The Protector

So your Savior is saying to you, "Cheer up. I dealt with the sin problem and I've dealt with the fear problem – I can deal with anything that threatens you."

Scripture: John 16:29-33


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friend. How in the world are you? You doin’ alright today? Well, I trust so. This is your good friend, Bob Cook. And you and I are back again together by way of radio to look into God’s blessed, inerrant, infallible, eternal Word, the Bible.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” When you get together with God, you start to get smart. We have an expression around the big cities called, “street smart,” which means that the individual has learned how to survive in the jungle of everyday hurly-burly experiences on the streets of a big city. He or she knows how to spot a con man, how to spot the phonies, how to avoid danger. That’s called street smart and you get that by experience. If you live that long, that is. [chuckle]

But the opposite is true in spiritual matters. You don’t get smart by… Spiritually, that is, wise by experience, and by thought, and by living a long time. Some older people are remarkably ignorant spiritually. You start with God. You wait in His presence. You read and absorb, memorize and meditate upon His Word and that makes you different. Now you know that of course. Many of you have written me and told me that your experience in the Word of God as it was opened up made a vast and a blessed difference in your life, and I’m glad. We start with God’s Word. And so, my purpose day after day in bringing you these broadcasts is to put a handle on God’s Word so that you can get hold of it for yourself. The Bible is forever true, whether or not anyone reads or believes it. But it becomes of value to you and to me when we apply it to our lives under the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.

We’re finishing up our thought about John 16:29-33. “The disciples had said, childlike they were, ‘Now, we understand. Now we really believe that you are the Messiah, that you came from God.'” And our Lord answered so tenderly, “Do you really? Do you really?” “The fact is,” said he, “that you’re all gonna leave me. All of your believing will not keep you from running away. The hour comes,” He said, “When you’ll all be scattered. Every man to his own. And so leave me alone. Yet I’m not alone because the Father is with me.” There’s a sense in which you will face, if you have not already faced it, you’ll face some situation where you feel absolutely alone. You may have some friends but they can’t seem to reach you even with their well meaning sympathy. And you’re in a situation that doesn’t admit of other human help. I remember speaking with someone some few years ago, and the anguished cry was, “I want God to provide the answer, not people.” Well, He does. Thank God.

But there are times when you just feel absolutely alone. And unfortunately, there are times when people will of their own volition leave you alone. Paul says, “At my first hearing, no man stood with me but all men forsook me.” See, they didn’t want to be associated with someone who was being tried for treason, which was the charge. He was proclaiming Jesus Christ as supreme Lord of all and in those days that was treasonous because Caesar was the top individual. And so, they left him alone. “At my first hearing, no man stood with me, all men forsook me.” Absolutely alone before the bar of Roman justice. But he said, “The Lord stood with me and delivered me.” Now there you have the answer.

If I’m talking this moment to somebody who feels absolutely bereft and desolate and so alone in life, and you walk around an empty house maybe, and you miss the person for whom you used to straighten up. I oftentimes use that as an illustration from Martha and Mary. Martha says, “I keep trying to straighten up his room but it’s never messed up. I keep setting three places at the table instead of two, but he never comes home to dinner. He’s gone.” Now maybe I’m talking to somebody like that. And loneliness washes over you like a wave now and again. What are you gonna do about it? [1] You can just retire into yourself and just disintegrate, [2] You can get angry at the whole world and lash out vainly, trying somehow to compensate for the sadness and the anger you feel, or [3] You can realize what Jesus said, “I’m not alone. The Father is with me.”

When you’re down on your knees praying and you use the words “Dear Father,” He listens. He says, “Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” And I’ve lived long enough to know that in an hour when you feel alone, the presence of God can be so preciously wonderfully real, and you rise from your knees comforted, and strengthened, and refreshed, and encouraged to go on living for God, the God whom you’ve just met and to whom you’ve talked in loving fellowship. “Our fellowship is with the Father,” says John, “and with his Son Jesus Christ.” “I’m not alone,” Jesus said, “the Father is with me.” For somebody that’s all alone today, talk to your heavenly Father, he’s there, he’s waiting for you, he wants to put his arms of love around you and strengthen you for the hours and the days that lie ahead.

The Bible says, “Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart.” Well, that was all review and there’s one other word of review, he said, “I’ve said these things to you so that you might have peace in me, not in yourselves, but in me.” Real peace comes not from keeping a stiff upper lip and trying to tough it through. Real peace comes from accepting things as they are and putting them by faith in the control of the Lord Jesus Christ. “That in me,” said he, “ye might have peace.” Now why? Well, the reason for that statement, “In me ye might have peace,” the reason for that is found in the next phrase. “In the world, ye shall have tribulation,” troubles come to us all. But he said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Now this is not the world of mountains and cups and saucers and Model T Fords, the world of things in other words. He’s talking about the world system.

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood,” said Paul, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” And he said, “We’ve got a battle on our hands.” Now that’s what our Lord Jesus was speaking of when he said, “I have overcome the world.” The spiritual forces that are against God, headed up by Satan, these are the things, these are the forces that constitute the battle. And it must be admitted that although we live in an imperfect world that was marred by sin and thus troubles, and trials, and accidents, and sicknesses happen to us all, the only answer to that is found in trusting a person who is greater than all of that. He says, “I have overcome the world.” So that if you’re up against the battle today, and someone I’m speaking to may very well be fighting a big battle with some spiritual adversary, I don’t know what it is, and of course I don’t need to know. You know what you’re up against, fighting a big battle and you’re about to give up, “Oh, look to Jesus.” He said, “I’ve overcome. The battle’s already won. Trust me.”

Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption. All you need you can get from Jesus simply by exchanging your weakness for His strength. Paul said, “I can do all things.” Now, if he’d stopped there that would have been braggadocio. “I can do all things,” he went on, however. “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” “I’ve overcome the world. The battle is already won. You can taste the victory by faith. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith,” the Bible says. That is to say you taste Christ’s victory when you trust his Lordship. You taste Christ’s victory when you trust His Lordship. That is to say, you let Him take control of your life by faith. You wanna latch onto that, beloved? Somebody needs this. Oh, don’t try to fight the battle alone. He said, “I’ve overcome the world. The battle’s won.” “Take it from me,” says your Lord.

Now, I get so blessed on that my eyes run over and it’s hard to keep on sometimes. [chuckle] You don’t mind if I get blessed on my own preaching, do you? [chuckle] Well, he said be of good cheer. And of course, I’ve reminded you awhile back that there were certain times when our Lord Jesus said, “Be of good cheer,” one was to the man who was being forgiven, “Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven.” And that takes care of the sin problem. Another was, when his disciples were afraid there in the midst of a storm, afraid of drowning because the waves were filling the boat and they couldn’t bail fast enough to keep the water out of the boat, Jesus came and said, “Be of good cheer. It’s I, be not afraid.”

And then he said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” You have in that verse the equipment necessary for a victorious life everyday of your life. So your Savior is saying to you, “Cheer up. I dealt with the sin problem, I’ve dealt with the fear problem, and I can deal with anything that threatens you. I’ve overcome, cheer up.” Somebody currently on the radio sings, they play the record again and again and you catch it now and again, the man is saying, “Don’t worry, be happy.” But you see, the problem is, somebody coming to you and say, “Don’t worry, be happy.” You tend to say, “You don’t understand.” But when Jesus says, “Cheer up,” he gives you reason to cheer, doesn’t he? Hallelujah! The sin problem solved, the fear problem banished, and the battle forever won by His almighty power. Hallelujah.

Now, the disciples and our Lord are on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane, and as they go He is praying, “Father,” this is John 17 now, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify thy Son that thy Son also may glorify thee.” Do you realize what was wrapped up in that petition when he said, “The hour has come”? He knew the Gethsemane agony of prayer. He knew the false, phony trial charges that would be leveled against Him. He knew the scourging that was to come. He knew the crown of thorns, and the cross, and the nails, and the pain, and the spear in His side, and the broken heart for sin. He knew it was coming, and he said, “Glorify thy Son that thy Son may glorify thee.” More of this the next time we get together, beloved.

Father God, have your way with us today. Help us to glorify Thee. 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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