The Why Questions
Like children, we often want things and answers immediately. Sometimes God makes us wait so we can learn something, be more like Him and draw closer to Him as we seek answers.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, friends. This is your good friend Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be with you. How in the world are you? You doing Alright? I hope so. You know, today I thought I’d take up some of the questions that the disciples asked of our Lord just at the close of His Earthly ministry. I’m looking at a few of them that are found, for example, in the Gospel of John. Our Lord Jesus had said to the disciples when He was washing their feet, “What I do Thou knowest not now, but that shalt know hereafter.” God’s hereafters are very important. But Peter didn’t quite understand that. And so, later on when our Lord Jesus said, “I’m going away. You’ll seek Me and you won’t find Me because whither I go you cannot come.” He said, “Lord, whither goest Thou?” He said, “Whither I go thou canst not follow Me now, but thou shalt follow Me afterwards.” And Peter said, “Why cannot I follow Thee now? I will lay down my life for Thy sake.” Why not now? Why can’t I have everything now?
Now, what this is saying is a question that is so true of all of us. Like querulous, peevish little children, we often say to God, “Why do I have to wait? Why can’t I have what I’m asking for, now? Why can’t I know all about this situation, now? Why can’t I get the answer to my prayer, now? Why can’t I get the solution to the problem, now?” We’re a lot like the little boy that prayed, “Lord, I want patience, and I want it this minute.” [chuckle] Why can’t I follow Thee now? Well, Peter said, “I’m willing to die for Him,” and I’m sure he meant it. And our Lord Jesus simply was saying, “Will you indeed die for Me, lay down your life for Me?” “Why,” He said, “I’m telling you the truth. The rooster won’t have a chance to crow until you have three times denied that you even know Me.” Now, what is the force of all that? With our querulous and peevish praying we often say, “God, why can’t I know all about it now?” And God gently says, “Listen, you don’t even know the extent of your capacity to fail. You won’t know all about My grace until I’ve brought you through some of the failures that you’re gonna make and the messes that are going to be created by your mistakes. And then, you’ll know something about My grace, and you’ll get the answer to your cry.”
I’m sure that God does that for us. The Bible says, “Therefore will the Lord wait that He may be gracious unto you.” God waits for me to get into situations where I really need Him so I’ll understand how much I do need Him. David Morkan, my dear friend of many years, a missionary and then a missionary to the missionaries, and still today, after many years going about blessing people with His ministry, he said to me one day when we were working together in Youth For Christ, he said, “Bob, God will let you make just enough mistakes to drive you to your knees.” That’s a profound say… I don’t know that I took it in at that time. I think I was a little bit… Not offended, but just rubbed the wrong way, because my idea then was if you pray hard enough you won’t make any mistake. Well, the problem is that we’re human beings and we do make mistakes, but God waits for us so that He can prove Himself to be gracious and He can prove Himself to be Almighty on our behalf. “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.”
We serve an Almighty God, and in answer to our why questions He says, “Just wait. I’ll show you.” Because although Simon Peter three times denied that He even knew the Lord, there came that morning on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where our Lord Jesus called Peter apart and said, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you really love Me?” There was the meeting between a man who had failed and the Saviour who knew all about it in advance and who never gave up on him. Let me say to somebody who’s hurting right this minute because you’ve failed at some point or other in life, Jesus hasn’t given up on you, beloved. For He hath said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” So the Bible says. “If we believe not that,” that expression means, if you run out of faith like a housewife runs out of sugar. There isn’t any more lift. That’s what that means. If we run out of faith, haven’t got anymore lift, He abideth, faithful. He cannot deny himself. There’s sometimes when you’re so sick you can’t pray and so hurt that you can’t pray very well, and so discouraged that you can’t pray very well.
And in those times, just remember Jesus didn’t give up on you. He’s still there, and He’s still waiting to bless you, still waiting to show His marvelous grace to you, and to work in your life. “Why not? Why can’t I follow you, now?” Jesus said, “You don’t know yet how easy it is for you to fail. I’ve got to show you My grace.” Now, there was another question that was asked in John 14. Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am there you may be also. And whither I go ye know and the way ye know.” Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where You’re going. How could we know the way?” Here’s the second question I wanted just to discuss with you for a moment. How can we know the way? Now, He told them where, “In my father’s house.” He told them what was there, “Many mansions.” He had told them the objective, “A place for you.” He’d told them the process, “I’ll go away, and I’ll come back for you and take you to Myself.”
My precious friend, Dr. Warren Wiersbe, was speaking the other night, and Dr. Wiersbe said, “When a believer dies, it is in a way an answer to the prayer of the Savior who said, as recorded in John:17, “Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given me be with me where I am.”” Jesus wants you to be with Him. And He prayed about that in the High Priestly Prayer, as recorded in the 17th chapter of John. You have all of the information there, really. You’ve got the Father’s house, that’s the place. You’ve got what’s there, many mansions. You got the identification, a place for you. That the process,” I’m going to prepare a place and come again and take you to myself so that you can be with Me.” But now, Thomas says, “How can we know the way?” You see, it’s one thing to talk about Heaven, it’s another thing to know how to get there. One thing to talk about God, another thing for you to know God. And so the Lord Jesus said, “Thomas, I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me. I’m the way.”
Now, see, what happens is that your relationship with Almighty God turns out to be dependent not upon a procedure or a method or a set of beliefs, primarily, but a person. I can guarantee you that a person who may not know much theology, who could not define for you either justification or sanctification or anything else, he may not know much theology. But if he will call upon the Lord Jesus to save him, he’s gonna be saved. Bible says so, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And so this matter of the way to Heaven turns out to be commitment to a person who by His Holy Spirit enters into your life and begins to live His wonderful life through you. Has that happened in your life as yet? Oh, I trust it may. If you’ve never committed yourself completely to the Lord Jesus Christ, would you do that before you’re a day older? Find a quiet place somewhere. If you’re driving, try to pull off the road and just bow your head and say, “Lord Jesus, come into my heart and save me from my sins and make me a child of God.” Trust Him by faith to answer that prayer.
And find a quiet place somewhere where you can open your heart to the Lord Jesus and invite Him in. Don’t make a complex thing of it. Don’t make it too hard. You just say yes to God, that’s all you have to do. The Bible word confess actually means, agree with, say the same thing as. All God wants you to do is to agree with Him about your need and His ability to meet that need. Just say yes to God. “Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive my sins. Save me by Thy grace. Make me a child of God. Live your life through me.” Pray that kind of a prayer, beloved, and you’ll find out what the Lord Jesus meant when He said, “I’m the way.” Then He said, “I’m the truth,” and that is to say, “All you’ll ever need to know about the God the Father is found in the Lord Jesus Christ.” A little later on, Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we’ll be satisfied.” And Jesus said, “Have I been such a long time with you and you haven’t known Me? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” See, God the Father is like Jesus. You don’t put it the other way around. You don’t denigrate Him to a secondary place.
God, the Father is like Jesus. Everything that the Lord Jesus is is reflected and reflected back again from God the Father in His attributes. All the attributes of deity are found not only in the Father but also in the son and in the Holy Spirit. That’s why we are what we call Trinitarians. We believe in one God. One God eternally existent in three persons. And so He’s the truth about God. You wanna know, really know, God? Get acquainted with the Lord Jesus. Spend time with your Savior in prayer. Meditate upon His words. Study what He had to say to His disciples and to the crowds around Him while He was here on Earth. Get acquainted with the Lord Jesus, you’ll find that you are indeed better acquainted with your heavenly Father as a result. How can we know the way? He said, “I’m the way, the truth.” And then He said, “I’m the life.” You see, doctrine is one thing and it’s very important. But dynamics depend upon life. The deadest thing in the world is doctrine that has never been breathed upon by the Holy Spirit of God.
The teachings about Christ are wonderful, but I’ve been in classes and in lectures where the teacher was an unbeliever, and he spoke things about the Lord Jesus but with complete deadness, so far as any spiritual life was concerned. Some of you had that experience as well in your university careers. He’s the life. Our Lord Jesus said as recorded in John 6, “It is the spirit that quickeneth. The flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto thee are spirit and they are life.” Your contact with the Lord Jesus is the only hope you have of being spiritually alive. So open your heart and life to Him, today. And then, every day in your devotions, seek the presence of your Lord and ask Him to touch you with His divine life.
Dear Father, today help us to love Thee and serve Thee and trust our living Lord Jesus. I pray 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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