Valley And Flood
God is giving you the want to obey Him and then He’s working sovereignly in to your life to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ through it all.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? You’re doing alright today? Bless your heart. I hope you are. I’m so glad to be back with you and just to share from God’s Word.
We’re looking at Ephesians 4:6, “One God and father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all.” The last time we got together, we were emphasizing the fact that God is in control. He’s planned everything that happens to you and to me, His children, from before the foundation of the world. Paul mentions the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. He’s working out his plans. Romans 8:28, “And… But we know that all things… And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” His purpose, where He called us, and then He’s working on our behalf.
I’ve often given you that illustration from Dr. H. A. Ironside of the way God’s purpose works out in life. Not everything is pleasant by itself, but together, it equals his eternal purpose. And Dr. Ironside used to describe the ingredients in an apple pie: flour, shortening, salt, sugar, tart apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, whatever else you ladies add to the pie, and you take any one of those things by itself is not pleasant, but you put them together in the hands of a skilled pie baker, and lo and behold, what a luscious creation comes from the oven. And from the oven, mind you, there’s some heat applied. God allows the heat to be applied to our lives, doesn’t he? Oh yes.
Well, he says when you go through things, you’re not gonna be sunk. You’re not gonna be destroyed. I’m turning the pages of my big Bible now to get over to Isaiah 43. You know what I’m looking for, don’t you Bible students? “When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” Oh, that’s a beautiful promise, isn’t it? Isaiah 43:2 and half of the following verse three. Yes, He takes you through. He takes you through.
And so we are more than conquerors. Paul says, “Nay, in all these things,” and he lists all the different things that happen in life, many of them not very pleasant. “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ which loved us.” You and I start with trouble and end… The concept I’m talking about, we start with the concept of trouble and end with the ultimate scary prospect of physical death. So he says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Tribulation?” That’s our word troubles. “Distress?” That’s what troubles make you feel inside. “Persecutions?” That’s trouble that comes because you’re a Christian. “Famine?” That’s not enough to eat. “Nakedness?” Not enough to wear. “Peril?” Actual physical danger. “Sword?” That means somebody killing you.
Now that’s the human way we think about things. You think about dying last of all. But there is that list of things that happen to people. “No,” he said, “All nay in all these things. In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him.” See, there’s your little preposition again: “Through all more than conquers through him that loved us.”
Now, look at the way God looks at things. He starts with the possibility of physical death, “I’m persuaded that neither death… ” See, really, if you want real peace with God, look at the worst case scenario first. Look at the worst thing that could happen to you. Look at that first with Jesus. Everything else is coming up roses. He said, “Neither death, nor life.” That’s every day, your daily problems. Angels and principalities and powers, that’s the spiritual forces against which you are struggling, things present today, my problems, things to come tomorrow, my fears. Height or depth or any other creature, the never-never land of a universe that has not yet been explored and full of possibilities for good or evil. He says there isn’t anything that will separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. More than conquerors. Keyword: “Through Him.”
The bottom line in all of this is God is involved in your daily life. That’s where it’s at. I have people write to me and call me and say, “Cook, you’re just too simplistic. Look what’s happening to me. Here I thought that everything was going to work out and I had met the perfect man and he turned out to be a scoundrel and was already married and he was just toying with my affections and I was praying so hard about it. And how can you say that God is working in my life when such a terrible thing happens to me?” Now, I suppose that story has been repeated a thousand times in the lives of people that you and I may know over a few years, the false betraying activity of somebody who represents himself or herself to be other than they really are, and your heart is lacerated and wounded and broken as a result and you tend to look up and say, “God, why didn’t you answer my prayer?” Well, if God had answered your prayer and allowed you to marry that man, you’d be a bigamist, wouldn’t you? You’d be the second wife and you’d be in greater trouble, and your heart would still be broken.
What’s the point of what God allows in things like that? What’s the point of what God allows in business pressures? Businessman says to me, “Well, I tell you, I’ve prayed so hard that this business might work and it’s just going down. Here we mortgaged our home to buy this big truck so that my husband could haul things back and forth and make some money, and now there hasn’t been enough business to make the payments and they’ve taken the truck and now they’re gonna take our home, and we prayed so hard. Why didn’t God see us through?” Well, that’s a rough question isn’t it? See, the realities of life come in and they just hit you so hard, and we tend to say, “Well, God, I prayed about it. Why isn’t it working?”
Now you need to realize that the realities of life are there. Profit and loss, credit and debit, pain and pleasure, sickness and health, interpersonal relationships with people and they turn out to be people who are sinful human beings because we all are. The realities of life are all there and things do happen. Things do happen to… And I use the word “happen” advisedly. There’s no happenstance with Christians because you’re in the hands of God and He allows things for His own purposes. But they come to us, the troubles that come to us all. And the challenges we face and the burdens we carry, they’re there and no amount of sweet talk is gonna move them away.
The point that I’m making is God is involved in all that’s going on in your life if you’ll just let Him be there, if you let Him be involved, if you’ll let Him teach you what He wants to teach you as you’re going through these things. And all of it is part of that eternal purpose that is designed to show that God is right and the devil is a liar.
See, Paul says in Romans 12, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Be not jammed into the world’s matrix.” Be not conformed to this world.” That means jammed into the world’s mold. “But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is good and what is acceptable and what is perfect, namely, the will of God.” The devil’s lie is God is out to cheat you. He’s giving you something you can’t stand. It isn’t right, it isn’t fair and God isn’t doing right by you. That’s the devil’s lie. Started in the Garden of Eden. That was his ploy then and it still is now.
But when you give yourself to God in the middle of circumstances, when you give yourself to God while you’re going through things, when by faith you look up and confess to your blessed Lord that you know He’s working in your life even if you can’t understand why He’s doing these things, when that happens, not only do you have perfect peace, Philippians 4 says, “If you pray about everything, the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” There’s a keyword “through” again, you see?
When you commit yourself completely to your Lord, not only do you have perfect peace about it, but also you give God a chance to work in your life so that He can prove to the devil and anybody else that wants to know that God is in charge and that God is right and that Jesus is Lord and that you are God’s exhibit A of what He can do. You follow that? He’s through all. He’s working out His plans and He’s not going to quit. He’s not gonna quit until the work is done. “Being confident of this very thing that he which hath begun a good work in you,” Philippians 1:6, “He which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Later on in that Book of Philippians 2:13 is the reference, he says, “It is God that worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
God, sometimes has to put me through the ringer to make me willing for His will. Have you had that experience? There’ve been areas in your life where you simply stubbornly refused to consider what you already knew was God’s will but you didn’t want it? And then as circumstances seem to conspire against you and the pressures came on and you were forced, one might say to your knees so that you could pray, and little by little you found your spirit bending in the direction of God’s will.
He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. God is giving you the want to obey him, and then He’s working sovereignly in your life to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ through it all. And He does all of this so that you and I can go through. “When thou passeth through the waters, they’ll not overflow thee; through the fire, it won’t burn you.” God brings you through. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow I will fear no evil.” God brings you through the valley, and he brings you through the flood.
Oh yes. “Some through the waters, some through the flood and some through the fire, but all through the blood. Some through great trials, but God gives us song, in the night watches and all the day long. God leads his dear children along.”
Could you today look up and just tell your Heavenly Father that you do submit by faith now to His leading? That you do yield to Him even now in circumstances that you may not understand and certainly don’t like? That you’re yielding to Him for His leadership in your life? Tell him and then thank Him for His perfect peace that comes as a result.
Dear Father, today, oh, we thank you that Thou art working in our lives. Keep on through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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