Fred R. Coulter—May 2, 2009

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The title of this sermon is Trust in God's Strength, Power & Might. We need a lot of that today. I was thinking with all the things that are going on politically; not just in this country, but every country in the world. I just talked to a man who was saying what it was like when he visited the UK some time ago, and that's what's coming in America, the same thing. But it's happening in every country of the world. Chaos, confusion, upset and as we will see later in subsequent things, there's a reason for all of it and a purpose for all of it.

But in the meantime, how we get from here to there, as I've mentioned several times in sermons, how are we going to endure the things that are coming on. Let me start out by saying: this is why the Sabbath is so important. In keeping the Sabbath and using the Sabbath the way that God intended, so when we gather together, whether it's only two or three, Jesus said He would be there in the midst. Or whatever it is to learn and hear of the Word of God, what's important for us to understand and realize is this: Christ and the Father are fellowshipping with us because They put their presence in the day when we come before Them in the way that They want us to. And this helps, gives us strength, and understanding of what we need to do and where we need to go; because too many people are now looking to try and solve the problems with politics. Let's get back to the Constitution. And God is saying, 'That's only one step. Let's get back to Me.' That is the most important step.

So let's see how then God gives us strength, and refuge, and helps us in every way that we can. Let's come to Psalm 11. We'll spend quite a little time in the Psalms, and we will see some really important things that take place. I think as we read them and read some of these Psalms, you're going to see how absolutely eternal that God's Word is and how it applies for today.

Psalm 11:1 (pg 709): "In the LORD I have taken refuge… [That's the key. You ask for God's help, God's protection, God's blessing, His angels about you. Yes, we have to do our part. Yes, we have to be wise as serpents, harmless as doves. Yes, we have to prepare for things as they come along and all of that.] …how then can you say to me, 'Flee like a bird to your mountain'?... [That's where most of us would like to go, get away from everything and just leave everybody.] …For lo, the wicked bend their bow; they make ready their arrow on the string, so that they may secretly shoot at the upright in heart…. [Isn't that very familiar with all of these new laws that are coming down, to come at you, in what we can say, thought-police laws.] (Now here's quite a verse, v 3): …If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (vs 1-3). Now what are the foundations?

  • God
  • His Word
  • Sabbath
  • Passover
  • Holy Days

Those are the foundations. And then

  • faith and trust and all of that with it,

is built upon it.

Verse 4—I love this one: "The LORD is in His Holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven. His eyes behold; His searching gaze tries the children of men…. [So He knows what's going on. Remember the sermon that I gave on the seven spirits of God, and the Spirit of God, and the angels of God? God knows exactly what's going on.] …The LORD tries the righteous… [So we're going to have troubles and difficulties as we will see, but that increases our trust in God if we look to Him.] …but His soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence…. [So here's the ultimate thing]: …Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone; and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup…. [That's a perfect description of the seven last plagues and the lake of fire. So remember, even though the wicked prosper temporarily, their day is coming.] …For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face" (vs 4-7).

What I want to show here is how that this Psalm and many of the Scriptures are constructed.

  • It points us to God
  • It tells us don't worry about the wicked
  • It tells us we are to continue in our righteousness and do what God wants us to do.

He knows what's going on in the earth everywhere, and God is going to take care of the wicked; and finally it says 'the upright shall behold His face,' which ties right in with Rev. 22—'They shall see him face-to-face.' So again, the beauty of the Word of God is that there is a unity in Scripture and it all ties together.

Let's come to Psalm 12. It follows right on the heels on it and this kind of sounds like what's happening in our lives today as we look around, not only in the world and the society, but in some cases even within the Churches of God. Psalm 12:1: "Help, LORD… [Sometimes that's all you can say to God is just help!] …for the Godly man ceases; for the faithful disappear from among the children men…. [You can see that with the collapse of religion, the collapse of Protestantism, and so forth.] …They speak hypocrisy each one with his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak…. [Now I'm sure some might want to put in their margin there, Washington D.C, the state capitol, the city council, the county board of supervisors.] …The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things, Who have said, 'With our tongue we shall prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?'…. [And so, therefore, they develop a lawless society and remember Jesus said that lawlessness is going to multiply at the end. We're just seeing the start of that now.] (So here's some hope): …'For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, I will now arise,' says the LORD. 'I will set him in safety from him who puffs at him'" (vs 1-5).

So God is going to provide a way of escape. God is going to make a way for you, and sometimes you won't even know it until you look back and see what's happened. "The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of the earth, purified seven times. You shall keep them, O LORD; You shall preserve them from this generation forever…. [That's where our trust has to be. He will preserve us; He will watch over us; He will help us. Now's here's another description of what's happening in America and in the world:] …The wicked walk on every side when the vilest of them is exalted among the sons of men" (vs 6-8). An alternate translation is: 'The wicked walk on every side when vileness is exalted among the sons of men.' Look at how blatant all of these things are being done now. If you think that things were coming hard and heavy before this week, we've had a Republican declare he's a Democrat, so now they have sixty votes—they can do whatever they want. Now one of the most vilest persons in the world is going to be elevated to senator from Minnesota, Al Franken.

So you kind of feel like there's not much hope and then all of a sudden, what happens? One of the Supreme Court Justices—David Souter—is going to retire. So we will see again, v 8 repeated in a magnified way on the Supreme Court. The President does not want anyone who just strictly interprets the Constitution. So there you have it, multiplying, that's why we have to have faith in God.

Since we're in the Psalms, come here to Psalm 33. I know in going through and reading and studying these Psalms, I am amazed at what David wrote in all of these things, and many times you know those things weren't directly happening to him in the way that it applies to us today. He was also called a prophet of God, so these things are a prophecy for us. Psalm 33:13: "The LORD looks down from heaven; He beholds all the sons of men…. [So God knows what's going on. When those who profess to be righteous, but are not, become wicked, then He sends the more wicked to rule over them.] (Let's see here): …From His dwelling place He looks intently upon all the inhabitants of the earth…. [Now does this tell us that what is the third heaven is a whole lot closer to the earth than we have supposed? We think the third heaven is way out there in the middle of the universe someplace. If God's eye is on the earth, and His plan is being carried out on the earth, I think we need to begin to think it's a whole lot closer than we have thought. But we can't see it.] …The king is not saved by a great army; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear Him… [So not only does He see the wicked, He also sees the righteous.] …upon those who hope in His lovingkindness" (vs 13-18). So there we have it.

To what? "To deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine…. [Now what does this show? This shows there are going to be escapes from death, showing that there are going to be some difficulties and close calls. 'Keep them alive in famine' shows that there are going to be tough times, but God will keep us alive.] …Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield, for our heart shall rejoice in Him because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in You" (vs 19-22). These are the things we need to look to now. I am amazed in just preparing for this sermon how much of these Psalms fit today. It just blew me away.

Let's come to the book of Proverbs 24:1 (pg 788): "Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their heart studies destruction, and their lips talk of mischief…. [We see it happening right before our eyes—don't we?] …Through wisdom a house is built; and by understanding it is established…. [Now let's liken that to the Church; let's liken that to our lives, because each one of us is a temple for the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit.] …And by knowledge the rooms shall be filled with all precious and pleasant riches…. [Let's look at that as our minds, filled with precious and pleasant riches of God's Word.] …A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increases strength… [That's why we need to trust in God.] …For by wise counsel you shall make your war… [Now what is our warfare? Our warfare is not carnal, but spiritual. There are wicked spirits in high places and they're working fast and overtime right now.] …and in a multitude of wise counselors there is safety" (vs 1-6). You can just reverse that: in a multitude of stupid counselors, there is error and folly.
Verse 7: "Wisdom is too high for a fool; he does not open his mouth in the gate. He who plots to do evil shall be called a master of devious thoughts…. [This is just like reading your newspaper or watching the news—isn't it? Yes.] …The thought of foolishness is sin, and the scorner is an abomination to men…. [Now v 10, I want you to think about this]: …If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small" (vs 7-10). That's why we have to have the Lord's strength. That's why we have to rely on Him. We have to rely on Him:

  • to help us
  • to uplift us
  • to strength us
  • to give us mental strength,
  • physical strength
  • and to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves,

because there are dangerous days ahead of us.

What did God say when He delivered the children of Israel? Let's look at a couple Scriptures in Exodus 13. Remember, Exodus 13 tells us the reason for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Let's see how it's connected together and we can also use this as a type of the Church. Exodus 13:1: "Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Sanctify all the firstborn to Me… [That's us, we are sanctified to God.] …whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, of man and of beast. It is Mine.' And Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for the LORD brought you out from this place by the strength of His hand'" (vs 1-3). How did God do that?

  • by plagues
  • by signs
  • by wonders
  • by killing the firstborn
  • by protection
  • by setting aside

—and all of that was by the strength of His hand. Then it ties in with unleavened bread, you shall eat no leaven.

Verse 14: "And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What does this mean?'... [That is the redemption of the firstborn.] …you shall say to him, 'The LORD brought us out of Egypt by the strength of His hand, and from the house of bondage.'" And of course there are spiritual parallels that we can have there. How do we come out of the society? By God calling us, by the strength of His hand. How do we change and overcome? By His Spirit, by the strength of God. How do we endure when we have troubles and difficulties? By calling upon God, by keeping the Sabbath. All of those things strengthen us.

Let's look at a literal battle that David had. Let's come back here to Psalm 18, a literal battle, and how God intervened for him. We won't go through the whole thing; we'll just pick out the things that show us how we need to yield to God, look to Him for strength; and also, this helps us in our prayers. Sometimes when you go to pray, you say, Well, what am I going to pray about? There's lots to pray about, many things to pray about—here's one of them.

This is a Psalm David gave after he was delivered from his enemies. Psalm 18:1 (pg 711): "I love You, O LORD, my strength…. [Isn't that true? When you go through a trial and problem and difficulty, you come out the other side; don't you love God all that much more? Yes, because you know He loves you and delivered you.] …The LORD is my Rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my Rock in Whom I take refuge; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower" (vs 1-2).

Now this is what we need to understand, we need to be doing. If there were repentance in the nations of the world, this is what they would be coming to, repenting to God; and He would help them. He would destroy the wicked. You would be surprised how God can take care of the wicked. Remember what happened when there were 180,000 Assyrians that were ready to attack Jerusalem, and Hezekiah didn't know what to do? Isaiah told him 'God would fight the battle for you.' He took the note from the Assyrian general and laid it before God and prayed to him, and said, 'God, we need Your help and strength.' They woke up in the morning and 180,000 of them were dead. They were many days carrying the loot back into Jerusalem because they had just come from a conquest in Egypt with all the spoil and loot that they figured was theirs that they were going to take home to Assyria, and God struck them down and gave it all to King Hezekiah and the Jews.

So you see when we have faith in God that way, notice v 3: "I will call on the LORD, Who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies…. [Notice the close call or battle that he was in.] …The cords of the grave surrounded me…" Now if you have the History Channel, watch the History Channel, because Dolores and I have been watching some of these battles of the Bible and they really depict them very, very accurately. If you think war is brutal today, you don't know anything of how brutal it was. Just as an aside, I also saw on the History Channel about axes; and the battleaxe and even a battleaxe today, they can take a helmet that will stop a bullet and they take the pick end of that battleaxe and hit it on the helmet and it goes right through the helmet and can go right into the scull of the combatant. When you got stuck with a sword, when you got hit in the head with some of those things and in the neck, it showed how with this battleaxe you could just hit them right in the back of the neck, cut the spinal cord, and that was it. It's all close hand-to-hand combat. They really do a good job in showing it.

"The cords of death hemmed me in, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The cords of the grave surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me…. [I don't think any of us have been in quite a situation like that.] …In my distress I called on the LORD… [So this is what we need to do when we are frustrated, when we are distressed, when we are confronted with things that we can't handle ourselves. We need to, right there, call on God, call on the Lord.] …and I cried to my God' He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him into His ears" (vs 4-6). Then notice what happened: He came from heaven on His cherub and He came and fought, He shook the hills, He blasted the heavens with thunder and with lightning and with hail, and so that's quite a thing!

We can't go through the whole thing, but come down to v 17: "He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my stay…. [So it doesn't matter what the odds are. It doesn't matter what the circumstances may be that you are confronted with. God will be there to help you.] …He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me because He delighted in me" (vs 17-19).

Now go back and review the sermon that I gave, You Can Please God. Think of this for a minute: you have the Spirit of God. Yes. God has called you for a great purpose. Yes. And you are a delight to Him. Think of that! Because "…He delighted in me. "The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness… [Which was really God's righteousness, because if you keep the laws and commandments of God, if you trust in God, your righteousness is His.] …according to the cleanness of my hands He has repaid me" (vs 19-20). Quite a thing!

Notice v 21, here's the reason: "For I have kept the ways of the LORD… [In other words, why does God delight in you? Because you keep His ways. Since God's eyes are on the earth, on the wicked and on the righteous, doesn't He know who's doing what? Yes, indeed!] …and have not wickedly departed from my God." Now this is very important to understand. It doesn't say he didn't sin; it doesn't mean that he didn't have times where he lacked in faith; it doesn't mean that there were times when he did things that weren't right, but he hasn't 'wickedly departed from my God.' Why? Let's just think of the model prayer that we have. 'Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive others.' You repent of your sins every day. That's why! You're not wickedly departing from God. And sufficient for every day, as we are told, is the evil of the day, as Jesus said.

Let's come down to v 35: "You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; and Your right hand has held me up, and Your gentleness has made me great. You have given a wide place for my steps under me, so that my feet have not slipped" (vs 35-36).

Verse 39: "For You have girded me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me and I destroyed them who hated me" (vs 39-40). That's how God intervenes for us. Quite a tremendous thing, isn't it?

Let's look another Psalm 37:37 (pg 721): "Mark the blameless man and behold the upright one, for the end of that man is peace…. [That's peace with God. That's something. What is the whole goal? That we be presented blameless before God, in love through Christ.] (But notice): …But the sinners shall be destroyed together; the prosperity of the wicked shall be cut off…. [We've seen the prosperity of the wicked cut off, right? Right before our very eyes. Notice—positive/negative; the righteous/the sinners.] …But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them because they take refuge in Him" (vs 37-40).

So that's what we need to do. Don't worry about what's going on.

  • God is there
  • He's going to help us
  • He's going to take care of us
  • He's going to lead us in the way that we need to go in everything that we do.

This is what's important. I know you can be watching the news, and watching the television, and reading the papers, and reading news reports, and seeing what is going on, and you think, Oh, everything is coming unglued. Where is it going to be? And it is! What is it going to end up being? Trust in God, then you'll understand what is happening. You have to be wise and get yourself out of the way. You have to stand for the truth and go forward in everything.
Since we are in the Psalms, let's continue with Psalm 40. You read all these things and you think, boy! David was in trouble almost every day—wasn't he? All the difficulties he was going through. And notice, he wrote these down and played them on his instrument of ten strings to God. Psalm 40:1: "I waited patiently for the LORD, and He inclined unto me and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay… [Have you ever been stuck in the muck? Sounds something almost like quicksand—doesn't it? Stuck in the muck and you can't get your feet out. You're in quicksand and every movement takes you down further.] …and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps" (vs 1-2).

Now can you think of the New Testament where Christ says something about a rock? The wise man who built his house upon a rock and the floods came and the wind came and the rain beat against it, and it didn't fall because it was founded upon a rock. Verse 3: "And He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God; many shall see it and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust and does not respect the proud, nor those who turn aside to lies" (vs 3-4).

Now you can take and make many analyses from this—right? Trust in the Lord, keep His ways, do not respect the proud, don't go after them, don't think that they're really getting away with things, because they're not—"nor those who turn aside to lies." Now also, apply that to the Church. How about those who went after lying doctrines, after lying preachers, when they knew the truth and knew better? How did they become vulnerable to where they would do that? Because they weren't studying, they weren't praying, they weren't using the Sabbath in the way that they should. So here comes the enemy, Johnny-on-the-spot. And he comes with something that sounds so blessedly true, and so wondrously nice, and so convenient for your human nature that you say, Oh, yeah, that's good.

Verse 5: "O LORD my God, many things You have done, Your wonderful works and Your thoughts which are toward us; they cannot be set in order to You; if I could declare and speak, they would be more than can be numbered." Tremendous! Now think about this: here we sit on the Sabbath day, we're all awake (I don't hear anybody snoring), we're reading the Word of God. Everything that is going on in our minds with the Spirit of God and the Spirit within us and the way that our brains function; the way that we can hear and see; our bodies are constantly processing food and so forth, all during the time that we're going through all of this. Our hearts are beating, our lungs are working, our liver is clunking along, and the rest of our body is doing pretty good. And when you understand how wonderfully the body has been made, this helps us understand what it's talking about here, "…Your wonderful works and Your thoughts which are toward us…" Think of all the thinking and planning that God made to go into making the human body, to function the way that it does, to receive the Holy Spirit of God, to have consciousness, to have thought, to have language, to have ability to do and make things. All of those are the thoughts of God and He made us a little lower than Him to accomplish that. So how can we number them? We can't!

Let's go to Proverbs 22:17 (pg 787): "Bow down your ear, and hear the words of the wise… [This means we are to pay attention and hear and listen.] …and apply your heart to my knowledge; For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; if all of them are ready on your lips… [Think about this: This also helps fulfill the promise of what God said that for the New Covenant He's going to write His laws in our hearts, in our minds, and in our inward parts, so we can have them ready on our lips. When something happens, we know the answer from God because it's in our minds and in our hearts.] (Here's the reason for all of it, v 19): …So that your trust may be in the LORD… [That's the whole purpose of it. First, our trust is in the Lord, then we ask Him to lead us and guide us, deliver us out of difficulty, help us to correct the mistakes, go forward from there in everything that we do. He says:] …I have made them known to you this day, even to you. Have I not written to you excellent things in counsels and knowledge. That I might make you know the sureness of the words of truth…" (vs 17-21).

You might want to put in your margin there:

  • John 17:17—we are sanctified by the truth;
  • Psa. 119:41—all your commandments are true;
  • v 151—Your law is true;
  • v 165—All your precepts are true.

So that you might know: "…the sureness of the words of truth, so that you might bring back the words of truth to those who send you" (v-21). So there you can help and encourage others with it.

Let's look at one more, Proverbs 28:25. Love the Proverbs for how they are: right and wrong; good and evil; or evil then good. "He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who puts his trust in the LORD shall be enriched…. [With the Spirit of God, with knowledge, with truth, this doesn't necessarily mean just physically. It can, and especially at the resurrection, because then we'll have all the true riches, won't we? Yes.] …He who trusts in his own heart is a fool; but whoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered" (vs 25-26). Tremendous!—isn't it?
Let's end this section in trusting, and see how important it is to trust in God. Let's come to Psalm 118; notice what this is. This also shows how to pray, not only when you pray every day on your knees, but when troubles and difficulties come along, and you need God's help right then; help me, lead me, guide me, right here. Psalm 118:5 (pg 758): "I called upon the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side…" (vs 5-6). When? When you love God and keep His commandments. Then you're on God's side and He's on your side—right?

too many people today like to live in their sins, and claim God to be on their side. This was the problem with the scribes and Pharisees. They didn't want to repent, but they wanted Jesus to align Himself with them politically and religiously so they could retain their power. You never get God on your side because you claim it. First, you have to be on God's side. Remember what happened in the rebellion with the golden calf? What did Moses say? 'All those who are on the Lord's side, get over here.' Then they came over there. What happened to all those who didn't come over? The earth opened up and swallowed them all up and they were crushed right down. So God is on your side when you first are on His side.

"…What can man do to me? The LORD takes my part with those who help me… [You receive grace and blessing, grace and favor in the eyes of people, and they help you.] …therefore I will see my desire upon those who hate me" (vs 6-7). Now that doesn't mean you hate them back. How do you pray for those who hate you? Jesus said, 'Pray for those who hate you and despitefully use you.' The best way to do it is this: pray for their conversion, just like God did with Saul to call him to be the Apostle Paul. Or pray for God's judgment upon them according to their works, and you leave it all in God's hands, and you don't get angry and mad and hateful. And when you see someone repent and change, be glad. That's good!

These two verses are great—v 8: "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to trust in princes" (vs 8-9). Now princes are the political leaders. Trust God! I can't help but think after seeing all these things with the tea parties and with gathering together to discuss how we can get the nation back to the Constitution once delivered, and so forth. What are they doing? That's only the first step.They're not going back to God. They're trying to solve spiritual problems with political means—trusting in princes. Oh, they say they believe in God, but they don't believe in Him enough to love Him and obey Him the way He said.
Now notice v 10: "All the nations surround me… [So this has got to be a prophesy of Christ.] …but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them…. [That's what God is going to do directly with the seven last plagues.] …They surround me; yea, they surround me, but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them" (vs 10-11). And so forth. That's quite a thing.

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Let's come to Psalm 37:1 and here is perfect Psalm that tells us what we need to do every day or we could re-entitle this: How a Christian Can Survive in a World Where the Wicked Prosper and Exalt Themselves. "Do not fret yourself because of evildoers… [Don't get all upset. Don't be frustrated.] …and do not be envious against the workers of iniquity… [Just watch them, their day is coming.] …for they shall soon be cut down like the grass; and wither as the green herb…. [In other words, always consider the end.] …Trust in the LORD… [Always, daily, all the time.] …and do good; dwell in the land, and cherish faithfulness…. [Now you see what it is here, God gives us positive, faithful, righteous things to do, which gives us trust in Him.] …Delight yourself in the LORD…" (vs 1-4). The Lord delights in us, we delight in the Lord,

  • in His way
  • in His truth
  • in His righteousness
  • in His goodness
  • in His strength
  • in His might
  • in His power

"…and He shall give you the desires of your heart…. [Not the lust, the good desires of what is right. And here's how you do it:] …Commit your way unto the LORD… [That's why every day when you pray, you say, 'Lord, I commit myself into Your hands. Watch over me, help me.] …trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass" (vs 4-5). Whatever it is that we ask of God, He will bring it to pass, provided that we always put it in God's hands to do it; and we are doing the will of God and are not led away with emotions, wild thoughts, jealousy, greed, any of those things. We just ask God to help us keep our focus.

Verse 6: "And He shall bring forth your righteousness like the light, and your judgment like the noonday…. [In other words, in times of difficulty and darkness and things, you will be able to see where you're going, if we can put it that way spiritually.] …Rest in the LORD… [Not in your own self, not in your own strength, not in your own thoughts, not in your own ways.] …and wait patiently for Him… [Because God is also going to try us and prove us, so we wait patiently for Him.] …do not fret yourself because of him who prospers in his way; because of him who carries out wicked schemes…. [And they're on every hand today, aren't they? Yes, they are.] …Cease from anger, and forsake wrath… [What God is doing here, He's giving us the instruction on how that we control our thoughts, our emotions, our desires, by committing our way to Him.] …Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret yourself… [There we have it three times: Do not fret yourself.] …it leads only to evil, for evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth" (vs 6-9).

So always think of the end result first: inheriting the earth. "But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace" (v 11). Now you can read the rest of it. That's quite a Psalm and showing how that you need to trust in God at all times.

The comment was made, v 7 makes you think of Bernie Madoff and many of his ilk, because there many of it and also you can add something much bigger than that: the central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve Bank. Good comment was made: v 8 reminds you of listening to talk radio. You can get mad, you can get angry, you're all upset about it, and is it going to change anything? Jim and I were commenting yesterday as he was leaving. He said, 'Well, it looks like the majority is way out ahead of us now.' And I said, 'Yeah, it sure is. I wonder if we're going to get minority welfare rights.'

Now think of it. In spite of all of the so-called rightwing talk show hosts and television stations or two that does that, who won the election? A good lesson. Why? Because we have passed the tipping point and they know it. And they know that it is tipped in their favor and it will never recover itself again because every illegal immigrant is a vote. So much for trying to correct things with political means! That's why we need to trust in God and in the power of God to do it for us and be with us in all of these things.

Since we're here in the book of Psalms, let's come to Psalm 62:1 (pg 731): "Only for God does my soul wait in silence; from Him comes my salvation…. [Now notice, this is what you could call single-mindedness and singleness in purpose—right? Yes.] …He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved…. [There again, not greatly removed and you're fighting your own human nature and thoughts, you might be moved away a little bit for a short time.] …How long will you imagine mischief against a man? You shall be slain, all of you; you shall be like a bowing wall and as a tottering fence. Surely they have plotted to cast him down from his great height; they delight in lies… [Now this is probably cast God down from His great height, that's what Satan wants to do.] …they delight in lies; they bless with their mouth, but inwardly they curse. Selah…. [Now whenever you have 'Selah,' that means stop, think, and meditate on this; meaning, take these words, think about them, think of examples in your day-to-day real life and apply them.] (Now notice v 5): …My soul, wait in silence for God alone; for from Him comes my hope. He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my strong tower; I shall not be moved" (vs 1-6).

Of course, everything is today compromise, compromise, compromise. No, I shall not be moved. "In God is my salvation and my glory, the Rock of my strength; my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah" (vs 7-8). So we have Selah again. Think on this in comparison, how we wait for God, trust in God, look to God for everything. It shows pouring out your heart before Him in prayer, with feeling, with emotion, with supplication, with asking God to intervene.

Now compare this again. Verse 9: "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie; when weighed in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity." You can tie that in with Isa. 40 where God says all the nations to Him are as a drop in the bucket. So when you see all of these things going on, remember, this is exactly what is happening.

Notice v 10: "…if riches increase… [Hopefully they will.] …do not set your heart upon them…. [Or if they decrease, don't set your heart upon them either—either way.] …God has spoken once; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God. Also to You, O LORD, belongs mercy; for You give to every man according to his work" (vs 10-12). So there again we have it. This is how we survive in the world, and with the political landscape and the religious landscape the way it is, there it's laid out right before us.

Now let's come to Psalm 68:32 (pg 734). Here's how God will use His power to help us and strengthen us. One thing we need to do, too, is ask God to fill us with His Spirit.

First, let's come back here to Matthew 7:7, please. Here's a promise that God gives. "Ask, and it shall be given to you…. [We ask according to God's will.] …Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you who, if his son shall ask for bread, will give him a stone? And if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent? Therefore, if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father Who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?" (vs 7-11). And, of course, the greatest thing and the most important thing is the Spirit of God.

Now let's come back here to Psalm 68:32, and notice what He's going to do. "Sing unto God, you kingdoms of the earth… [Now this is when the whole world is under the reign of Christ and the saints.] …O sing praises unto the LORD. Selah. To Him Who rides upon the heaven of heavens which are of old; lo, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice. Ascribe power to God; His majesty is over Israel, and His strength is in the clouds. O God, You are awesome from Your Holy sanctuary; the God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God" (vs 32-35). Think of that. Receiving the power of the Holy Spirit is the most important thing.

Let's look at it from the point of view of salvation, how the apostle Peter wrote of this. Let's come back to the New Testament again—1-Peter 1. Now notice how he shows it here, and how our lives are, and again, looking to God to strengthen us and be with us in everything. 1-Peter 1:1 (pg 1,130).: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect strangers scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father… [Never forget that. When you're in the middle of a trial, it's so easy to forget that God the Father has chosen you; God the Father has called you. Jesus Christ has said that you come to the Father through Him, so Christ is involved, He is our High Priest, He shed His blood, He's our Savior, etc, etc.] …by sanctification through the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you" (vs 1-2).

Notice what he writes about here, and how he writes it. He starts out showing the goal, and again, when you're studying through the Bible, I want you to think about the ultimate goal: the Kingdom of God, the way to get there, how we're living now, the power to get there through Christ and God the Father; and then, we look at the difficulties that we go through. Understand that there's a reason and purpose for them.

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… [We're going to be changed from flesh to spirit. The older you get, the more that means, I can tell you that. The weaker that you get as your body becomes more decrepit because of age or whatever, the more you look forward to a glorious, perfect spiritual body.] …unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for us… [Christ is going to bring it when He comes.] …who are being safeguarded by the power of God… [This is what we're talking about, the power of God through His Holy Spirit.] …safeguarded by the power of God through faith, for salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time" (vs 3-5). There he set the stage.

"In this you yourselves greatly rejoice; though for the present, if it is necessary, you are in distress for a little while by various trials… [And in many cases it seems like it's every day.] …in order… [Here's what that does.] …that the proving of your faith… [That's what it's for. Now if we look at every trial and every difficulty that comes along with this in mind, it's for the proving of our faith. Now that we have a problem, now that we have a difficulty, what are we going to do? How am I going to handle this? How's it going to be done?] …the proving of our faith which is much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is being tested by fire… [Even a difficult trial. You can tie that in with Rev. 3 where Jesus said, 'Buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich.' Verse 7 ties right in with that, we need to have that in the marginal reference, but you can put it in your notes there.] (That your): …faith--may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ… [Because you trusted in Him.] (Now notice, here's the key): …Whom, not having seen, you love…" (vs 6-8). Now that has got to be a tremendous spiritual blessing that you love God and you love Jesus Christ.

As I mentioned in a sermon previously, they're doing a lot of testing on the mind. So they wanted to find out what happens when a person prays. So they hook him up with all of these sensors on the brain to find out what happens, because when you're thinking, your brain works, the blood is going, there's activity in the brain, and so forth. They don't understand about the spirit of man and they don't understand about the Spirit of God. But nevertheless, they hooked all of these things up there and when a person prayed, a certain part of their brain got very active, because the blood flow went there. So in order words, you are directing your thoughts and they're going to a certain place. Now the question is: is that connection that God has with us with His Spirit; because something happens when we pray—doesn't it? Spiritually our prayers go to God—don't they? And spiritually we are told that the Spirit itself intercedes for us making groanings, which we cannot utter. In order words, it is also translated into the language that goes to God. For all of you who believe in sacred names, think on that for a little bit. Rom. 8 tells us that.

I wonder what the brain of someone who is converted and has the Spirit of God, connected, fused with their spirit; I wonder what happens to the blood flow in their brain at that particular place when they're really praying to God in faith. You add all of these things together:

  • the love of God
  • the faith of God
  • the belief in God
  • the trust in God
  • the hope in God

and all of those things are spiritually (how shall we say) empowering to us when we are looking to God.

"In order that the proving of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, though it is being tested by fire, may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ; Whom having not seen, you love; in Whom though at the present time you do not see Him, you believe, and rejoice with unspeakable joy, and filled with glory… [Sometimes we reach the unspeakableness and the joy, but being filled with glory, that's not going to happen 'til the resurrection, but we will be.] …and are receiving the end of your faith—even the salvation of your souls" (vs 7-9). Very important!

So all of that helps us draw close to God and in the world they have the power of positive thinking and the downward pull of negative thinking—they've got it about half right. This is not positive thinking; this is powerful spiritual thinking when we understand it. This is why we're all going through what we're going through and we need to look at it this way. Whenever there are problems and difficulties, people turn to God. They know that. God knows that. As Jesus said, 'Look out at the harvest, it is white unto harvest.' Now how many people are going to turn to God? How many people are going to find God because of all the difficulties that they're going through? We don't know. Whatever part we can have in that, whatever part the other Churches of God have in that, I hope we have a part in it. How it turns out, we'll have to wait and see.

Let's come back to Psalm 66:1 (pg 732): "Make a joyful noise to God… [That's for everybody who can sing and can't sing.] …all the earth. Sing forth the honor of His name; unto His praise glorious. Say to God, 'How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power, Your enemies submit themselves in obedience to You. All the earth shall worship You… [So don't feel as though, 'I'm just out here all alone.' Remember the day is coming all the earth is going to worship God and you're going to have a part in that.] …and shall sing praises to You; they shall sing praises to Your name.' Selah" (vs 1-4). Pretty powerful, isn't it? Yes, indeed.
Come to Psalm 138:1: "I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praise to You. I will worship toward Your Holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness, and for Your Truth; for You have magnified Your Word above all Your name" (vs 1-2). When we go to God and pray like this, then what are our minds doing? It's looking to God. We're giving God the praise and honor and glory, and when we do, and then get down to talking about ourdifficulties and problems that come along, then we have them in right perspective in relationship to God. That's how you can set aside all the difficulties that happened yesterday, because yesterday is done and over. Fretting about it today isn't going to change what happened yesterday. This is how you get the right perspective. And then you make the best of today and you go on from there. Ask God to help you, get your mind on Him.

"In the day when I cried, You answered me and made me bold with strength in my soul…. [In other words when you're done praying, you get up and you havethe strength of God through His Spirit in you. Yes!] …All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD, when they hear the words of Your mouth" (vs 3-4). Now this gets into the millennium and all of that sort of thing.

Verse 7: "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will give me life; You shall stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand shall save me…. [Here's the key verse that I want to come to]: …The LORD will perfect His work in me… [Because the most important thing going on in your life is the work that God is doing within you, not the problems and difficulties that you face day-to-day. All of those things that we face day-to-day is part of how God is going to perfect His work in us.] …Your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever; do not forsake the work of Your own hands" (vs 7-8). And weare the work of God's hands. Think of that. God is working in our lives spiritually.

Let me just give you an example of how that can work. How many have a cell phone? Almost everyone does today, or a BlackBerry, or whatever. I don't have a cell phone or a BlackBerry. When the phone rings, how much power is used? Very little, just a small bit, because it comes in on a frequency. When you pick it up and speak, it goes back out, and you can talk to someone wherever they are in the world, all with a little bit of wattage. I heard an amazing thing. One of those satellites that went out into the universe that they expected to last just maybe a few years, I think it was one of the first ones that went to Mars, the battery was still working, everything was still working. Then it went to Jupiter and it was still working. Then it went to Saturn and it was still working. Then it went beyond Saturn to Uranus, and it was still working. Now it's going out into space, who-knows-where. It finally gave out, but you know how much power that those radio signals sending back the pictures, sending back the information, the temperature, the speed, and all of that, you know how much power was used? It came in on a frequency—nine volts. A nine-volt battery comes to my mind. Clear out there in space, way out there, billions of miles away. It took years and years and years for that satellite to get on out there. The point I want to make is this: God is doing a work in us with His Spirit, which we can liken unto electricity, because electricity is power and it doesn't take like a bolt of lightning. Sometimes it may, but it's unseen, it's unheard, but God is working in your mind to do it and He is doing His work which the world does not know, because it's going on in your mind.

Let's come back to Ephesians 2:1 and let's see that; let's make this relevant, and see the flow of how this goes. Let's see from where we started, and we will see where we are at, and where we are going. "Now you were dead in trespasses and sins… [All of us have inherent in us, what? The law of death, the law of sin. Is that not correct? Yes, we do. It's called human nature and death.] …in which you walked in times past according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience… [Because there's also another power out there working to lead people into sin, who is Satan the devil. He does it with the lust of the eyes, and so forth, as we will see here] …among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world" (vs 1-3).

Now Satan today has more helpers than he's ever had in the history of the world. All the media, cell phones, iPODs, books, magazines, movies, television, electronic games. He's got all the governments in the palm of his hand; he's got all of the media in the palm of his hand, except a very little. He's got all of the movies, movie stars, and all of the idols that people look at, the internet, yes!—and all the teachers, and religion, and business, and government. Think of that. They're all on his side. That's why we need the power of God. Now within that, there is some good, there is some evil. There are people who try to be good, and things like that. But God hasn't called them. So here we are, just a few that God has chosen. So we really have Satan and the world against us. No wonder we have troubles and difficulties that we've got to fight every day. But God is for us and He's greater than all of that.

Notice v 4: "But God, Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead in our trespasses, has made us alive together with Christ. (For you have been saved by grace.)" (vs 4-5). Now we have been saved from Satan the devil, from our sins and from the world. Have been, provided you've been baptized, received the Holy Spirit of God. We are being saved constantly by living in the Gospel and the Word of God, and the third step is we shall be saved from death when Christ returns and we are part of the first resurrection.

Verse 6: "And He has raised us up together and has caused us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus… [Not quite yet, but having the Holy Spirit of God now. So here's when we're going to sit in the heavenly places:] …So that in the ages that are coming… [That's when we will sit in them. We'll have a new name. We don't know what size of throne we will have, but somewhere we will have a seat of authority, whatever that may be.] …in the ages that are coming He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (vs 6-7). I look forward to the Sea of Glass, because I think it's going to be one big, whooping celebration for all—the final victory!

Now notice, v 8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God, not of works… [That is of your own.] …so that no one may boast…. [Here's the key thing] …For we are His workmanship… [God is working and molding us through all of these difficulties. If we understand it, maybe we can move just a little closer to what the apostle Paul wrote that he rejoiced in tribulation. Now it's hard to come to that point, but if you can see the perspective that through it God is molding and giving us character, and we are the workmanship of His hand, like we read back there, 'perfect your good work.'] …we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto the good works…" (vs 8-10).

So what is going on in your heart, your mind, and your spirit is the greatest work of God. He is creating the mind of Christ in you—"…created in Christ Jesus unto good works..." What are those good works?

  • loving God
  • having the faith of God
  • the hope of God
  • the goodness of God
  • keeping His commandments

and so forth. "…that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (v 10)—walk in the way of life that comes from God.

Let's finish in Ephesians 1:15. I think that Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians--and we have a series on it entitled Paul's Inspirational Epistles, and I gave Ephesians at a Feast of Tabernacles quite a few years ago. I did an amplified translation of Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, so if you want that, be sure and request it. You can email us, you can phone us, or you can write us.

Ephesians 1:15: "For this cause… [Everything leading up to it, how God has called us, and blessed us, and made us acceptable in Christ, and so forth.] …I also, after hearing of the faith in the Lord Jesus that is among you, and the love toward all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers… [Notice what he prayed for, because when you pray for this, then all of the other things fall in line. That's the key thing. That's why it's important to have the priorities first, so when the other things become trouble and difficulty and distress, you can always come back to the key thing and get your perspective.] …that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. And may the eyes of your mind be enlightened… [A spiritual change in perspective and understanding that comes from God.] …in order that you may comprehend… [God wants us to know. It's not a blind faith, it is not a stupid faith; it is one that we are to comprehend:] …what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints… [Co-heirs with Christ.] …and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…" (vs 15-19). We might interject (in parenthesis)—we only need nine volts today, Lord, and it'll get the work done. Actually we need more than that.

"…toward us who believe, according to the inner working of His mighty power… [So His workmanship can be done within us.] …which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above every principality and authority… [That is on the earth and in heaven.] …and power and lordship, and every name that is named—not only in this age, but also in the age to come; for He has subordinated all things under His feet, and has given Him to be Head over all things to the Church, Which is His body—the fullness of Him Who fills all things in all" (vs 19-23).

This is how we are to trust in the strength and power and might of God and let Him work His work in you through His Spirit.

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 11:1-7
  • Psalm 12: 1-8
  • Psalm 33:13-22
  • Proverbs 24:1-10
  • Exodus 13:1-3, 14
  • Psalm 18:1-6, 17-21, 35-36, 39-40
  • Psalm 37:37-40
  • Psalm 40:1-5
  • Proverbs 22:17-21
  • Proverbs 28:25-26
  • Psalm 118:5-11
  • Psalm 37:1-9, 11
  • Psalm 62:1-12
  • Matthew 7:7-11
  • Psalm 68:32-35
  • 1-Peter 1:1-9
  • Psalm 66:1-4
  • Psalm 138:1-4, 7-8
  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Ephesians 1:15-23

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 22
  • John 17:17
  • Psalm 119:41; 151; 165
  • Isaiah 40
  • Revelation 3
  • Romans 8

Also referenced:

Sermons:

  • You Can Please God
  • Paul's Inspiration Epistles

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 6-14-09
Formatted: bo: 6/19/09

 

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