trust the Word of God, inerrant, infallible, eternal.

Jesus said, “Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away.” You can count on that. That’s why, if I’m a specialist in anything, I’m a specialist in the Bible. I believe the Word of God, and I wanna give it out. I don’t wanna talk about it, I just wanna say what it says and share it with you. Well, I threw that in free. That’s not part of the broadcast. It isn’t even here on my notes. It came out of my heart.

We’re looking at John chapter 11. The message is, “Now come to our Lord Jesus Christ, as He was staying somewhere near the Jordan River.” Doesn’t say there was any towns in the area, and He may really have been camping out with His disciples, they oftentimes had no place to stay, our Savior said. So it may have been that He was sleeping under the stars. Who knows? Anyhow, He was quite a distance now from Jerusalem and Bethany, where Lazarus and Martha and Mary had their home. But the message had come to Him, “Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick, Lazarus is sick.” Now, we’re at verse 6, it says, “When He had heard, therefore, that Lazarus was sick, He abode two days.” Still, in the same place where He was. Now, you would think that if a person had a very dear friend, and if that same person had the ability to heal sickness, as Jesus did, you would think, humanly, that He’d get right up and hurry on over to Bethany, wouldn’t you? But He didn’t. He deliberately delayed two full days, which leads me then to remind all of us, and my own heart with you, God does not always work in the way or on the schedule that you and I have in mind.

He says, “My ways are not your ways, neither are my thoughts your thoughts. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” You remember that passage? God doesn’t have to do it my way. Let me read once again the verse that I quoted for you. Isaiah, chapter 55. He says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” saith the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” God follows His own routine. He parallels it to the rain and the snow and the fact that it waters the Earth, and that the harvest comes. So He says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth. It shall not return unto me void but accomplish that which I please. Prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” The will of God involves a difference. God doesn’t work your way or my way, necessarily. The will of God involves a principle, rain, snow, seed, harvest.

The will of God involves the working of His Word. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth.” The will of God involves the working out of His Word according to His divine purpose, “accomplish that whereto I sent it.” You see the logic of that? And oftentimes in our human way we say, “Oh, things aren’t going the way I wish. They aren’t going the way I thought they would. I prayed about this, and look what’s happening.” Yeah. Just remember that God is still on the throne, and He hasn’t gotten nervous today because things aren’t going your way. Far better to put yourself by faith in His hands, and let Him work out His perfect plan, because it is a plan and because it is perfect. Does God have a plan for each life? Indeed He does. I love to quote that verse that says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you. Thoughts of good and not of evil to give you a desired end.” God knows what He’s doing. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. The ancients said, “I know that when God doeth anything, it can’t be hindered.”

When God doeth anything, it is forever. You can’t hinder whatever God is doing. Far better, then, to give yourself over to His perfect plan for your life. I’ve had that happen to me different times in my life, and I suppose those of you who’ve lived a little could say, “Yes, I too have discovered that God had a plan. And when I yielded to Him, He worked it out.” And you don’t always understand what God is doing at the time. I remember looking up into an August sky after my little Model T Ford had been wrecked and all my garage tools had been taken by eager neighborhood children’s hands. And I remember looking up into the sky and saying, “God, why do you do this to me?” The unspoken part of that query was, “Here I’m starving my way through college. I’m trying somehow to get an education. I’m trying to minister to people. I’m doing the best I can, Lord. Why do you let this happen?” [chuckle] Fifteen years later, it hit me. That very street corner was the turning point in my life. For up to that time, I had been a college student who was also a garage man who was also a sometime choir leader and minister. But after that, I became more and more and more occupied with the Word of God and the ministry and winning souls. And so it went on through life.

What are you trying to do, God? Things aren’t working out the way I thought they would. Well, number one, expect there’ll be a difference between God and your plans because He’s God, and you’re a creature. Number two, by faith accept what God has in mind even if you can’t understand it. Number three, be sure to obey the leadings of the Holy Spirit of God when He does nudge you in the direction of God’s perfect will. Good idea? Now, that’s the main point, then, that we’ve given so far today. God does not always work in the way or on the schedule that you and I have in mind, but He has His own plans, and He is in the process of working out His own will. “For it is God,” Paul says in Philippians 2, “It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do, of His good pleasure.”

I’m glad that you and I are in hands of the Lord. Have you ever thought about that? Isn’t it a wonderful thing that our Lord Jesus said, in that tenth chapter of John, “My Father who gave them me is greater than I, and no man is able to pluck them out of His hand.” You’re in the Father’s hand, you’re in the hands of your precious Savior, and you’re under the control of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God as you yield to Him and let Him fill your whole life. What a blessed, wonderful relationship by grace. God has provided that you and I might rest serenely in the control and in the plan and purpose of the God who never makes a mistake and who knows what He’s doing, and who is always going to do you good. Thoughts of good, and not of evil. “And we know,” said Paul, “That all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Count on God’s plans today and yield to them.

Father God, today, help us to yield to your plans and do your will. 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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