Seek Him, Trust Him
Seek God and keep on trusting Him. Wait on the Lord and be of good courage.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing all right today? Well, I trust so. I’m fine, thank you. Bless your heart. I feel great. I was out this morning, took a ride of several miles on my BMW, and enjoyed the fresh air, and came home to a lunch of canned raviolis, how about that? [chuckle] ‘Che si dice’ to all my Italian friends. And now, I’m just doing another of these broadcasts for you, my precious friends.
We’re looking at John 7 now, and I just wanna hit a couple of things that occurred to me. They stick out so strongly as I read this chapter. “Jesus,” it said, “Was not going to walk in Judea, minister in Judea, because there they sought to kill Him. Now, the Jews Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto Him, ‘Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself, seemeth to be known openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world.'” And John adds, “For neither did His brethren believe in Him.” That’s the “if” of unbelief.
And Jesus said, “My time has not yet come. You go on up. My time has not yet come.” And then, down in verse 17, there’s the “if” of commitment. “If any man will do God’s will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” I wanted to stop on those two thoughts, as we have opportunity. He said, “My time has not yet come.” You find that same statement in John 2:4. You find it here in verse six and verse eight. You find it occurring to the 30th verse, “His hour was not yet come,” and you find it happening again over in the eighth chapter, “My time is not yet come.” Verse 20 in John 8, “His time has not yet come.”
What is this business about His time not yet come? It simply is the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ was operating according to a divine schedule. Nothing was just happening, there’s no happenstance there. He was marching steadfastly toward the cross, knowing that they were planning to kill him, knowing that Judas was going to betray Him, knowing that Peter would deny Him, knowing that the disciples would forsake Him and flee, knowing that the crowd that cried, “Hosanna, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord,” on the triumphal entry, would be the same crowd that shout, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” He knew all that. Our Lord Jesus Christ foreknew all of these things, because He’s God. But He went right straight on. He was operating according to a divine schedule. His time is the perfect time.
Paul says in Galatians, “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, born under the law.” The fullness of the time, my time, His time, God’s time, becomes by faith, here’s the point I wanna make, becomes by faith, your time. The ancients said, “My times are in His hand.” Psalmist said, “Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage. He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait on the Lord, and rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” Time, God’s time. The writer of Ecclesiastes, the wisest of man, said, “To everything in the universe, there is a time. A time, a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to harvest,” and so on. What does that mean? That means, my friend, that if you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, you are not living an accidental kind of a life. You are not what one of the philosophers has called “an accidental collocation of atoms.” And your life is not just something that is subject to the vague nuances of the ebb and flow of history.
You are operating according to the divine program of God. “Commit thy way unto the Lord and He shall direct, direct, that is, thy paths.” “The steps,” Psalm 37 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delighteth in His way.” Have you discovered that yet? Somebody needs to be reminded that your times are in His hand, that God’s timing is perfect. They sent a message to the Lord Jesus concerning Lazarus, said, “Lord, he whom thou lovest is sick.” Jesus stayed two days right where He was, before He even started for Bethany. So by the time he got to Bethany, Lazarus had died and had been in the grave four days. Mary and Martha both said, in effect, “Lord, you blew it. You should have been here. You didn’t get here in time to heal him.” And, of course, that’s true. He didn’t get there in time to heal him, but He got there in time to raise him from the dead. God’s timing, timing, timing is perfect.
Bishop Athanasius was talking with me early one morning, as we walked the streets of Tokyo on our way to a dawn prayer meeting. I said, “Bishop, teach me something. What has the Lord been saying to you?” And he said, “I was just reading the 11th chapter of John and it said that, ‘The Lord Jesus stayed outside the town of Bethany when he got there, instead of coming on in.’ And I wondered, if He went to help these people, why didn’t He come on in, and help them? And then I thought,” said he, as we walked along, “And then I thought, ‘If I were God and I knew that in a few minutes I was going to say, ‘Lazarus, come forth,’ I wouldn’t need to hurry, would I?'” [chuckle] That’s beautiful, isn’t it? God’s time.
How often I’ve prayed, “Lord, hurry up,” haven’t you? And when you’re waiting for a job to open up, and nothing seems to open up, and you see the money dwindling, that’s rough, isn’t it? And you think, “Oh, God. Did you forget me? Is God mad at me? Is He punishing me for something? Why doesn’t He answer?” You’ve been praying, some of you, for an unsaved wife, or an unsaved husband, or for wayward children. And your heart just breaks with longing, that these prayers might be answered, and nothing seems to be happening. As a matter of fact, it seems to be getting worse. You think, “Oh, God, why don’t you do something?” I know. I’ve been there. Listen, God’s timing is perfect, you can trust Him. Jesus was operating on a divine schedule. It lead to the cross. It lead to the scourging. It lead to the betrayal. It lead to the buffeting. It led to the crown of thorns. It lead to the thud of the hammer, as the spike pierced flesh, and sinew, and bone, and nailing the form of the Lord Jesus Christ to that cross. Yes, His path led to Calvary, but it also led to the empty tomb. And the glorified Lord, and the interceding Savior, and the second coming, again, of our precious Lord Jesus. His schedule includes it all. Hallelujah.
There was a time back in the, I guess it would be the ’60s, now, when I was completely upset about something that happened. What it was really doesn’t matter. I won’t share all of that with you. Suffice it to say, Cook was absolutely upset, to the point where I don’t cry easily and I was crying. I was completely upset over something that was happening. All the plans that I’d made seemed to be going right straight down. And I felt so alone in that moment. And then I remember praying, and I said, “God, you have to help me. I’m still your boy. Charlie Cook’s boy is your boy and I need some help. And I pray, oh, God, that you’ll somehow show me that you didn’t forget me yet.”
Well, that was one evening, that I prayed that, right after this thing happened. The next day, I had to drive some miles to a conference grounds up in Wisconsin. And I was to preach that evening to a large group of people. And so I got up to preach, still heavy-hearted from what had happened the day before, still praying, “Oh, God. Show me something that says you didn’t forget me, that you still are leading me.” And as I preached, I felt the power of God come upon me. I preached in power, I do believe, because when I gave unexpectedly, these people didn’t expect an invitation, an appeal at the end of what was supposed to be an opening speech at a conference, but I gave an appeal for people that need to get right with God, and people that need to be saved, and the whole front of that auditorium was filled with people seeking God.
And as I stood there, at the close of that service, and saw them coming with tears and repentance, seeking God, it was as the Lord said to me, “Alright, my boy, I didn’t forget you, did I? I’m still with you.” Oh, God’s timing, God’s timing, God’s timing. Every time I have complained to God about the way things were going, I found out later that He was preparing something special for me. Would you depend upon God’s perfect schedule for your life? Just seek Him and obey Him. That’s all you have to do. Just seek Him and obey Him. “Ye shall seek me and find me,” says the prophet, “When you shall search for me with all your heart. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all man liberally. Seek God, keep on trusting Him, wait on the Lord, be of good courage, He shall strengthen thine heart.”
Jesus, on a pre-arranged schedule, yes, it led to Calvary, but yes, it led to the empty tomb, and the glorified risen Savior, and glory, only glory, by and by. Boy, it’s great.
Well, there was this “if” of unbelief. I won’t get through with the two “ifs”. We have to go on into the next broadcast, but you won’t mind, will you? “His brothers,” it said, “Didn’t believe on Him.” The hardest people to convince are your own family members, isn’t it true? Because they say, “I knew him when… ” [chuckle] There’s a natural skepticism that accrues to family membership. It’s pretty hard to convince your family that you are other than what they think you are from long association. So they didn’t believe on Him and they were really harassing Him, in a way. They said, “Come on. You ought to show yourself to the crowd. If you’re so great, why don’t you show it?” That’s what they were saying. “If thou doest these things, show thy self to the world.” Yeah, sure. The “if” of unbelief. “If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
A father said one day, concerning his son whom he had brought to Jesus… “If thou canst,” Jesus answered, “Believe. All things are possible to him that believeth.” There’s the “if” of unbelief. “If God can do it.” Well, you’re gonna have to get beyond that, beloved. And the only way to do it, is to start trusting the Lord by faith, “The just shall live by faith. All through any given day, trust your Lord to guide you, and to keep you, and to demonstrate His power through you.” The “if” of unbelief. “What if?” And it’s in the back of many of our minds when we pray. We pray for the supply of a given need and in the back of your mind is, “What if it doesn’t come in?” What are you gonna do then? Have you got plan B, so that you can get into operation? “What if God doesn’t answer? If I give my life to the Lord, what if nobody wants me and I turn out be a reject? If I break up with this unsaved fellow, what if nobody else wants to date me? What if?” The “if” of unbelief. Turn your back on that, beloved, and start trusting God. He says, “I know the thoughts I think toward you, thoughts of good, not of evil, to give you a desired end.” God wants the best for you. We’ll go on with this the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today, help us to believe Thee, trust Thee with all our hearts, 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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