Why We Can Trust Him
God is the God of the resurrection; and Resurrection power goes beyond the limitations of human endurance.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? I trust everything’s all right at your house. This is your good friend, Bob Cook and I’m glad to be back with you to share from the Word of God. We’re looking at the book of First Thessalonians these days. We’ve come down to the closing verses of Chapter 2. Paul said, “I would have come to you more that once, once and again.” That means at least twice. “But Satan hindered us.” We talked about the hindrances that the devil places in our way and how to tell what they are, and how to combat them. Simply make sure of God’s will then whatever opposes God’s will you can know is not of God but is of Satan. And you can also know that greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. God is going to see you through. And I was remarking to you just as we went off the air the last time that First Thessalonians may not have been written in quite this way if Paul had been able to go see the people and talk with them.
Something to think about, isn’t it? Well, he wrote to them from Athens and said, “I would have come to see you but Satan hindered us.” Now in verse 19 he says, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming for ye are our glory and our joy. Our hope,” said he. “and our joy and our crown of rejoicing, because you are our glory and our joy.” Now, think with me for a moment about what Paul was saying here. He said, “The thing that really is going to be for me a crown of rejoicing is to have you there when Jesus comes, the people whom I have led to the Lord, the people who have trusted Christ as Savior and Lord under my ministry.” said he. Now, notice the words that he used. “What is our hope?” He based his hope on the fact that he would see the Savior and those whom he had led to Christ. Have you thought about that in relationship to your own life? If you were suddenly to be caught up into the presence of the Lord, right this minute, who would be there that you knew? You know one of the most lonely things is to be in a place where there are a lot of people and you don’t know anyone. If you were suddenly caught up into the presence of God and His Saints, who would be there that you knew? Who would be there with whom you had prayed? Who would be there whom you had led to a saving knowledge of Jesus as Lord and Savior? Something to think about, isn’t it?
Oh well somebody says, “Brother Cook don’t lay that guilt trip on me. I’m not a preacher, and I’m very shy and I don’t talk with people very much.” Well I didn’t say anything about that, did I? As a matter of fact, some of the most quiet people in the world are the most influential in terms of winning other people to Christ. Do you know why? Because their lives speak so clearly of a Savior who is indwelling them by His Holy Spirit. I just answered a letter. Today, as a matter of fact. It came in some time ago but the correspondence piles up now and again and I have to tackle it and get at it. And so, this very day I came across a letter that had been written by a lady who said, “Well, things are very much the same with us.” She had been the victim of a break-up in her home and a lot of heartache, heartbreak. “But,” she said, “I notice that people are watching the way that we have been enabled to cope with the situation because of our Lord’s grace.” And then she named somebody by name who had become a Christian largely through having gotten interested in the Savior after watching this particular family go through the wringer, as we say.
No, you don’t have to be able to preach like Billy Graham or sing like Bev Shea. You don’t have to have the ability to make an oration. You don’t have to be as persuasive as a star salesman. All you have to be is yourself, full of the Holy Spirit of God. And when that is true, you can be sure that there will be people to meet you in the glory. People, in that case, constitute an element of hope. He said, “You are our hope.” Then he said, “You are our joy.” What is it that really thrills you? Now I enjoy a lot of things. I like flying. I like riding a motorcycle. I like shooting a gun. I like taking pictures. I’m a gadget man. I like anything that works, and machinery. [chuckle] I enjoy all those things. I enjoy music and I like to turn on the radio and hear some good music. A lot of things I enjoy. As a matter of fact I just get a physical thrill of going out of doors in the early morning hour and smelling the early morning air out here in the Pocono Mountains. The air’s pretty clear for the most part. Unless the wind happens to be blowing up from Route 80 and you get a whiff of diesel. But there’s a lot of things you can enjoy. There’s no law that says you may not enjoy God’s creation and the things that are made available to you. Jim Wright, my friend of many years ago in Youth For Christ said it, he said, “I guess it all depends upon whether you have things or whether they have you.” A profoundly wise expression that I’ve always remembered.
No, you can enjoy things but now when it comes right down to it, What moves you? What thrills you? What satisfies you? What touches you to the roots of your being and makes you rejoice? What is that? Well Paul said people who got saved under his ministry were his joy. “You’re my hope, you’re my joy.” Then he said, “You’re the basis for any kind of credit I may get, any kind of honor that may come to me.” Crown of rejoicing or the crown is what was given to a person who was either royalty or a person who had won in a contest. And that crown of rejoicing is a modifying word that means something that you can boast about. That’s what that means.
Well he said, “You know, if there’s any honor coming to me, it comes through you.” And you and I may well line up in the same relationship and say, “If there’s any honor that comes to us it has to be because of people who have been blessed through our lives and the ministry God has given us.” Real honor doesn’t depend on what you have done by yourself or for yourself. Real honor that comes to you comes actually in the glorifying of your Lord through the people’s lives that you have blessed.
“Don’t touch the glory.” Billy Graham gave that admonition to his team some years ago in a team meeting and they came away from those two hours of his exhortation, awed and quieted in spirit. And one of them said to me, “Oh, I’ll never forget that. Billy said, ‘Don’t touch the glory.'” Well that has characterized this great and humble servant of God throughout his long ministry and we rejoice. You and I may well emulate that example. “Don’t touch the glory.” Any honor that comes to you comes because people got saved and people were blessed and people were led to grow in grace. That, is what brings a crown of rejoicing. People who know the Lord Jesus. People who’ve grown in the things of God. People who understand the Bible better. People who are more practically connected with the will of God, day-by-day. That, is the basis for rejoicing. He says, “For ye are our glory and joy.” That word glory is related to our word doxology. Doxo is the word here. Doxology, glory. When you give glory to God, praise God from whom all blessings flow, he says, “You are our glory.” In other words, the people who had found Christ as Lord and Saviour were the basis for anything that he could verbalize by way of glorifying God.
Well, you get the point. And as I’ve said many a person who’s quiet by nature does not need to feel guilty. I’m not laying a guilt trip on you beloved. You just be yourself but be full of the Holy Spirit so God can use your life to move other people closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. And when you do get a chance to share your faith, do it. When you do get a chance to speak to someone lovingly concerning his or her need of the Saviour, do it. But just be yourself, full of the Holy Spirit and God will use you and you’ll have people waiting for you in the glory. A welcoming committee over yonder. And you’ll be able to say as did Paul, “You are my crown of rejoicing.” It’s a nice thought, isn’t it?
Well now he goes on to say, “When we could no longer forebear we thought it good to be left at Athens and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, fellow laborer in the Gospel of Christ, to establish you and comfort you concerning your faith. To tell you that nobody should be moved by these afflictions for yourselves know that we are appointed there unto.”
Ah, small thought here. He said, “When we could no longer forebear.” Paul was human enough to get upset about things and to have feelings of concern. He said in, I think it’s in, Corinthians. Let me turn to it. He said, “We would not have you ignorant of our trouble that came to us in Asia.” Do you remember that passage? He said, “We were pressed above measure and beyond our strength.” Here it is, II Corinthians 1:8. “Brethren, I don’t want you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, when we were pressed out of measure.” That means he said, “I’m getting more that I deserve.” “Above strength.” That means, he said, “I can’t stand anymore.” “Insomuch we despaired even of death.” That means if it happens again it’ll kill me. Have you ever said that? [chuckle] I guess we have. But we had the answer, this word sentenced in your King James version actually means answer, “We had the answer to death, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God which raiseth the dead. He delivered us from so great a death and doth deliver in whom we trust, He will yet deliver us.”
He said, “I had troubles and I got upset. And I said, ‘I’m getting more than I deserve.’ And I said, ‘I can’t stand anymore.’ And I said, ‘If it happens again it’ll kill me.'” But then I had the answer. God is the God of the resurrection. Resurrection power goes beyond the limitations of human endurance. Resurrection power goes beyond the limitations of human endurance. And am I talking to somebody this minute who’s just had it? And you say, “I can’t take anymore. I’m getting more than I deserve. Nobody should have to go through all of this. And I’m getting more than my share and I can’t take anymore. And if it happens again, it’ll kill me or I’ll scream or do away with myself or something.” You’re just despairing because the pressure is on you and you don’t feel as though you can take anymore. Remember the Bible says, “He giveth more grace.” When you get to the end of yourself, God is there. He giveth more grace. God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” Gives enough so that you can face it. And you have the answer in that God is the God of the resurrection. Resurrection power will see you through any combination of adverse circumstances. You can make it because Jesus is alive.
Holy Father today, wilt Thou be greater than any combination of circumstances that could upset us? We trust Thee, Dear Lord. 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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