Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, The praise of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace.
This is L. Sarah Bradley, Jr., welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. We continue our studies in the Psalms. We're in Psalm 119, the subject, Our Source of Counsel. And what an important lesson for us to learn, not just to endorse the idea, but to make it practical in our lives, that as we need counsel, as we need guidance and instruction in our lives, that we know we find it in God's inspired Word. If you can help with the support of the program, we'll certainly appreciate it. We must have the support of our listeners to stay on the air.
Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. I've had people come sometimes to talk to me and say, I want some advice. I say, well, I don't give advice. I give biblical counsel.
I'll turn to the Word of God and see how it applies to your situation. But I've seen some where it became very evident. What they really wanted was for someone to say what they had already decided to do was alright. That's what they were looking for. See, if you say this is something that I really want and you reason about it and you think about it and you meditate upon it and, well, this may be a little awkward over here, but this is an extenuating circumstance.
This is one of those situations that's a little unique and a little different and so this might not be the way I ordinarily do it, but I think under these circumstances this will be okay. And you keep working at it and finally get it to fit into your way of thinking, I think this is alright. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. In contrast, you should be delighting in the counsel of God. Proverbs chapter 3, verse 5, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil. Delight in his counsel.
In fact, the literal rendering of this language in verse 24, thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. Thy testimonies are the men of my counsel. As I see I need counsel, I might turn to friends or neighbors, but rather I turn to your word, they are the men of my counsel. And that means that you need to seek it humbly. Not come into the counsel of God with preconceived notions, with a mind already made up, with a will that is bent on going in a certain direction, but come humbly before God. Go to Psalm 25. It tells us that this approach to the Lord must be in a humble manner. Psalm 25, verse 4, Show me thy ways, O Lord, teach me thy paths. Here's the psalmist coming, not with his mind already made up, saying, Lord, teach me, teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth and teach me for thou art the God of my salvation.
On thee do I wait all the day. Verse 9, The meek will he guide in judgment and the meek will he teach his way. The meek. That's somebody with a humble spirit. That's somebody that's willing to be taught.
That's somebody that's coming before God saying, Lord, I don't have the answers. I don't have the wisdom. I need help. I need guidance. I need understanding. I need the blessing of your spirit.
I need your word. I need that wisdom that can only come from above. So there's sorrow and confusion that comes as a failure to turn to the counsel of God. We should be coming to God in a humble way, praying for his direction to bless us in our understanding. Now, let's get down to some specifics. What kind of counsel do we find? Say, I'm willing to go to the word of God for the counsel, but I'm struggling with some things right now.
What can I expect to find there? Let's think about a situation where you're facing a crisis to be a variety of things. Sudden illness can be a terrible crisis. Somebody's been going along apparently in good health and all of a sudden there's a question about whether they're going to make it. That's a crisis. Or a loved one dies. Very unexpected.
I hadn't anticipated this. How am I going to get through this? How am I going to get along without them? Even the loss of a job can be a terrible crisis.
You've already got financial pressures and now you're out of work. How am I going to get through this? What am I going to do? I feel like I'm falling apart.
I feel like the foundations have been shaken and I just don't know how I'm going to make it. All right, we go to the word of God. Psalm 46. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Here's a clear declaration. God is a present help. That is, he's not at a distance he's not far removed from us. He's present.
He's near at hand. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof sealer. Sometimes when we try to point people to the counsel of God's word, they say, well, my situation my situation is a little different.
Your situation can't be much more severe than what this describes. Talking about that the earth being removed and the mountains being carried into the midst of the sea, so that figurative language should paint for you a picture of something where there's a tremendous upheaval, where everything appears to be in chaos, where you're just near to despair, all but wiped out. But God is our refuge. He's our strength.
He's our present help. Verse 10, be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen.
I will be exalted in the earth. Generally, when there's a crisis, there's an emotional response. There is an initial response where we just are exasperated. We're startled.
We have difficulty being able to think through it all and just absorb the information as to what really has happened. And then some people react so that, well, I've got to do something. I've got to get going. I've got to fix this thing. I've got to make it right. And others sink into a darkness of great discouragement and don't know what to do.
But here's instruction. Be still and know that I am God. Whatever the crisis, God's still on the throne. The Lord is in his holy temple.
Let all the earth keep silence before him. That has a calming effect, if you believe what God says. You believe God is God. Yes, it may seem that the very foundations are shaking beneath me.
They seem that everything is crumbling around me. But God is God. And I need to be still. And I need to be still. And I need to wait patiently before him. Another to look at at such a time as the expression made in the 31st Psalm, verse 14. But I trusted in thee, O Lord. I said, Thou art my God. My times are in Thy hand. Oh, to me, that's such a beautiful expression.
So you can forget about that when the crisis comes. This whole thing is in my hands. But you recognize you're weak. You're incapable of dealing with it. And then you understand there's some things totally out of your control.
It doesn't matter what you do. There are some things that cannot be reversed, cannot be changed. There may be some people whose actions are affecting your life and you'd like for them to change and you have no influence, no power, you can not change it. But to come back and say, my times are in Thy hands. My good times and my bad times. My times of prosperity, my times of loss, my times of health, my times of sickness, my times of faith, my times of doubt, my times of fear, my times are in Thy hands. And then sometimes the counsel that's needed is for those who are depressed. A person facing such a crisis can soon fall into a depressed state of mind if they're not pursuing the truths of God's Word. Saying, what's the use anyway? Life has lost its meaning.
Time's running out. Nothing's right. Deeply depressed. Sometimes depression comes as a result of spiritual struggle. A person says, I just can't pray anymore. I feel like God's far from me.
He just won't hear me. Psalm 69 verse 1, save me O God for the waters are come in unto my soul. Isaiah records that promise where God says He'll be with us when we pass through the waters. But here David is talking about the water coming in to his soul. Have you been there?
It doesn't appear now that I'm passing through. It's just like cold water has come into my soul. I'm sinking. I sink in deep mire where there is no standing. I'm come into deep waters where the floods overflow me. I am weary of crying.
My throat is dried. Mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. But one thing that's reassuring is to realize that you're not exploring new territory. You're not the first one of God's children ever to be depressed. Many of them have gone through this dark deep experience before and survived it. How good to know that God cared enough about your situation to inspire men to put into his word a description of their experience that very much parallels your experience. There's hope for the depressed. I've counseled with people who had been told by physicians that their case was basically hopeless.
You're just in a mental state that can probably never be improved. But David, Asaph, Jeremiah, others of the Old Testament saints that went through the darkest seasons imaginable, yet found hope and came through it with courage and confidence in God. Verse 16, Hear me, O Lord, for thy loving kindness is good. Turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, and hide not thy face from thy servant, for I am in trouble. Hear me speedily. Here's the prayer.
Hear me speedily. Verse 33, For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners. He hears the poor. He doesn't despise the prisoner. You feel to be shut up, shut out, cast away, alone, misunderstood, frustrated, perplexed, down for the count. He does not despise the prayer of the prisoner.
He will hear you. Now one of the challenges in such a time when a person is depressed, and they wake up in the morning and say, I just don't think I can face the day. I'd rather just pull the covers over my head and stay in bed. But there's an awareness that if they do that, the problem is going to get worse and not better. There's certain responsibilities that must be addressed. The person says, how long can I go on this way? I've talked to people who are very impatient and would try to go over some of these things with them.
And then immediately it was evident they had not heard what I said. Because they said, how quickly am I going to feel better? I can't answer that question. How quickly am I going to get out of this fog?
I can't answer that question. But I can tell you this, patience is in order. James chapter one, verse two, my brethren counted all joy when you fall into divers temptations, knowing this is the trying of your faith, worketh patience. Let patience have her perfect work that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Let patience have her perfect work. The person says, is there something I can do today that will immediately change this? You may not be able to change the circumstances, but you can change your outlook. You can change your attitude and how you respond to the situation.
People are looking for the escape route. I've shared with you how a number of years ago, a man came walking up to the building here at the close of a Sunday morning service and said, preacher, do you believe in the prayer of deliverance? I said, well, would you give me a little more insight as to what you mean by that?
And he described briefly some problems. He said, I want you to pray the prayer of deliverance because I want deliverance now. I said, well, I'd be glad to pray for you, but I can't guarantee God's going to give you deliverance today. But if you'll come back here in the morning, we'll sit down, go to the word of God and we'll find some answers. Nope, I want deliverance today.
Well, I didn't have that to offer. God's sovereign. God's the one who is the deliverer. But he expressed what some have not been quite so vocal about, but clearly indicated it by their action. I want everything fixed now.
And if you can't fix it, I'm looking for the escape hatch. Sad to say, some in the midst of their frustrations turn to drink or illegal drugs. And while there's a place for medication, if medication is only used to mask the problem so that the person does not feel the reality of the situation, that's not in order.
He says, let patients have a perfect work. Then it comes to the matter of decisions. Some people have a little more difficulty with decisions than others.
They haven't noticed if you go out to dinner that there's always one or more at the table that wants to analyze the menu repeatedly and the waitress has to keep coming down. And they finally have to say, now look, hopefully this is not our last meal. So if you make a mistake on this one, we come back again sometime and get something better. I mean, some of the very basic decisions of life are a challenge, but we're talking about something of greater importance. You're trying to make a decision about your job. Do I accept this promotion your job? Do I accept this promotion that's going to make a difference in the hours I work? Do I accept this opportunity to move to another location?
What do I do about this matter of the education of my children? A lot of options out there, a lot of things to consider. I'm I'm perplexed trying to make a decision and I'd like some answers. Well, the particular question that you have may not be explicitly answered in the scripture, but the principle that will influence the decision is there. For example, again in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says in Matthew chapter 6 verse 33, but seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. The first thing to consider in the decision-making process, am I seeking first the kingdom of God? Am I seeking my own financial prosperity? Am I seeking my own ease and comfort? Am I seeking to gain prestige and acceptance? What's motivating me? What is my first and primary concern?
Now immediately that will eliminate a lot of options. Some things that you may have had on the table up here trying to decide, they're off the table already when you plug in that text. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness or you go to 1st Corinthians chapter 10 verses 12 to 14 and you read that in everything that you do you are to be doing it to the glory of God. Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.
You're going to trust Him. You're going to seek His direction, His guidance. Are you willing to follow that direction? Is your mind so set on a particular course of action that you say, oh well yeah, yes I really do want to do this to the glory of God, but is that the real motivation? Sometimes we have to pray, Lord search me, try me, make me to know what's within me. My heart is deceitful. Your word declares it and I know it's true. I can deceive myself. Lord help me not to be deceived.
Help me to make the right decision. And then in a moment of temptation, it may seem for time to be overpowering. It's something that you maybe hadn't anticipated. You find a real struggle within. Do I find counsel in the Word of God about how to deal with temptation?
Yes. 1st Corinthians chapter 10 verse 12, wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such is his common demand, but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be attempted. Above that ye are able but will with the temptation also make a way of escape that ye may be able to bear it.
You go to God's Word. Warns you about the sinful path. Warns you about the consequences of sin. Warns you about the pain that comes, the heartache, the trouble. Warns you that when you have displeased God the way is going to be rough.
The way of the transgressor is hard. What about bitterness? Often in human relationships a bitter spirit can arise. Being resentful of other people. Unhappy about somebody else's actions.
Holding on to that resentment. Ephesians chapter 4 gives you the counsel. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.
You say but that's difficult. Oh but here be ye kind one to another tender hearted forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Since you have been forgiven if you see yourself as such a sinner and know that God has forgiven you for Christ's sake it should be a joy to you then to forgive others. And the failure to forgive puts a barrier not only between you and other people but between you and God. Bitterness. Bitterness sometimes arises in a marriage. And often when a person has become bitter and resentful this thought that hitting the eject button is the easiest way to resolve it all.
Life's too short. I don't have to put up with this. I don't have to work through these problems. The kind of counsel you hear some people giving well now God wouldn't want you to be unhappy. I'll agree with that part of it but it doesn't mean that you end the marriage.
It means you work through the difficulty. In the book of Colossians chapter 3 verse 19 Paul says husbands love your wives and be not bitter against them. It indicates that there may be a potential there a possibility that husbands become bitter at their wives. Resentful because they haven't met their expectations because they haven't done everything they want them to do and they're bitter. It says be not bitter against them.
Wives sometimes become bitter toward their husbands and so people become perplexed and say it's time to end it but you made a vow to each other and before God and by the grace of God you can work through the differences and you can resolve the problems. You're burdened. Variety of burdens that press you down. First Peter chapter 5 verse 7 gives you the counsel casting all your care upon him for he careth for you. When you're at that dark time of life where you feel like maybe nobody cares nobody understands. He says you can cast all your care on him. Isn't that good to know that God cares no matter how deserted you may have felt to be.
Here's the promise God cares and finally someone may say today I struggle. I really wonder where I stand with God. I've talked to people who say well I've asked the question just what is your relationship with God.
Well I'm not real sure. I was christened as a baby. I was brought up in a Christian home or I have attended church periodically through the years.
Not asking that. What's your relationship with God? If that question has troubled you and you've been brought to the place that you see yourself as having broken God's law. As a sinner deserving nothing. You can't come before God and say look at my record.
Look at my life. Here's what I'm entitled to. If indeed the Spirit of God has shown you what you are you know you are a sinner with no righteousness to plead.
So you're perplexed. You say I need a savior. Here are the words of Jesus. John 6 37 all that the father giveth me shall come to me and him that cometh to me I will in the wise cast out.
What comforting words. There never has been a sinner with a broken heart and a repentant spirit come to Jesus Christ in faith who has perished there. Those that come to me I will in the wise cast out. Jesus came to save sinners. If he had come to save sinners. If you see yourself as a sinner that's good news. Do you believe on him?
He that believeth on the son hath everlasting life. Well thank you for listening today. I hope you'll be back at this same time tomorrow as we continue our study in the Psalms. If you would like to help keep the program on the air you can make a donation by going to our website at baptistbiblehour.org. So we'll greet you next time. This is little Sarah Bradley Jr. bidding you goodbye and may God bless you. Praising my Savior.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 16:26:51 / 2022-11-27 16:35:54 / 9