Trust, Rest, Wait
So much in life involves waiting. Having faith means waiting on the Lord without a guarantee of knowing the exact timing of His plans. Explore the divine peace of trusting God's timing.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Are you doing alright today? Well, the little greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your good friend Bob Cook and I’m back with you for a few precious moments of sharing from God’s inerrant, infallible, eternal Word, the Bible. We’re in Psalm 37, and the Psalmist says, “Don’t get burned up; fret not.” “Don’t get burned up,” that’s what “fret not” actually means in the Hebrew. Instead, trust in the Lord, and then delight yourself in the Lord, and commit your way unto the Lord; roll it over unto Him. And now we’ve come to verse 7, where the Psalmist says, “rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” “Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath. Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”
He says, “rest in the Lord.” Now, how do you do that? Well, I think first of all you have to decide whether or not you can really risk the situation on God, whether or not trusting God is going to pay off. There is a deep chasm of unbelief in the human heart: the “what if” factor seems always to be there. What if I pray and nothing happens? What if I surrender my life to Christ and nothing happens? What if I make this decision to follow God and things don’t work out. What if?
I think if you’re going to rest in the Lord, the first thing you have to do is to decide whether or not you really can trust God, no matter what. No matter what. I had some surgery a little while back, as you may know, and as the procedure was started, the doctor sat down with me and said, “now, I want you to know what’s involved.” This, and that, and the other can happen, and he detailed all the different things that might occur. And he said, “now, we can’t say for sure that any one of these will or will not occur, but I want you to know.” Well, that was nice of him. Scared me to death, but you like to know what you’re up against, right?
Because of the uncertainty of what might happen, did I back off and say “oh, no, I’m not going to do this?” No, I’d already made the decision that this man was to be trusted, he was a fine medical and surgical practitioner and he knew his business. And so I said, “it’s alright, doc, whatever. Let’s get on with it.” Now, you and I have to do the same thing with God. You don’t know, do you, what will be the result of praying about a given matter. People say to me frequently (it’s happened through the years again and again) “I prayed and things got worse.”
Well, there’s no guarantee that they won’t! Because this may be part of what God is doing. But you can’t really second-guess God on these things if you’re going to rest in the Lord. You have to say, “Lord, no matter what, I’m yours. No matter what happens, I’m in your care. No matter what is involved, I will obey your will as I am told it, by the Word and by the Holy Spirit, no matter what.”
Then, you see, you’re relaxed, because the decision has been made. Rest in the Lord. And after all, I have found that there’s a great deal of peace in turning a matter over to God because you know He can handle it, where you can’t. Oh, the peace of heart and mind that comes when you say, “Lord, I can’t handle this, but I know You can. Here I am. Take control.” Isn’t that great? Hallelujah. Rest in the Lord.
But you have another verb here that we have to look at, and what’s that? Wait patiently for Him. God doesn’t pay all His bills on Thursday, and He doesn’t always do things on my schedule. Have you ever found yourself praying, “Lord, hurry up?” I have. “Hurry up, Lord.” He doesn’t always keep my schedule. He said “My ways are not your ways, nor are my thoughts your thoughts. As the heaven is high above the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God runs on an eternal schedule. God runs on a plan that was determined before the foundation of the world. He knows what He’s doing. John 6 says of our Lord Jesus, “He Himself knew what He would do. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world,” we read in God’s Word. So it says, “Wait patiently for Him.” It’s hard for me to do, I confess.
It’s hard to wait when you want things to happen. It’s hard to wait when you want a problem solved. It’s hard to wait when you want a situation resolved. Wait on the Lord. The Bible says, “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thy heart.” Wait, I say, on the Lord. He says, “Commit your way, rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” Why? Because His time is perfect timing. Jesus came to Bethany after Lazarus had died and been in the grave four days. He waited before He started the journey from where He had been to go to Bethany after He got the message that Lazarus was sick. He waited. Time enough for Lazarus to become more and more ill and finally to die and then to be buried. They buried the same day the person died in those places and times, and so it had then been, one would say, four days since the man had died. And now Jesus shows up.
Martha came out and said, “Lord, you blew it. You should have been here; if you’d been here you could have healed my brother. Now he’s gone.” The Lord Jesus said “you’re looking at the wrong person. I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die, believest thou this.”
So Martha, when she heard that, turned on her heel and went back to Mary and said, “You’d better see Him too.” Mary came out with the same complaint. She said, “If you’d only been here, he wouldn’t have died.” They had a healing in mind; Jesus had a resurrection in mind. There’s the difference. See, God sees things differently from the way I see them, and I have to learn that. This is what’s involved in “resting” in the Lord: to know that He is looking at the same situation I’m looking at but that He sees through it, and that He has plans concerning it, and that He’s going to work it all out. So I’ll rest. I may not feel any different, but I’ll rest, because He’s in control and He knows what He’s doing.
Now, there’s another thing that’s involved in “resting in the Lord.” He says, “don’t get burned up because of somebody who’s prospering in his way and because of the person who brings wicked devices to pass. Frustration with people cuts out the possibility of resting in the Lord. You will either turn the situation over to God or you will let it get to you and upset you and thus do away with any rest of spirit you may have had. That’s why that’s in there.
He said, “Rest in the Lord.” Learn to wait for Him; that’s His timing. Then he says, “Learn to let Him deal with people; don’t get burned up because of people.” Why? Because you can’t rest in the Lord and at the same time get frustrated because of what’s happening around you. So he says, “Cease from anger and forsake wrath. Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” Don’t get burned up, because any time you do, it’ll do damage, it’ll be evil. When you lose your temper, you never do any good. Can you remember that? When you lose your temper and blow up, you never do any good. So don’t get burned up, he says. Cease from anger; let it be.
To rest in the Lord means you turn the frustrations that people cause over to Him as well. You wait for His timing and you turn the situations and the people that frustrate you over to Him. Do you understand that? Rest in the Lord. Wait for Him, turn the people that bring wicked devices to pass over to Him. Now that doesn’t mean that they won’t succeed in their plans. Somebody’s conspiring against you and trying to get you bypassed when you should be promoted, so that he or she can be taken instead. This happens in offices and corporations all the time. You see it happening, and you’re angry about it…he says “Now, just wait.” Wait on the Lord. Rest in the Lord, and don’t let people who are bringing evil devices to pass, you know, skullduggery, conspiring, finagling, politicking. They may be successful (he uses the word “bring to pass”: that means it’s working for them), but he says “don’t let it get to you.” Why? Because you’re serving the King of Kings and He’s in control. He’s the One who is working all things according to His perfect will, the Bible says. So you trust Him. You rest in Him. That means wait for His timing, turn people over to Him, and even turn circumstances that seem to be working against you over to Him. Let Him work it out.
Joseph, whose brothers had sold him into slavery, then went to Potiphar’s household, and as a result of Potiphar’s wife trying to seduce him, Joseph ended up in jail. Finally, because he was able to interpret a dream, he became Prime Minister of Egypt. Then came the brothers begging for some food due to a famine in their land. Joseph finally revealed himself to them and said, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”
You can trust your Lord, because He says “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good, not of evil, to give you a desired end.” God meant it for good. Let Him work; rest in the Lord.
Father God, today we trust Thee for all the details of our lives because we know you mean it for good. 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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