Scared? He’s Been There
Faith risks the uncertainties of life on God. You don’t really know what’s going to happen tomorrow, nor do I; but we do know that God is already there.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right today? Well, I trust everything is all right at your house. It has to be all right even though circumstances are not favorable. You may be in the midst of trials, and tribulations, and troubles, and heartache or even heartbreak. But if you’re walking with the Lord Jesus, you can say as did the lady one time who came into my office and announced that she was dying of cancer, the doctor just told her and she wanted to talk with me and pray with me, which we did. And after we prayed, she looked at me, looked right into my eyes and said “Well, Dr. Cook, it’s all right.”
And she must have seen a flicker of either surprise or amazement or something in my own face, and so she repeated it at she looked steadily at me and smiled, she said “I mean, it’s all right because I’m His.” Oh, that’s the secret of living through any day, whether it would be a good day or what we call a bad day. If you’re His, you’re held in His hands and He is guiding you every step of the way.
Well, dear friends, I’m glad to be back with you. This is your good friend, Bob Cook. And what we’ve been doing is to look at Galatians 5:22-23 as a commentary on that passage in 2 Peter where is said, “That by these precious promises ye might be partakers, sharers of the divine nature.” And when I asked, what does the divine nature really mean? Then we went to Galatians 5, the fruit of the Spirit. The result of the Holy Spirit indwelling you as a believer, the result of God showing that He is doing something in your life, the profile then of the very attributes of God as exhibited in human nature.
What happens when you are a partaker of the divine nature? Well, whatever happens is because the Holy Spirit is dwelling within you and working in your life and so then, we look at that list. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. And we got down on the list to the word “faith,” which I reminded you in that little Cook definition, Faith is risking the situation on God. If you want illustrations of what it means to exercise faith, of course, you and I go immediately to the so-called faith chapter. The Heroes of Faith as recorded in Hebrews Chapter 11.
It starts with Abel. “By faith Abel offered unto to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” He risked the situation of his relationship with God, and incidentally his brother who murdered him. Faith doesn’t always mean that everything’s coming up roses. Faith doesn’t always mean that people will treat you right. Faith doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to have an easy time of it. Faith does guarantee that God is going to see you through and that it will be all right from God’s point of view and from Eternity’s point of view.
Concerning Abel, it says “By his faith, he being dead yet speaketh.” Those words were written 2,000 years ago nearly. And we’re still talking about the man who brought a proper offering of shed blood to God as the means of having his sin forgiven. The Bible says “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission,” and you come now to the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ, as he hang on the cross was God’s Passover lamb, shedding His blood and once and for all paying the debt of sin that you and I might be accepted in the Beloved One, and that our sins might be forgiven. Abel risked his situation and incidentally in this case risked his life, didn’t he? Because he was going to obey God.
By faith Enoch had said, it was translated, he had this testimony that he pleased God. Now, this is risking the daily walk. “He walked with God,” it says. Enoch walked with God. You find that in another passage. He was risking his daily walk, his daily lifestyle on what God had to say to him, which reminds you and me that are religious experiences have very little value unless it is reflected in our daily lifestyle. Not everything you do is religious. You cannot be officially religious about everything. If you do, well, you go to work singing “Holy, holy, holy” at the top of your voice, and you’ll be in the personnel office by 10:00 and if you keep on, the men in white coats will have you by 11:00.
I know you can’t be officially religious about everything, but you can be genuinely Christian. You can walk with God. You can do all that you do, as Paul says in Colossians 3 “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord and not just for people. Knowing that of the Lord, you shall receive the reward of the inheritance for ye served the Lord Christ.” You can do what you do as working for Jesus.
I think the best illustration of that goes back many years when I was a Pastor in Illinois, and I said one day to a lovely Italian girl who was a member of our church and I said, “You know you operate that automatic machine day after day there in the factory, don’t you get bored and tired of it?” And she flashed me her beautiful smile and she says, “Well, Pastor” she said, “If I ever get bored I just look up and say ‘Lord Jesus, I’m doing this for you.’” And then she said, “I’m not bored anymore.” Bless her.
Say, have you tried walking with God that way in your daily life? You have to call on a prospect to try to sell something, you have to fix a car that doesn’t work, you have to reconstruct a budget and cut $100,000 out of it? That happens often times these days, doesn’t it? And you have to solve a difficult personnel problem, you have to run a household and be a mother, and a beautiful lady and chauffeur, and counselor and disciplinarian, and a budgeter all at once? All these different things that different ones of us have to do, have you ever tried looking up and saying “Lord Jesus, I do this for you and for your Glory and I love you.” And you try that. It’s all part of faith.
By faith Enoch walked with God. By faith Noah constructed the ark. It said “He moved with fear, by faith he built an ark.” He prepared an ark for the saving of his house by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. Noah and his family, the only living people spared in the awful outpouring of that flood, by faith he built the ark. Why? Because it had never rained before, to build a large boat and that was a pretty big boat, you know that, don’t you? It was good-sized and so he built this large ship on land.
You can just see it there in your mind’s eye with all of the side timbers holding it upright and a ramp leading up to the entrance on this upper side door there, on the upper deck. You can see him as the construction progresses and people gather around to jeer and to hoot, and to laugh and to mock. And then the hall is finished and he applies the tarry substance, they call it pitch on the outside as well as on the inside of the boat to make it watertight. And then all of the different levels constructed inside of the boat, probably had several decks. He kept on, kept on. People kept on mocking, he kept on building. One of those days, the heavens grew dark and the rain came, the fountains — it says “fountains of the great deep were broken up” so that — actually the oceans stirred enough to cover and the rain fell enough to cover the highest levels on earth, the flood.
Noah, by faith, he risked his future on obeying God. He risked the attitude of his neighbors on obeying God. Faith risks the situation on God. What else? Abraham. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went, sojourned in a land of promise, as a strange country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob. He looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
Faith to risk the situation on God. What does it mean? Why? It meant for Abraham. Moving out. He was well-established in Ur of the Chaldees and he probably had a good business. He had some means. Now, God speaks to him and says “Abraham, get on out.” You could just imagine what happened one day when Mrs. Busybody came to the door and Sara answered it and Mrs. Busybody said, “Oh, you’re packing. What’s going to happen? You’re going to move over to the other side of town? You made enough money now to move over there with the rich people?” “No,” Sarah said “We’re moving out of town.” “Oh, are you? You’re going out into the suburbs?” “No. We’re moving clear out.” “But where are you going?” She says “I don’t know.” “Well, why don’t you know?” “Well, Abraham doesn’t know either except that he heard from God that he had to go out.”
Well, you can just see this busybody lady, she dabs her eyes with a handkerchief and she says “Oh, poor Sarah. I always said you’d come to no good end marrying that mystical man who claims to talk with the living God.” And she wipes her eyes and then dashes out to tell the rest of the neighbors. “Oh, poor Abraham, he has gone off his rocker and he’s going to move out. He doesn’t even know where he’s going. And poor Sarah has to put up with that.” And so they gossiped. You can just hear it, can’t you? But it says, “He came into the Land of Canaan.” He went out, and by faith he came into the Land of Canaan as well.
Faith risks the uncertainties of life on God. You don’t really know what’s going to happen tomorrow nor do I. But we know that God is already there. To Him a thousand years is just like a very short time. He is the God of the tomorrows. He is already around the corners of life. “He is the God who is there,” as Francis Schaeffer used to say. You can trust Him. Faith risks the uncertainties on God. Faith risks the impossibilities on God. By faith Sarah received strength to conceive a seed, and was delivered of a child when she was passed age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” Sarah had faith.
Abraham and Sarah together had faith for the impossible, when they were very old people to have a child. Abraham. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac.”
Faith to give your most precious possession to God. Ah, this is part of the evidence that God is working in you when you are willing to risk the situation on Him.
Dear Father today, O, may we trust Thee with that faith that risks the situation on God. In Jesus name. Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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