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! Thou the grace of my God and King, the triumph of His grace!
This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. Lift me up above the shadows, wind my feet on higher ground. Lift me up above the clouds, on where the pure sunshine is found. Lift me up above my weakness, lift me up into Thy strength. Lift me up above the shadows, till I stand with Thee at bay. Lift me up above the shadows, lift me up above the shadows. Lift me up above the clouds, and let me stand, and let me stand.
On the mountain, tops of mountain, tops of mountain, tops of mountain, let me dwell, and let me dwell in You alone. Lift me up above the shadows, for the storms are raging high. Lift me up, my blessed Savior, let me to Thy bosom fly.
Bear no evil link and touch me over on the shining side. Lift me up above the shadows, lend me evermore abide. Lift me up above the shadows, lift me up above the shadows. Lift me up and let me stand, and let me stand. On the mountain, tops of mountain, tops of mountain, tops of mountain, let me dwell, and let me dwell in You alone. Lift me up above the shadows, out of sorrow into joy. Lift me up above my grief, Lord, give me goal for my alloy. Then when death must claim my spirit and the storms of life are past, lift me up above the shadows, till in Him I stand at last. Lift me up above the shadows, lift me up above the shadows. Lift me up and let me stand, and let me stand.
On the mountain, tops of mountain, tops of mountain, tops of mountain, let me dwell, and let me dwell in You alone. I want to encourage you to visit our new website. We've been talking about it for some time and happy that it is now available. The address is the same, BaptistBibleHour.org, but the website is new with a lot of new features that we hope will be helpful to you as you go there to study various subjects, whether it's to read an article or listen to a message. So be sure to visit our website at BaptistBibleHour.org. One of the features on our new website is that it is now the home of the Baptist Witness. We made this publication available in print for 70 years, but the new home is our website, so I hope you'll be sure to read the current edition of the Baptist Witness. And we certainly would appreciate it if you will write and let us know that you have listened to this broadcast or visited our website.
Remember, we depend on our listeners for support. Our mailing address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Today's message is entitled, Things Can Be Better Today, and we have that in booklet form, so if you would like a copy of it, write and request it. That address again is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217.
The Lord willing, this coming Friday night, September the 23rd, Elder Mike Stewart and I will be in a meeting with Collierville Primitive Baptist Church, Collierville, Tennessee, where Elder Timothy Guess is the pastor. As you struggle with the difficulties of life, it's easy to become discouraged and feel that nothing is going right. There can be financial problems, and those problems can be extremely difficult, taking an emotional toll as well as all of the other struggles and burdens that accompany the difficulties encountered when there are financial problems. There can be sickness, your own sickness or the sickness of a loved one, family conflicts when things are not right in a marriage, when there's ongoing conflict in a home. Indeed, it's easy to become disheartened. There can be spiritual struggles, finding it difficult to pray as you know you ought.
Struggling even as you read the scriptures, because you're having a problem understanding them as you would hope to understand them. All of these things can seem to be without an immediate solution. And so it's then easy to move from discouragement to self-pity. You say, why is all this happening to me? I don't know why my lot has to be so difficult. I see other people around me that life appears to go smoothly for them, but I'm always involved in some kind of a crisis. And you can roll those thoughts over in your mind repeatedly until you're totally consumed with a sense of self-pity.
And then comes the critical spirit. You begin to blame these problems on others. A husband will say, I could be a better husband and a better father if my wife was more cooperative. If she had more of a submissive spirit, if she was more spiritually minded, I could accomplish what I desire, but she is an ongoing problem. And just in the reverse, wife may say, my husband doesn't communicate like I think he should.
He doesn't show me the tenderness and compassion that I think a husband ought to demonstrate. And so there's this conflict in the marriage. Often there's conflict between the parents and children. Children taking the idea that they are treated unfairly because the parents are so strict that they know of friends that have it much easier.
And they have to live by these strict rules and so they become resentful and critical of their parents. But things can be better today. That may sound like an unrealistic promise, but we're going to look at some biblical principles that reveal, in fact, things can be better today. I read from Psalm 39 beginning with the seventh verse.
And now, Lord, what weight I for? My hope is in thee. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Make me not the reproach of the foolish.
I was dumb. I opened not my mouth because thou didst it. Remove thy stroke away from me. I am consumed by the blow of thine hand. Now I concede that you may be involved in some circumstances that cannot be reasonably overcome in a day's time. In fact, there may be health problems, financial difficulties, other things that you'll have to deal with for the rest of your life. But I say things can be better today when you begin to approach your problems from a biblical standpoint.
When you change your outlook, your attitude, your thought process, having your mind renewed. First of all, things can be better today when you remember that your hope is in God. We look at verse 7 of Psalm 39.
And now, Lord, what weight I for? My hope is in thee. My hope is in the Lord.
You say, well, I've always known that. But when you get extremely discouraged and slip into an attitude of self-pity and then become critical of others, for that period of time, you basically have forgotten that your hope is in God. Self-sufficiency. Depending on the riches and treasures of this earth, all are obstacles that would keep you from truly resting in the Lord. Verse 5 says, Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreath, considering the fact that life is short.
Mine age is as nothing before thee. Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. So if a man becomes proud, self-sufficient, he's not going to find the help and support that he needs by believing in himself. He says, man at his best state is altogether vanity. There's an emptiness about man so that we cannot depend either on ourselves or lean upon the arm of the flesh and depending upon others. Verse 6 says, Surely every man walketh in a vain show.
Surely they are disquieted in vain. He heapeth up riches and knoweth not who shall gather them. So man decides, I'm going to find my strength, my contentment, my material gain. And he says he heaps up all these riches but he doesn't know who's going to gather them, who's going to ultimately have them. Jesus talked about the man that said he was going to tear down his barns and build bigger ones to take care of his abundant harvest.
But then said, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee. So in spite of all of his riches, he wasn't going to be around long to enjoy them. These are not the ultimate solution to bringing contentment. Some of the most unhappy people in the world are those that are extremely rich. And so we must consider the vanity of depending on any other source for our hope.
And understand that when we've been guilty of that, it only adds to our misery. We turn to Psalm 146, verse 3 is very explicit. Psalm 146 verse 3, Put not your trust in princes nor in the Son of Man in whom there is no help.
Princes would be considered men of high position. You would think if I'm going to trust in anybody, I'm going to trust in somebody who is in such a place. But the psalmist says, Don't put your trust in princes nor in man, because there is no hope. The arm of flesh will fail you. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish. Man is only here for a short time, and when he passes on, his thoughts perish. But when your hope is in God, you're trusting one who is from everlasting to everlasting.
Time passes on, circumstances change, ultimately the heavens are rolled together as a scroll, laid aside. But God continues His sovereign reign. So our trust must not be in man, but in God. Verse 5 of that Psalm 146, Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God. Happy, blessed, favored is that man whose hope is in the Lord. In contrast to the disappointment that's going to be found, when your hope is in man, you're going to find happiness, blessedness, when your hope and trust is in God. And then he continues, speaking of the Lord his God, which made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is therein, which executeth judgment for the oppressed, which giveth food to the hungry, the Lord looseth the prisoners, the Lord openeth the eyes of the blind, the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down, the Lord loveth the righteous. That's an encouraging note that he raises those that are bowed down. So if you feel to be bowed down under the weight of trouble and challenges that you're encountering in life, his promise is that those who are bowed down will be lifted up. The Lord preserveth the strangers, he relieveth the fatherless and widow, but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
The Lord shall reign forever, even by God, O Zion, unto all generations, praise ye the Lord. So for things to be better today, you need to remember your hope is in God. And it is fain to rest in anything or anyone else than God himself. Finally, you need to deal with sin. Somebody may say, well, preacher, that's not my problem. I'm suffering greatly because of the sins of other people.
I'm in a terrible strait because I've been mistreated and people have treated me unkindly, and on and on you can go with the list. This passage indicates that sin is always, to some degree, part of our problem. And so the psalmist prays back in the 39th Psalm of the 8th verse, Deliver me from all my transgressions, make me not the reproach of the foolish. I'm recognizing I'm a sinner, says the psalmist. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Not just picking out two or three things that may seem to be the most obvious failures in your life, but praying as the psalmist did elsewhere, search me, try me, make me to know what's within me.
Reveal to me every sin that I may confess them and forsake them. Every sin, any sin, whatever it may be, must be faced and dealt with. Things can be better today when we come to grips with that reality. When we go on our way excusing our own sin, perhaps very critical of others to whom we are laying blame that they are the source of our problems. They are the reasons that life is so difficult for us. We see their sins and fail to see ours.
Things are not going to be better. We've got to deal with our own sin. 1 John, reading in the first chapter, verse 4, it says, And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
So we're talking about things being better today. We're talking about having joy. If you haven't had joy, here may be one of the reasons for it. You haven't dealt with sin.
I'm writing this that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him and declare unto you that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth. We can claim we're following the Lord, we're serving Him, but if we continue in a path of sin, we're not dealing with our own failures, our own sins, we're repenting, turning from them and confessing them, then we're deceiving ourselves. But if we walk in the light as He is the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. It's the tendency of human nature to defend ourselves, excuse our own failings and sins, and to be very judgmental and harsh when it comes to viewing others. But if we say we have no sin, that's not a problem with me, it's somebody else's sin, we're deceiving ourselves. The truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
That's good news. If you have a sight of your own sin, you see that you have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Repeatedly you have failed even when you have repented in the past and made promises that things were going to be better. You have once more turned away, failing to follow closely in the footsteps of Jesus. You have sinned, but the promise is if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us.
Now over and over I've had people say to me, I don't understand what the problem is. I have confessed my sin, but I don't feel forgiven. This text doesn't have anything to do with how you feel. This is talking about the faithfulness of God. Do you believe God? He said, if you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you. So when you confess your sin, you're to believe what He said, that He has forgiven you. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His Word is not in us. So every sin must be faced, confessed and forsaken. Chapter 2 verse 6 says, He that saith, He abideth in him, ought himself also to walk even as he walked. So if you say, I abide in Christ, I'm a follower of Christ, I'm a believer in Christ, it behooves you to walk even as He walked. How is it in your life today?
If somebody observes you, here's your conversation, here's the words you speak, sees the attitude that you maintain, the places you go, the way you use your resources, would they immediately identify you as a follower of Jesus Christ? Deal with our sin. Recognize it, admit it. Whatever the sin may be. Sin of resentment, jealousy, being envious of other people because their path is smoother. Look around and say, it just doesn't seem fair. Why should I have all these burdens?
Why should I have all this trouble? It doesn't seem right. Bitterness builds up. A bitter spirit toward other people, a refusal to forgive. Things can be better today if you admit to the Lord, I have been bitter, I have been resentful, I have been critical, I have failed in my walk. Be specific, enumerate the sins, name them, confess them and His promise is that you will be forgiven. Number three, recognize God's hand in your trouble. Verse 9 of the 39th Psalm, I was dumb, I opened not my mouth because thou ditched it.
I refuse to speak. I opened not my mouth because thou ditched it. He recognized the hand of God.
He recognized that this wasn't just bad luck as somebody might say. Recognized that God is dealing with me. If it is chastisement, it is for your good. If God has put the rod of correction on you, He's chasing you because of your sin, because of your disobedience, because of your spiritual indifference and your coldness.
Rather than open your mouth and complain that it just doesn't seem right, be thankful because chastisement is for your good. Turn to the book of Hebrews chapter 12 verse 5, And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children. My son despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Verse 11, Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous but grievous. Nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Now I'm not suggesting to you that you're going to say, well I'm just enjoying this chastisement.
I'm exceedingly happy because I'm being chastised. But I am saying, if you view it properly, if you understand the purpose behind it, if you realize that when the Lord chastens, it's not because He wants to destroy you, and because He just wants to make you miserable, but it's because He loves you. He wants to make something out of you. He wants to change your will that is bent toward that which is evil. He wants to humble you.
He wants to train you. So the chastisement is for your benefit. And because it is the Lord who has touched you and put the rod of correction upon you, then there should be submission and not complaint. The prayer should always be, Lord help me to learn the lesson, whatever it is. Help me to be quick to respond. Help me to grow through this experience.
Help me to be more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, to be drawn closer to Thee in my daily walk. Not only can we say this concerning chastisement itself, but any trial, every trial that you encounter is for your good. Now, none of us want to sign up to be sick. None of us want to sign up to say, I'm just glad when trouble comes because I know that ultimately there is some good in it.
No. When we hurt, we want to be relieved of the pain. When our hearts are broken, when loved ones are sick or loved ones are taken from us by death, we're going to grieve.
We understand that. Tears are going to be shed. But he says, you sorrow not even as others which have no hope. Because in the midst of your sorrow and your loss and your disappointment, you understand that the Lord is going to bring something good out of that great trial. In the midst of all the trouble that Job encountered, he recognized God. He said in Job 19 21, The hand of God hath touched me. He knew this wasn't just one of those things. This wasn't just some strange turn of event that nobody could explain. The hand of God hath touched me.
We need to be quick to recognize that. When trials come, when the burdens are heavy, when we're going through difficult and dark times, the hand of God has touched me. And Job, in spite of all of the struggles through which he passed and the dark days that he encountered, he saw there was ultimate good ahead.
In Job 23 verse 10, When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. And that changes your outlook in the midst of your trouble. You may say, I don't understand this at all. I have no idea what God is doing. Some of this is so hard, so difficult, so heartbreaking. I don't understand how my Heavenly Father that loves me can be involved and that He's the one that's orchestrating these events. I don't understand it all. But you're going to trust Him, understanding that His purpose is to bring you through and that you will come forth as gold.
The dross being consumed. He leadeth me, O blessed thought, O words with heavy comfort fraught. No matter how heavy the burden, no matter how difficult the trial that you may be suffering at the present time, things can be better today when you remember that your hope is in God. When you recognize God's hand in your trouble, you know that He is sovereign.
He has a purpose. He will bring you forth as gold. To trust completely in Him gives a peace that nothing else can possibly provide. Remember, if you will request it, we will send you our booklet entitled, Things Can Be Better Today, the same subject we've used for today's message. I look forward to hearing from you, and until next week at this same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. I swear Eden's power's blue.
I want a shiv o'er troubled sea. Still tis His hand that leadeth me. 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. O there I would be, for by His hand He leadeth me. Lord, I would class thy hand in mine, forever, glory mine, content whatever thought I see.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-28 05:48:59 / 2022-11-28 05:58:32 / 10