Unbelief Hurts

God truly cares about us in all things, and He knows what He is doing. Our lack of confidence that He can help us hurts Him.

Scripture: Mark 7


All right, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you, believe me. I look forward to these times when we can share from the Word of God. What a privilege it is. Don’t you enjoy it? Oh, boy, I do.

Well, we’re just sort of hitting the high spots in a kind of a summary last walkthrough in the Book of Mark. Two or three things that just strike me, one is the sum total of the reaction of people to our Lord Jesus is given in Mark 7:38. “He hath done all things well. Maketh both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak.” Hath done all things well. You apply that to the events in your life and see how God has done the right thing by you, when you look at the past from the perspective of a little experience. I have to say that every time I have been complaining about what was happening to me. Yes, I complain to God. The Bible is full of the records of people who did the same thing, so I’m in pretty good company. But every time I’ve been complaining about what was happening to me, at the very same time, looking back I can see that God was preparing to do something wonderful in my own life. He hath done all things well. When you’re going through a situation that is trying or painful or heartbreaking, you don’t like it, and neither do I. But we can know, beloved, that we’re in the hands of our blessed Lord, and He hath done all things well.

Joni Eareckson is a paraplegic, quadriplegic. You’ve seen her work, and perhaps many of you have been in meetings where she was addressing the crowd and singing, ministering. Lost the use of arms and legs through a tragic accident. She tells how she resented it, how she was angry, how she felt very sorry for herself, how she came to a point of despair, and then how she turned all of that over to her blessed Lord and began to seek a ministry which God has now given her nationwide and perhaps worldwide.

I don’t know why God lets certain things happen in my life. Just early this morning, I do these broadcasts in the early morning hours oftentimes, ’cause I know you listen at that time, many of you, and I get a sort of an early morning feel to the thing. But just this morning I was telling God some of the things about which I’m so concerned in my own life, and like a flash, a lightning flash of awareness, there came to my mind, as though the Father were speaking to me audibly and saying, “Listen, I’m seeing you through this, I’m providing enough for you, what are you complaining about?” And I just dissolved into tears, I must admit, and I said, “Oh, Father, thank you. I don’t mean to complain. Thank you for seeing me through.” See, God is in the process of doing something wonderful for you, beloved.

He hath done all things well. Let Him do what he wants because He’s perfect. He says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you. Thoughts of good, not of evil, to give you a desired end.” God’s plans are already laid. “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world,” the Bible says. God’s plans are already laid. And you and I, all we need to do is to yield and obey. The three words in Romans 6 that Dr. Ironside used to stress, I recall hearing him preach a powerful message on them many years ago, “Reckon, yield, and obey. Reckon yourselves dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God. Make up your mind by faith that that’s what happened.” Second, “Yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead. Give yourself over to God.” And then third, obey. “Know ye not that whose servants ye obey, His servants ye are.” Whether of sin unto death or obedience unto life. You and I have the inestimable privilege of working together with God, the God who knows what He’s doing. Isn’t that great? Oh, I get so blessed when I realize that you and I are in those pierced hands and He’s not gonna make any mistakes, not any mistakes with us. That’s one of the things that came to me as I looked again at that seventh chapter of Mark.

I noticed that there are two references in the Bible about the Lord Jesus sighing, and it touched my heart when I realized that as He faced this man who was deaf and who had an impediment in his speech. He sighed, and it seems to me that at that moment, He took into His own thinking all of the hurts, and the ailments, and the impediments, and the handicaps that human nature is heir to. Because we’re a fallen human race. Our Lord Jesus faced this man who could not speak properly and who was deaf, said, looking up to heaven, He sighed and said unto Him, “Ephphatha,” which means ‘be opened.’ And straightway his ears were opened and the string of his tongue was loosed and he spoke plainly. And the Lord Jesus told them they should tell no man, but the more He charged them so much the more a great deal they published it. And they said, “He hath done all things well.”

Here’s the Savior, the Lord of glory, God in the flesh, Almighty God walking in a human body, the story of redeeming love. There He was, and He looked at this man and it seemed in that moment that all of the hurts of the whole world were summed up in His thinking and He sighed. “Casting all your care upon Him,” says Peter, “For He careth for you.” The writer to the Hebrews says we have a high priest who can be touched. I took out the double negative in that verse, “We have not a high priest who cannot be touched.” Take out the double negative and it says, “We have a high priest who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” He knows how you feel if your joints ache today. He knows how you feel if you can’t get about as once you did. He knows how you feel if you’ve lost an arm or a leg that’s had to be amputated or whatever. He knows how you feel when your sight is going or your hearing is going, or both. He knows. Oh, yes, he does. And He cares. He sighed when He faced this man with his needs. Jesus cares.

I remember in the days when I was going through high school, I was chief cook and bottle washer for my father. My sister Mildred had gone off to school, and my father and I were living together in what was then called a ‘light housekeeping room.’ Today they call them ‘efficiencies,’ don’t they? Same thing, one room with a bed and a sink and a stove and a refrigerator and a little cupboard where you put the dishes and a closet where you stored your stuff. The bathroom was downstairs down the hall. That was our home sweet home for those years when I was going to Morrison R. Waite High School in Toledo, Ohio.

And with the thoughtlessness and unconscious cruelty of the very young, I would look at him sometimes as he looked downcast and I’d say, “What’s the matter, Pop?” because he looked so sad as he sat eating his supper. He’d look at me and say wistfully, “Oh, I don’t know, boy. I guess I’m just lonesome for your mother.” His Daisy had died when I was just 16 months old and he never remarried, always carried the torch of love in his heart for his beautiful Daisy. Well, anyhow, there he sat and I didn’t know what to do with him, so I would busy myself after supper was over with washing the dishes in the chipped porcelain sink on the other side of the room. And then he’d sit down in the old rocking chair that was his prized possession from his own boyhood days on the farm. And he’d sit there and rock, and he’d reach over into the bookcase at his left and pick out one of the couple of hundred songbooks that he had gathered through the years; he was a collector of songbooks. And he’d pick out one of them and flip over the pages and I’d hear him tuning up his little cracked voice, “Do sol mi do.” He never quite hit the tone, he went around it. [chuckle] It used to drive me wild. [chuckle]

I’d hear him tuning up his little voice and then he’d sing, “Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth or song?” and so on. “My tears flow all the day long. Oh, yes He cares, I know He cares. His heart is touched with my grief. When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares.” And then he’d come to that verse, “Does Jesus care when I’ve lost the dearest one on Earth to me?” and so on. “And for my deep grief there is no relief though my tears flow all the day long. Oh, yes, He cares.” Along about that time he’d look up and I might look around and just glance at him, and there’d be a smile on his face, a suspicious moisture in his eye, but a smile on his face and he’d say, “Hallelujah, my boy.” And he had successfully gotten over the blues, as we call them, by realizing that Jesus, our blessed Lord and Savior, really cares.

Do you know anything about that? Huh? Well, it’s yours for the taking. You have a Savior that cares about you. When He faced this dear man with his deaf ears and his impeded speech, He sighed because He was carrying on his Heart the concern and the weight of the world’s hurts and woes. He still does. He still does. He ever liveth to make intercession for them that come unto God by Him. Now, the other time that it’s recorded that our Lord Jesus sighed was in the face of unbelief. “The Pharisees came to Him,” this is in chapter eight, “Began to question Him, tempting Him and seeking a sign from heaven. ‘Show us, show us, show me and I’ll believe.'” They were from Missouri, the Show Me State, right? They’re seeking a sign. “Do something and we’ll believe you.” It said, “He sighed deeply in His spirit and said, ‘Why doth this generation seek after a sign? Verily I say unto you there shall no sign be given unto this generation,” and He left them. Unbelief breaks the heart of God.

After the Resurrection we read that our Lord Jesus appeared to the disciples and scolded them. I think the word in Mark is ‘upbraided’ them. He scolded them for their unbelief and hardness of heart. Unbelief hurts God, just as it hurts you and me. You say something and somebody says, “I don’t believe you.” Well, that hurts. And oh, unbelief hurts the heart of God. Jesus sighed in the face of human unbelief. Let’s be people who believe God, shall we? Let’s be people who’d take God at His word, who believe His promises and who dare to obey them. You have a Savior who cares. You have a Savior who can do what He says. He’s able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. Let me go on with this the next time we get together.

Dear Father today, oh, may we be aware of this wonderful Lord who always does things right and who cares about us. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Til I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing.

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