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How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours - Part 1

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
July 23, 2022 8:00 pm

How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours - Part 1

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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July 23, 2022 8:00 pm

How tedious and tasteless the hours when Jesus no longer I see!

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder Lacerre Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise! The praise of my God and King, the triumph of his grace! This is Lacerre Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace.

Our message today will be entitled, How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours, based on the hymn written by John Newton. To begin the program, we're going to hear another of the hymns written by this man who was a preacher of the grace of God and wrote so many beautiful hymns, this one, How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds. How sweet the name of Jesus Sounds in our believer's ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and rides away his fear, and rides away his fear.

It makes the wounded spirit whole, and calms the troubled breast. Tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary breast, and to the weary breast. Here may the rock of which I build my shield and hiding place, my never-failing praise rebuild with boundless doors of praise, with boundless doors of praise. Jesus, my shepherd, cousin, friend, my prophet, priest, and king, my Lord, my life, my way, my end, accept the praise I bring, accept the praise I bring. We gives the effort of my heart and call my warmest call, but when I see Thee as the heart, I'll praise Thee as my heart, I'll praise Thee as my heart.

Till then I would, I love, proclaim with every fleeting prayer, and may the music of my name refresh my soul in death, refresh my soul in death. Well, I'm glad to have you with us for the broadcast today, and I pray the message will be a blessing to you. We do need to hear from our listeners on a regular basis, and particularly now.

This is a five Sunday month, and we're right in the middle of the summer slump. So if you can help us, we'll be very thankful for it. We need your support to stay on your local station. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. The Apostle Paul tells us in the Colossian letter that we are to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, making melody in your heart unto the Lord. Certainly psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs should be a part of our worship service, but they can also be a great blessing in our life on a daily basis. John Newton was a man who was saved, having fallen into deep sin, was very far from God, but God reached his case, saved him, and John Newton became a great preacher and a great hymn writer. While his best known hymn is Amazing Grace, he wrote quite a number of hymns, including Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken, Afflictions Though They Seem Severe, How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds. Today I want to look at one of his hymns, not as well known as some of the others, but thankfully it is in our book, one that I have loved through the years.

How tedious and tasteless the hours when Jesus no longer I see! Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flowers have all lost their sweetness to me. The midsummer sun shines but dim, the fields strive in vain to look gay, but when I am happy in him, December's as pleasant as May. His name yields the richest perfume, and sweeter than music his voice. His presence disperses my gloom and makes all within me rejoice. I should, were he always thus nigh, have nothing to wish or to fear, no mortal so happy as I, my summer would last all the year. Content with beholding his face, my all to his pleasure resigned.

No change of season or place would make any change in my mind. While blessed with a sense of his love, a palace, a toy would appear, and prisons would palaces prove if Jesus would dwell with me there. Dear Lord, if indeed I am thine, if thou art my son and my song, say, Why do I languish and pine, and why are my winters so long? O, drive these dark clouds from the sky, thy soul-cheering presence restore, or take me unto thee on high, where winter and clouds are no more.

The hours that are tedious are wearisome. We feel a sense of emptiness. We may feel a bit frustrated, tasteless, nothing of interest, nothing that brings joy and excitement and anticipation. How teaches and takes us the hours, sweet prospects, that which I might normally have anticipated, the things out in front of me, the things that I might look at and expect to enjoy, the birds that sing and display the greatness of God's power in creation, the flowers that I would ordinarily enjoy as I behold their beauty.

All of these have become empty because the Lord has hidden His face. First, I would like to observe that we should enjoy what God has given us. God has given us many things to enjoy. Some come to the incorrect conclusion that the Christian life is just a list of don'ts.

Don't do this, don't do that. And draw the conclusion to really be a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ, just cut you off from anything that's beautiful or enjoyable. That there's nothing really worthwhile here, we can look forward to heaven, sing about heaven, but right now, we're just not able to enjoy anything because of the great restrictions that are put upon us.

We look at the book of 1 Timothy chapter 6 verse 17. Charge them that are rich in this world that they be not high minded nor trust in uncertain riches, but the living God who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. God gives us richly, abundantly, all things to enjoy.

Now He says that those who are wealthy should not trust in uncertain riches, they can soon slip away. But there are things that God has given us to enjoy. God gives us beautiful things. You know, some people kind of muddle through life and have the attitude that nothing much matters.

If they've got a project just as long as they get through it, it doesn't matter whether it was well done. If they are putting a picture on the wall, it doesn't matter whether it's anything that's particularly attractive, we just need something to fill up this blank space. They have no real interest in beauty. I want to tell you that God loves beauty. God gives us beautiful things. Isaiah chapter 35 verse 1. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.

Now there are differing opinions as to the reference here as to whether this speaks of the coming of Christ when He was here upon this earth, that they were figuratively represented here, that this prophecy concerned the things that would be seen in the ministry of Jesus, and that this is figurative language to depict that, and some say it is yet when the Lord would come the second time. But in either case, the point is made when He says that the desert shall rejoice and blossom as a rose, with both joy and beauty coupled in the passage. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord and the excellency of our God. God makes that which is beautiful. He gives us that which is beautiful and we ought to enjoy that which is beautiful. Isaiah chapter 61, speaking by way of prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ, it says, To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. He gives us beauty for ashes. The ashes speaking of the chaos that we sometimes encounter or create ourselves, the darkness and trouble that comes as a result of sin, but He replaces that. He gives us beauty, something wonderful, something that is to His honor and glory.

And then Psalm 19 verse 1 says, The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Surely you couldn't look into the heavens and fail to see there's beauty there. There's beauty that appear from time to time. How beautiful is the brilliant sunshine at noonday.

There's something that lifts your spirits. There's something encouraging about seeing the sunshine. How beautiful the sun can be at sunset. How beautiful a full moon. And as much as you enjoy the sunshine when you have a dry spell such as we've had recently, you also enjoy seeing the clouds form and know that we're about to have rain and that's beautiful. I was driving back to Cincinnati one time recently when there was a storm, really a tremendous storm. And I don't think I have ever seen so much lightning in my life.

It was streaking across the sky, it was just perpetual, it was lightning up the whole sky. And while there was a certain sense of anxiety seeing that, it was also beautiful, just amazing. And surely all around us we see evidence of God's creation that are beautiful. A tree can be a beautiful thing, certainly flowers and all their amazing colors.

The different kinds of birds and the songs that they sing. Now some people go through life, maybe even pay a little attention to it. Others go to another extreme that they do admire the beauty but they come to worship the creation rather than the creator. We're not talking about worshiping Mother Earth, we're talking about worshiping the God that created the heaven and the earth and standing in amazement at the beauty of His creation.

God gives us things of beauty, God gives us all things. 1 Corinthians chapter 3. Now Paul is dealing in this epistle with a divisive spirit that existed in the church at Corinth. And he is emphasizing that there is no reason for them to be divided over preachers. He says whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come, all are yours and ye are Christ and Christ is God's. So rather than selecting one of these preachers and saying I am of Paul or saying I am of Apollos and there being factions in the church divided over preachers, they are all yours. God has put these gifts in the church for your benefit but it doesn't stop there. He goes on to say that the world is yours. Now somebody said wait a minute preacher, I heard you preach just recently from that text in the book of 1 John that says love not the world neither the things that are in the world. But that speaks of the world of which Satan is the prince of the power of the air, the ungodly world. But the world, the creation of God, it's yours.

You know there are some things you have to pay for admission, some things you have to pay taxes for. You don't have to pay anything to look into the sky and see the handiwork of God. And it's yours because you know where it came from. Somebody else looks at it and said well it came through a long process of evolution.

There was some kind of an unusual explosion many many years ago and here is the outcome. But you look at it and say my heavenly Father made that. How wonderful to know that the God I trust, the God who is my Father is the creator. The world is yours, life is yours. Your people say sometimes I am just tired of living.

I don't even know why I am here. There is so many disappointments, there is so much trouble, so much heartache. But life is yours. God has given you life, that's why you are still living today because God has a purpose in you being alive. And He gives you life to enjoy. And if you don't enjoy it, it's because you figured out how to make it miserable.

No it's not me, it's everybody else. No, if you are miserable the problem is you haven't come to the Lord. To learn how to rejoice even in the midst of adversity. Or death. You say wait a minute, what do you mean death is mine?

We know everybody is going to die. But for the child of God death is yours in a unique way. Other people may dread death.

Other people may have a lot of uncertainty about it and say I wonder what happens after you die. But for the child of God you can say with the beloved apostle to die is gain. Death is yours. Because when you come to the end of the journey it's not a dead end road.

It's not annihilation. It's not perpetual sorrow but it's eternal joy. To die is gain says the apostle.

Death is yours. Things present. Whatever is going on at the moment. You say well it's pretty tough right now.

My burdens are heavy. But even the things that are going on that you may not understand at this present time. Some situations that you certainly cannot appreciate.

Yet all of this is in the hands of a sovereign God and your loving Heavenly Father. And then some people are given to constantly worrying about the future. Well I just don't know what might happen down the road. And if this happened or that happened I would be devastated.

I don't know how it would make it. But he says even things that are to come are yours. The same God that cares for you today will care for you in the future.

All things are yours. Romans chapter 8 verse 28 said that we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. To them who are called according to his purpose. So when you take a text like that you could say yes sir all things are mine.

I don't always know why. I can't figure out all that God is doing. But I know that he is wise and good and loving.

And I'm happy to say my times are in his hands. Even your trials then are yours. Philippians chapter 1 verse 29 for unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ not only to believe on him but also to suffer for his sake. I like that part that it is given to believe that even my believing was by the grace of God. Faith itself is God's gift but to say that it was given to me to suffer. That God has a purpose in the sufferings of his people. And so God gives to us things to enjoy. Beautiful things, good things. Secondly, sometimes joy is lost because the Lord's face is hidden.

John Newton uses the terminology when Jesus no longer I see that's when I'm in stress. That's when nothing seems right. The beautiful things around me have lost their beauty.

The sweetness of the songs have lost their sweetness. Nothing is right if his face is hidden. Now sometimes his face is hidden because of our sin.

And it's important that we acknowledge it. When we become aware of it that the Lord has withdrawn his comforts and hidden his face because of our sin. We haven't confessed our sin and made things right with him.

We need to acknowledge our sin and claim his promise that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Hosea chapter 5 verse 15. The Lord was speaking through the prophet to his people who were terribly disobedient.

They had turned to the false gods of the pagans around them. And as a result the Lord says, I will go and return to my place till they acknowledge their offense and seek my face. In their affliction they will seek me early. I'm going to withdraw. I'm going to go to my own place.

I'm going to hide my face. It's because of their sin and then in their affliction they will seek me. When trouble comes they'll recognize they've been on the wrong path. They'll see that they have forsaken me, the true and living God, and they will return. Psalm 27 verse 9, the psalmist says, Hide not thy face far from me, put not thy servant away in anger. Thou hast been my help, leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

When the psalmist speaks of the anger of the Lord, obviously he is concerned about his sinfulness that might evoke God's anger. And so he's saying, hide not thy face from me. So sometimes the Lord's face is hidden because of our sin. Sometimes it is hidden because we have forgotten his mercies. We have failed to give thanks for them.

We have failed to be mindful of them. That was the case with Jeremiah the prophet. It's called the weeping prophet. He had many sorrows and difficulties to deal with in Lamentations chapter 3 verse 18. And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord, remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

That's getting down to a pretty low level, is it not? My hope is perished from the Lord. This is a prophet of God. He says, it's all over.

I've got no more hope. Verse 21, This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed because his compassion failed not.

They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness. And in that he recovered. Why was he in darkness? He had forgotten the mercies of the Lord. How many times have you been down on a low limb? You've been down in times of discouragement and darkness and all you could think about was your troubles.

And you reviewed them and you rehashed them and you played the scenes back over and over again. You had forgotten the mercies of the Lord. The Lord would have us pause in the midst of our adversities. You sang the hymn a while ago, count your many blessings, name them one by one.

Go back over the abundant mercies, the amazing benefits, the multitude of blessings that God has showered upon you. And then Psalm 77, we find the same sort of experience as the psalmist even jumps to incorrect conclusions because he has temporarily forgotten the mercies of the Lord. Psalm 77, reading in the seventh verse, Will the Lord cast off forever? Will He be favorable no more? Is His mercy clean gone forever?

Does His promise fail forevermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies?

Selah. There's the distress. There's the deep soul trouble. There's the spiritual affliction. And I said, this is my infirmity, but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.

This was my weakness. I'm going to remember my years. I'm going to remember what God has done for me in the past. I will remember the works of the Lord.

Surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work and talk of thy doings. How dearest and tasteless he thou, when Jesus no longer I see, Cross their sweet burdens, sweet flowers, have almost their sweetness to thee.

The big summer sun... The fact that the Lord sometimes hides His face from His own children seems difficult for some people to grasp. But we've observed in the message today that He does this sometimes because of our sin. As He says in the prophecy of Hosea, I will go and return to my place till they acknowledge their offense. But sometimes it's because we have forgotten His mercies and we haven't been attentive to those things that He has done for us and He draws us back to Himself.

Sometimes it is simply to teach us lessons that we could learn no other way. But when we're in those seasons of darkness, we're taught that we must stay ourselves upon our God, continuing to trust Him as He leads us along the way. I encourage you to write us this week, and until next week at this same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45117.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-20 06:40:24 / 2023-03-20 06:49:18 / 9

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