Strengthened By Faith
If you want your faith to be strengthened, go to the Word. Read what God has done in other lives.
And hello radio friends! How in the world are you? You doing all right today? Yes, this is your friend, Dr. Cook. I’m glad to be back with you. I look forward to these times when we can open the blessed Word of God. It’s like a vacation for me. I just relax and get so blessed on it. Something to get blessed on your preaching isn’t it? Ah well, there’s no law against it.
Come with me to Mark chapter 9. Our Lord Jesus has been up on what they call Mount of Transfiguration. The disciples have been treated to a demonstration of the turning up, so to speak, of the light of His deity so that it was shining through His mortal flesh, and they also were given that message from the heavenly voice, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him”. Alright, now they come down from the mountain, and as so often happens, you know, when you’ve been greatly blessed in some way, then you’re going to be greatly tested. So immediately they’re met with this distraught father, whose boy was troubled by seizures, and our Lord Jesus identified those seizures as being caused by a foul spirit, that’s what the Bible calls it, a foul spirit. The father said to our Savior, “That often times it hath cast him into the fire and into the waters to destroy him”, and then he adds this, “But if Thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us”. He had said previously, “I brought him to Thy disciples”, and, “I brought him today Thy disciples that they should cast him out and they could not”. So, evidently they had been trying to do something for the youngster. Well, he said, “If Thou canst do anything have compassion on us and help us”. Jesus said to him, “If thou canst”, not if I can but, “if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth”, and straightaway the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord I do believe, help thou mine unbelief”. A confession of the fact that his heart and his faith fell short of what seemed to be necessary to gain the victory in the situation, but he said, I believe and please help me where I don’t. A pretty good prayer it seems to me.
Have you ever, let’s just take a little detour, as I call it small thought. Have you ever been faced with a situation where you just didn’t have faith enough to tackle it? I’m sure that has happened to all of us. Now, what you do about it? You give up, cave-in, run away? No, you trust God with the faith that you have and you ask Him to help you trust Him more. Committal, commitment, commitment to the Lord Jesus starts with what you, what you do have and what you can do. Trust the Lord Jesus with what you can trust Him for, and then ask Him to give you the ability to trust Him more and He will. Does that make any sense?
That was the prayer that this dear man prayed. I believe, I do believe, so there’s some faith there, isn’t there? I do believe, help thou my unbelief. In those corners of my heart where the what if’s syndrome is still lacking, everyone of us faces it, you know that don’t you? What if it doesn’t work? I’ll pray for this man, but what if it doesn’t work? I’ll pray for the supply this need, but what if the money doesn’t come in? I’ll pray for the solution of this problem, but what if people simply won’t get together on it? What if, what if, what if? That’s unbelief. It lurks in every human heart. Now, the only way to get rid of it is to confess it and bring it to Jesus, so that He can make a positive instead of negative. The only if that is permissible in the position of faith, is the if that was verbalized by the Hebrew young men, as they stood before an enrage King, there in Babylon. They said, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace, and He will deliver us”. Now, that’s faith. Unalloyed, unmixed, pure, raw, faith. “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace and He will deliver us, but if not, be it known unto thee we will not bow down to you”. Now, if for some reason God doesn’t choose to deliver us, we’re still going to be true to Him. Now, that’s commitment. Alright?
Well, Jesus saw the people running together, “He rebuked the foul spirit saying, ‘Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him and enter no more into him’, and the spirit cried and tore him up, rent him sore”, real convulsion there evidently, a real seizure and came out of him, “and he was as one dead, insomuch that many said, ‘He is dead’, but Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up and he arose”. A beautiful story and I put myself in the position of that father.
The dear man was so distraught when he brought his boy to the disciples, and so disappointed when they could not help his son, and now the Lord Jesus had performed that act of deliverance and the boy was healed, delivered. How must he have felt? Oh, your heart just breaks with compassion and love and longing, as you think of how you would feel if one of your own children had gone through that experience. How disappointed and how frustrated when official representatives of religion couldn’t do anything, and how delighted when Jesus delivered.
I may be speaking to someone this very moment, who’s tried religion. You’ve tried official representatives of religion and you from them powerless. I want to tell you today if you’ll bring your problem to the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll trust Him and you will confess to Him those areas in your heart that still are lurking unbelief, the what if syndrome is still there, confess it to Him, bring in total commitment all that you are, including your problem. I can guarantee you that the Lord Jesus Christ will deliver you. He’ll answer your prayer because He’s Lord of all. Hallelujah for that! Well, that was a long detour wasn’t it?
Now, “When He was come into the house’, this is Mark chapter 9 verse 28, “When He was come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could not we cast him out?’, now the answer that Mark gives in verse 29 is this, “This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting”. For a little amplification of that answer we turn over to Matthew chapter 17, and the same question is reported by Matthew then, “The disciples came to Jesus separately, apart, privately, and said, ‘Why could not we cast him out?’, and Jesus said, “Because of your unbelief”. Unbelief, they were in the same position as the father of the boy, “Because of your unbelief”. Unbelief comes from reasoning on purely human standards. Unbelief comes from a preservation of your own self importance and dignity, the desire not to lose face, the, “what if nothing happens”, thought back there in your heart.
Unbelief comes from an unwillingness to commit the situation absolutely to the Lord Jesus. I’m going to trust Christ no matter what happens. To go beyond the point of no return, where it is not possible for you and a longer to go back to your original position of self-preservation, but you are cast entirely upon the Lord. Unbelief keeps you from knowing the power of God in your life. Now, how does, how does the opposite number, how does true faith come? Number one; faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If you want your faith strengthened, go to God’s Word. Reading what God is done through the lives of others will ignite a fire in your own heart. Reading God’s precious promises which have never been broken, any one of them will strengthen your willingness to depend upon Him now, and searching the Scriptures under the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit will oftentimes, lead you to Scriptures that speak directly to your needs and your condition.
I was burdened, greatly burdened that God would give me some word from His blessed Word, that would really speak to people’s hearts, as I brought a message to the National Religious Broadcasters, at their annual convention in Washington D.C. You know, it’s one thing to make a speech, it’s another thing to have something from the Lord. You know that, don’t you? And so knowing that, I was greatly burdened and I was asking everyone to pray for me. Well, I thought I had something from God. I was pretty sure about it. A message from John chapter 9 verse 4, Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him that sent Me while it is day. The night cometh when no man can work for things without which you cannot communicate Christ to the nations”, and I went down the line there. “I must’, that has to do with a man’s character, “work”, that’s pretty plain. Work at to God’s special commission for you, “Of Him that sent me”, commitment, absolute commitment to God’s will. “The night cometh when no man can work”, urgency, you don’t have any time left.
You know, preachers who listen to me, you know that’ll preach, but I knew that I had to have something special from God, and so I was searching the Word and praying and seeking God, and then I came to this, just came across it, had never noticed it quite before, but there it was for me, Ezekiel chapter 3 verse 27, “When I speak with Thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus sayeth the Lord God; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear”. Wow, you know that spoke to my heart? “When I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth and thou salt say, Thus sayeth the Lord”.
Well beloved, I don’t know how well I preached. Somebody else will have to tell whether or not it was any good, but I want you to know that as I spoke on that Sunday night, the first Sunday of the NRB convention, there in Washington D.C., I was aware of the fact that God was helping Bob Cook. You know if you want your faith to be strengthened, go to the Word, read what God is done in other lives, read the promises that God has made, no one of which has ever been broken, and then let the indwelling Holy Spirit lead you to those passage that will strengthen your own personal faith and commitment to your blessed Lord. Your faith will be strengthened, if you get into the Word, and then of course I have to remind you that faith is only as real as its obedience factor. We’ll get at that the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may our faith be strong in an Almighty God, 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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