If you're down; if you're hurting; if you're disillusioned; if people have failed you; if your dreams have failed to come true; if what you want the most in life doesn't arrive, Jesus is still there.
Hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright? Well, this is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you for a few more moments of precious fellowship around the Word of God. I think I enjoy sharing God’s Word more than anything else in all the world. He has given us His inerrant, infallible Word, the Bible, and in those pages He speaks with us. And as you and I look together at the truth, we find something that is just exactly suited to our needs. That’s the miracle, I think, of the ministry of the Spirit of God through the Word. He takes God’s Word and sharpens the truth so that it fits exactly where you are and meets your need. I’ve been praying that that might be so in today’s broadcast, as well. We’re in John, the Gospel of John chapter 16, dear friends. Our Lord Jesus has already told the disciples, “Now, I’m going my way to Him that sent me. But because I’ve said this sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless,” He said, “I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I got not away, the Comforter,” that’s the Holy Spirit, “Will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” And then we had that blessed truth about what the Holy Spirit does through the believer, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgement and so on.
Well, now He comes as we’re reading verse 19. He said, “Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, a little while, and ye shall not see me. And again, a little while, and ye shall see me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice, and then ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” Then He uses the illustration of childbirth, “A woman when she’s in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come, but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. Ye now therefore have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man will be able take from you. And that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” Well, I read quite a passage there. I don’t know whether we’ll get through with it today but we’ll work on it.
He said, “Now ye have sorrow,” the key verse, I think, verses are 22, 23. “Now you have sorrow.” He said, “I’m going away.” Can you imagine what that would mean to them? Here was a person who had been the very center of all of their life, He was the center of their universe. And in Him their hopes for the future were anchored as well. True, they saw Him as the Messiah who would come and establish a temporal kingdom. They needed to learn the Heavenly point of view that this was God’s lamb. The Messiah was God’s lamb, passover lamb, so Paul the Apostle could write later on, “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” They didn’t fully understand that. So they had in mind that this wonderful person whom they had been following, and with whom they had been traveling and living for three years, was the one who was going to throw off the yoke of Rome and re-establish Israel as a sovereign nation, his kingdom.
Well, they heard Him say later on, “My kingdom is not of this world, as else would my servants fight, but now my kingdom is not from hence.” It’s a Heavenly kingdom that has its foundation in faith and its base in the eternal Word of God and its outworking through human hearts that are yielded to the Lord. They didn’t quite understand all of that. So He says, “Now you’ve got sorrow,” and that was a realistic statement. They were down about it, but He said, “I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice and your joy no man taketh from you. You’re down today but I’ll see you again, and you will rejoice and it will be an enduring joy that nobody can take away.” This was His promise to them and now, 2000 years nearly, after those words were spoken, you and I hear them again and perhaps they might speak to somebody today who is discouraged and down. And maybe your life seems to be falling apart and maybe your hopes have not come to fruition, and maybe your dreams have been lying in pieces along with your broken heart, and maybe people have hurt you and life itself seems cruel.
See, all of these things are true of all of us at some time or other, aren’t they? You live a while, you’ll know that’s so. And Jesus says, “I know you’ve got sorrow.” Incidentally, the Bible says that He can be touched with the feeling of our weakness. He knows how you feel, beloved. Had you ever thought about that? Some friend of yours comes to see you in the hospital and says, “Cheer up, you’ll soon be better.” And if you don’t say it, you think it, “You don’t really understand how I feel. You don’t know how I’m hurting.” You’ve been through that, some of you, haven’t you? But oh, the Lord Jesus understands how I feel; He’s touched. That means that it gets to Him. It gets to Him. He empathizes with how you and I feel about things. He’s a great Savior. And that’s the reason the Bible can say, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” You’re His concern. He’s touched, just as your heart if you’re a parent is touched by the tears of that little youngster who has fallen and scraped his knee, and your heart goes out to him. Jesus is touched.
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth or song? Yes, He cares. I know my Savior cares. See, that’s the point there. If you’re down, if you’re hurting, if you’re disillusioned, if people have failed you, if your dreams have failed to come true, if what you want the most in life doesn’t arrive, Jesus is still there. He said, “Now, because I’ve told you what’s going to happen, sorrow has filled your heart.” But He says, “I’ll see you again. And your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” Let me, beloved friend, let me dwell on that verse just a moment with you. “I will see you again.” Now, our Lord Jesus Christ, in His physical presence, in His glorified body, is at the right hand of God the Father. But in a very real sense, the blessed Spirit of God reveals Christ to you and to me as we surrender ourselves to the Lord, and as we listen for His voice. And there is a very precious, wonderful experience waiting for you if you’ll wait on God, and just by faith accept the presence of the Lord Jesus. He said, “I’ll see you again.”
He is real. He said, “I will not leave you orphans. I will come unto you.” The presence of the Lord Jesus is real in these days, just as His physical presence was real when after the Resurrection He came into that room where all the windows were barred, and the doors were locked, and it said, “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” A literal fulfillment of what He was saying here in John 16. But I want you somehow to dwell on this fact. You can revel in the presence of your living Lord. “The Holy Spirit who indwells the believer,” Jesus said, “Will take the things of mine and show them unto you.” The very attributes of Jesus, the very presence of your living Lord, can be made real in your life. He says, “I’ll see you again.” Then He says, “Your heart shall rejoice.” It’s interesting to me that He didn’t say “mind.” “Make up your mind,” we say to someone who is wavering. The chronic hypochondriac, we say, “It’s all in your mind.” [chuckle] We blame the mind for many things and, certainly, it does determine a lot of our conduct and our reactions to life’s stimuli.
But the fact is that there is a deeper and far more enduring relationship with Jesus which goes beyond the impact of daily circumstances. He said, “Your heart shall rejoice.” The wise man Solomon said, “Guard thine heart with all diligence for out of it, are the issues of life.” The good and bad breaks, as we call them, are created by the attitude of my heart toward God and toward people. It is in your heart that you have idols. “The idols of the heart,” we read in the Old Testament. And Simon Peter, talking to the sorcerer who wanted to buy the power of the Holy Spirit, he said, “I perceive that thine heart is not right with God. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth,” we read in Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and soul, and strength, and mind.”
See, that is the center of your relationship with the Savior, and it goes beyond the impact of life’s circumstances. “Your heart shall rejoice.” This was, of course, literally fulfilled in the disciples when the Lord Jesus came to show Himself to them after His Resurrection. It said, “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” And I have to remind you, the circumstances around them had not changed. The Roman Empire was still in business, the Pharisees and the chief priests were still trying somehow to wipe out the impact of the lowly Nazarene. Everything was the same, but they were different because Jesus was there. He said, “No man can take your joy from you.” Why? Because it’s inside and it doesn’t depend on circumstances. Then He says, “In that day, whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, He’ll give it to you.” We’ll get at that the next time we get together. For now, enjoy the presence of your wonderful Lord and the joy that He brings.
Father God today, may we be conscious of Thy presence, Thy love, and the touch of the Lord Jesus upon our lives. I ask in His 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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