The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise! The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace!
This is LeSaire Bradley Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. In the dark of the late night, have I longed in my place, while the storm mounts on the wing and the storm riding place. In the crash of the thunder, precious Lord, hear my cry, keep me safe, till the storm acts in line. Till the storm acts in the wind, till the thunder sounds no more, till the clouds go forever from the sky. Oh, be class, let me stand in the hall of my hand, keep me safe, till the storm acts in line. When the long night has ended and the storms come to morn, let me stand in thy presence on that bright, peaceful shore, in that land where the tempest never comes. For may I grow with thee till the storm acts in line, till the storm acts in the wind, till the thunder sounds no more, till the clouds go forever from the sky.
Oh, be class, let me stand in the hall of my hand, keep me safe, till the storm acts in line. I'm glad you've joined us for the broadcast today and would encourage you to write and let us know that you've listened. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217.
Or if it's more convenient, you can make a donation at our website at baptistbiblehour.org. Today, our guest speaker is Elder Mike Stewart, pastor of Heritage Promotive Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste is a statement that has emerged in the last few years to express the idea that when a crisis comes, it can be an opportunity to accomplish something that perhaps could not be accomplished any other time. An American politician who is credited to this saying is actually believed by many not to be the source of it. It was said to be stated first by Winston Churchill in the 1940s at the end of World War Two, when an unlikely trio came together at Yalta in the Ukraine, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill.
And they together became the catalyst of what we call the United Nations today. So in a crisis, an opportunity was seized. In our day, it's used in a rather negative connotation, meaning in a crisis, an opportunity to advance a cause that may be rather unpopular.
What I want to do today is take that statement, modify it, and then apply it scripturally and spiritually with this title. Don't let your crisis go to waste. By crisis, I mean anything that is causing you difficulty or trouble or danger.
By waste, I mean to expend or to use carelessly or to no purpose. So in other words, when a crisis comes, don't use that crisis in a way that has no value and no purpose. Don't let your crisis go to waste. We could apply that first to the major crisis of COVID-19. Have you wasted this crisis? How could it be wasted? We could apply that to much smaller crises, like a personal crisis, a relational crisis, a marriage crisis, a church crisis, a family crisis.
Don't let your crisis go to waste. So first of all, a crisis is not being wasted when God's glory is your highest aim. You might say that goes without saying, for which I would disagree with that.
God does not go without saying in Scripture that His glory is His highest concern. In fact, He says it over and over and over again. It's not some foundation that we assume that's always there every time we enter a crisis. In fact, I think you need to verbalize it. We need to say it to one another. We need to remind one another that God's glory is to be the highest, supreme goal and concern.
If not, what becomes your major concern in a crisis? It's your well-being. It's your assets. It's your comforts.
It's your conveniences. I'm not suggesting those things don't have any importance, but they must always be secondary to the primary, which is God's glory. If God's glory is not our greatest concern, then you will likely waste your crisis. Psalm 115 that was just read. Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us give glory, but to Thy name, for Thy mercy and Thy true sake. Wherefore do the heathen say, Where is now Thy God?
What's the answer? Our God is in the heavens, He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased. Now the context is some crisis because that's why the heathen are mocking, rude, Where is your God now? Psalm 42. My food, my tears have been my meat day and night while they continually say, Where is your God? David is downcast.
David is going through a crisis, a personal crisis. And the nations, the heathen, the pagan are ridiculing David. Why do the heathen ask such a question, Where is your God?
Because their view of deity is man-centered. That is, if you had a God that cared for you, you wouldn't be in crisis, it would be over fast, your wealth would be restored, and none of this would be happening to you, David. So where is the God that you serve now? See, if we, beloved, have a man-centered view of God in our crisis, then we will pose the same question to our God. Where are you, God, when we need you?
And what's the answer? Our God is in the heavens, He hath done, He is doing, He will do whatever He pleases, and what is His pleasure? Verse 1, Unto thy name give glory for thy mercy and thy truth's sake. God's greatest concern in your crisis is God and His name and the exaltation of His mercy and the exaltation of the truth about God. So in COVID or any other crisis, now over a year later, while things have settled, there's still much concern about it. The ultimate aim of God is the exaltation of God in any crisis. The psalmist is echoing that the pleasure of God is His pleasure when he says, Not unto us, not unto us, but to your name give glory. That must be our greatest concern, and I acknowledge it is not always our greatest concern, is it? So when you move into crisis, that should be the first and foremost thinking in your mind.
Whatever decisions must be made, whatever needs to happen, whatever pain you're in, not unto me, Lord, not unto us, Lord, but unto your name give glory for your mercy and your truth's sake. And here's the paradox of that statement. You may say, Well, what about man?
Is he totally left out? For the good of Israel, the good of Israel must not be Israel's highest concern. For the good of your marriage, the good of your marriage must not be the highest concern. For the good of the church, the good of the church must not be the church's highest concern. And for the good of society, the good of society must not be society's greatest concern.
When we have that formula plugged into our thinking, what happens? Then our good is placed where it should be. When we're aiming for God's glory, then your own good is brought into view. When you're not, your own good is never brought into view.
That's paradoxical, but that's the truth of Scripture. So, number one, your crisis is not being wasted. Your crises, and we're talking about all the crisis we may go through, whether it's something major like a pandemic or something on a smaller scale, which is no less painful, personally, is God's glory, your greatest concern. Number two, your crisis is not being wasted when your crisis is working for you. Was COVID-19 your servant or your master?
That's the question. No man can serve two masters. He will love the one and hold to the other, or hate the one and despise the other.
That's your God and mammon. Now, crisis is not a master, but what a crisis does is it reveals who your master is. That is, who you're loving and holding to, and who you're hating and despising. And how a crisis reveals that is your disposition when the crisis comes. If you're continually experiencing anger, wrath, frustration, depression, anxiety, and fear to the point where they rule you, then the crisis has just revealed who you're serving in that moment. Now, in any crisis, those emotions are going to be struggled against, aren't they? You might hear or say that in a crisis there's never any fear, never any anxiety, and never any of those emotions. But you see, when the crisis is your servant, then the crisis reveals something to you that God aims for you to know about your own disposition. That the crisis revealed.
Now, it was there when everything was going fine, but the crisis revealed something about yourself that you would not have known unless the trouble, the difficulty had not hit your home. Paul said, but our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for me. He says us, but he includes himself. Paul's affliction, his crisis, which was not really light in our estimation, and it wasn't for a moment it seemed most of his life, was in the service of Paul. It worked for him to give Paul a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory while he looked at that which is eternal and not that which is temporal. See, the idea under this point is that because God in His sovereignty and in His providence, He is causing everything to come into the service of the counsel of His will.
Ephesians 1-11, the most sweeping statement of God's sovereignty perhaps in the entire Bible. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. That we should be to the praise of His glory.
There's His glory again. Who first trusted in Christ and whom ye also trusted when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Jews we first, Gentiles second, all coming into the church of God. So what is Paul saying? The sovereign counsel and will of God with no constraints, no external force, no influence whatsoever, is it work to bring about everything according to that counsel in keeping with a purpose. And what is that purpose? That you should be to the praise of the glory of His grace. That you should admire the glory of God. That purpose is according to predestination which is the guarantee of the inheritance. So when God predetermined to give His chosen an inheritance, and the purpose of that would be we would experience something that would bring about the praise of God's glory, which God now is making everything. That's a universal statement. He is bringing about, He is making sure that everything is brought into the service of that purpose according to His sovereign counsel and will. When we have that view of a crisis, that means your crisis fits that service. The pandemic is in the service of God to bring about His divine purpose of predestination that we should be to the glory of His grace. Doesn't that fit all things?
That's universal. Your crisis, no matter how small it is, relationally, marital, family, church, is in the service of God that it would bring forth the praise of the glory of His grace. Now how does that happen? Well, what has to happen then is we have to see those idols that don't praise God's glory, right? Those idols that we hold on to and that we serve that sometimes master us. God, with the million things He does in a crisis, one of them is which He's revealing to us the idols of the heart that express themselves when something is ripped out of our hands, that we love, that we like. Our response to that pain and sorrow can be indicative of a heart that's attached itself to something rather than God. His gracious purpose, His aim in predestination is adoption, the inheritance of which is God the Father and everything that comes along with that in heaven.
You don't have to separate those two. Whatever heaven brings, it's God the Father and all that comes with it. And that gracious purpose of predestination, according to Romans 8, is that we would be conformed to the image of Christ. And that means crisis is the servant of God in your life to conform you more to His blessed image.
Because being conformed is how we bring praise to His glory, like Christ. Listen to Romans 8.35 where Paul poses the question, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, danger, or sword?
That's just a whole list of crises. Covers the gamut almost, doesn't it? Danger, persecution, sword, that's for death. As it is written, we are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Psalm 44. I think Paul brings that in to show that the crisis is not owing to a particular sin because in Psalm 44, they were serving God, they had kept the covenant, they had not drawn backwards, and yet God was slaughtering them all the day long. In other words, God was doing the killing. Read it, Psalm 44.
It wasn't because God was after them, they were serving God, and yet they were being slaughtered. Why? For God's sake. What's God's highest concern in your crisis? For thy sake we are being killed. That's His ultimate concern. And when it is, then you're His concern, all those in Christ. What's the answer to that question? Who shall separate us?
Nothing, nay, no. In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. Rather than the crises separating us from the love of God, the love of God comes in with the crises and we become more than conquerors. Through death, through persecution, through trial, through crises.
How? A conqueror just simply subdues his enemy. But a more than a conqueror, that's one word in the Greek, subdues the enemy and the enemy then serves the best interest of the conqueror.
This is how crises serve us. See, when tribulation or crises comes into your life, it reveals something of the idols of the heart. Then by the grace of the Lord Jesus and the love of God, the sword of the Spirit is taken and then it subdues that sinful disposition. The anger, the wrath, the frustration, the bitterness, the resentful attitudes.
And then by the Spirit of God we put to death, in Colossians 3, Romans 8, those sinful dispositions. And then the crises became our servant rather than our master. Because it actually moved us closer to God rather than away from God. Is your crisis your servant or your master? I don't mean do you have any idols.
Beloved, we do. I mean are you viewing it from the divine perspective so that your crisis is not wasted? Because God is revealing things about your own heart, through your words, through your attitudes, through your relationships of what He aims for the crisis to reveal. So that you could be more to the praise of the glory of His grace. Isn't that gracious of God? Isn't God good? Isn't He merciful?
Number three. Your crisis is not being wasted when your crisis is working patience. Endurance. James 1 verse 2. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that the trying of your faith is bringing about or working patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Patience means endurance, steadfastness, perseverance. The testing of your faith is bringing about perseverance. Now to have your faith tested means to prove something. It's like proof of a test in school. The proof of a test or a test itself does not create intelligence, right? When you're tested, you don't gain any knowledge. It's proven, whether it's there or not. When you're tested, faith doesn't come into existence, it's proven as to its genuineness.
How do you know it's genuine? Because you endured the crisis. What's the opposite of endurance? Drawing back. Moving away from God.
Isn't that a potential in crisis? You ever thought about just giving it up in a crisis? It's over for me. I've had it.
You ever been tempted and lose heart to the point where you say, it's too hard, it's too much, I can't take it anymore. God is graciously testing your faith. He's showing your genuineness by your perseverance. That's why James says you need to count it joy. To count it joy means to lead before the mind. It's a similar expression, although different words, to what Jesus did who had joy set before him. What that means, this is not joyful.
Crisis is not easy. It's not fun. The cross was not a joy for Jesus.
It was excruciating pain. And He was separated from His Father. But He had joy or He counted it all joy because it was leading His mind. He counted it joy. When you're counting it joy, when the crisis comes, it will help sustain you because genuine faith produces joy that sustains you in the crisis.
Hebrews 10 35 Cast not away your confidence which hath great recompense of reward. What was their confidence? You took joyfully the spoiling of your goods because you know, you know in heaven you have an enduring and abiding substance. In other words, they had counted it all joy when they lost their possessions. Why didn't they depart from God? Because they were counting it joy.
In heaven, my choice is treasures lie. That's what they were thinking. Don't throw that away because the pressure was getting so great.
Some were departing. Don't throw away that confidence. Keep counting it joy. Why? For you have need of patience.
Note the connection. You need to endure. What's going to help you endure? Keep your confidence.
What's your confidence? Keep counting it all joy. If you throw that away and lose sight of eternity and your hope, what happens?
You lose your confidence and you stop enduring. How massively critical joy of faith is, isn't it? Beloved, a crisis is going to strip from your hands things of joy, isn't it? I don't mean that's all bad. Things that God says you can enjoy, a crisis will strip it right out of your hands.
What will you do then? What did COVID take away from people that was joyful? Took away family members.
Did it not? Took away loved ones whom they enjoyed. Took away businesses. Took away all the benefits of that. Vacations and homes.
Took away athletics. Joy was stripped from your hands. Now what happens? If that's your ultimate joy, you'll fall away. But if you count it all joy, don't cast away your confidence because you need patience so that after you do the will of God, then you receive the promise. What's the promise? Eternal life. For he that will come will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith and he that draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. We are not of them that draw back into perdition but then that believe to the saving of the soul. So what James is saying, the testing of your faith that produces patience because we're counting it all joy is then going to lead us to what?
Perfection. Be still my soul the Lord is on my side. There patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide. In every change be faithful will remain. Be still my soul thy best, thy heavenly friend. Our guest speaker today has been Elder Mike Stewart, pastor of Heritage Primitive Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Now until next week at this same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. Be still my soul thy God doth undertake. 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. All thou misdeeds shall be bright at last. Be still my soul the wind's still low. His voice will rule them while he doth below.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-07 17:49:02 / 2023-03-07 17:58:17 / 9