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 triumphs of his grace.
This is Lacerre Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. Do you need a friend to walk with you as you travel on your way? Then you need to know my Savior. Let him be your friend today. As I walk on life's pathway in this pilgrim life, I will meet many troubles, many sorrows, much strife, but I'll not fear the future nor tomorrow's new day, for my Savior is leading the way.
Do you need a friend to walk with you as you travel on your way? Then you need to know my Savior. Let him be your friend today. Through the valley of death, through the darkness, he'll go with you to the end of the way.
Do you need someone to love you? Then you need my Lord today. I'm certainly thankful for the opportunity of coming at this same time each week to bring you a message from God's Word. These sermons were delivered here at Cincinnati Promative Baptist Church, and now to be able to share them on these stations and on the internet, we're grateful for God's blessing in opening up these doors of opportunity. We do need to hear from you, so I hope that you will write us this week by addressing your letter to the Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. We continue the message today entitled, The God of All Comfort. I read again the text, 2 Corinthians chapter 1, beginning with the second verse, Grace be to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. We have considered already in this message that tribulation is to be expected. The scriptures repeatedly declare it, and then we have noted that God is the source of our comfort. He comforts us by His promises, He comforts us by the instruction we receive in His Word, and we'll also be considering the fact that He comforts us by revealing His purpose in our trials. In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.
See, we've got to do it God's way. Make your requests known with thanksgiving. And you may have gotten in such darkness in the midst of your trouble, you forgot what you had to be thankful for. And you have to review that. Sometimes you may have to write it down, make your list. You'll be amazed at how many things you've been taking for granted, just assuming this is part of life. How God has blessed you with family, friends, the church, the gospel, and above all the unspeakable gift of God, our Savior Jesus Christ. Make your requests known with thanksgiving, and you go down that list of things for which you're thankful, and already your burden gets lighter. Already you've decided it's not quite as bad as I had concluded it to be, because I've got so much for which to give thanks.
And what's the result? The peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. But there's still another part of this instruction. Some people once they get a little bit of relief, they fall right back into their own pattern, and what do they think about?
Maybe I need to make it more personal. What do you think about? What consumes your faults? And some people admit, I'm constantly rolling over in my mind, what if this happens, what if that happens?
I don't know what I would do if this occurred. And they worry about all of these things, most of which will never happen. Or they think about this person that upset me, harmed me, did me wrong, and they mull that over, over and over again in their mind. About various issues that disturb them, how other people upset them, and how some of the conditions that they see around them are so negative. There's a place for addressing issues that need to be dealt with. But what are you to be thinking about? Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.
I actually had one person one time tell me, I don't know anything in that category. I said, well, I'm going to tell you, Jesus Christ will fit every one of those. So you think about Him, you think about Him, He's honest, He's of good report, you put your mind on Him. And then one more thing, those things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me do, which means to practice it, you don't just do it one time. Somebody came back to me one day after a counseling session and said, well, I did all that but it didn't work. I said, wait a minute, you missed verse 9, verse 9 says you practice it, you keep on doing it. This is to be an ongoing part of our experience and the God of peace shall be with you. God comforts us by giving us instruction about what we do, what we are to do in our time of trouble. And then He comforts us by revealing to us His purpose in our trial. You see, if you thought this suffering is just bad luck, it's just a part of fate.
There's nothing to do under those circumstances but to throw up your hands in despair. I don't see any purpose in this, you don't have to see the purpose but God graciously reveals that there is a purpose in your trials. One of the purposes is to reveal what is in you, it's a test of your faith to show you. God already knows what's in you but it shows you what's in you when a trial comes.
You may have been sailing along with an attitude that I've made such progress, I've gained such ground, I've become so strong in the faith. And trials come, it puts you to the test, it shows you what's in you and when you maybe see how weak your faith is, or that there are some traits and inclinations in your human nature that you haven't even recognized, hopefully that will bring you to repentance and drive you to the Lord. God speaking to His people long ago indicated that their trials were for that very purpose in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 2. He's talking about the trials that were faced with the children of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness and said all of this was to test you and prove what is in you. Now you may say this seemed to me to have been a very awkward time for such a trial, but you see God in His great wisdom knows what you need and when you need it. Back at the portion of our text in 2 Corinthians we look again at chapter 1 verse 8, For I would not have you brethren ignorant of our trouble, which came unto us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure above strength insomuch that we despaired even of life. Now here's the apostle Paul, a man with a most unique experience being struck down on the road to Damascus hearing the audible voice of God, ultimately being caught up into the third heaven and saw things and heard things he couldn't even write about.
You say surely that man is going to be shielded and protected from the great trials of life and yet I don't know of another man who suffered nearly so much as did Paul. He said, he doesn't describe the specifics of it, but said there was a great trouble that came to us, we were pressed out of measure. It was at the point we thought we couldn't take anymore, it was above our strength, we despaired even of life. We thought we reached the end of the way, whether it was his enemies that were constantly seeking him and wanting to take his life, or some sickness that came, whatever the specific thing was, he despaired even of life. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves but in God which raiseth the dead.
Here was the purpose of it. All of this trouble came that we should not trust in ourselves. If you've been going to church all your life, there's a certain vocabulary with which you're familiar. There are certain expressions of pride that you wouldn't dare utter in the presence of anybody else.
You might mull it over in your mind, you might feel it deep in your heart, but you're not going to admit it to anybody. But you see there is in all of us a certain element of self-sufficiency, of independence, the idea that given enough time being able to work out a plan, I can get through my troubles. I'm not a weakling like some people are, I can take it. So trouble comes to the very point that we say I can't take it anymore, and what's the purpose? That we should not trust in ourselves. When trials are severe, you reach a point now, it's not just verbiage. It's not just saying why I know I'm weak. No, you sure enough know it now. You're not going to be trusted in yourself any longer. You see that at the times you have done that, you have been a miserable failure.
You have complicated things, you've made it worse. So even the apostle had to learn that lesson. I am not to trust in myself, but in God which raiseth the dead, who delivered us from so great a death. Whatever it was that Paul thought was going to bring about his death, God delivered him from it, and doth deliver, and in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.
God would have us totally dependent upon Him. I'm not talking about being slothful, obviously we are to do the things He has enjoined us to do, but we have to realize it's not in our own strength that apostle Paul said, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheth me. He comforts us by revealing His purposes in our trial. One of the purposes is to bring us to obedience. We may have been drifting, we may have been enticed with the world, we may have been very blatant in our disobedience, failing to do the things the Lord enjoined upon us, neglecting to do the things that He had commanded. But here are the words of Psalm 119 verse 67, Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept Thy word. There's one of the purposes of affliction. Before I was afflicted I went astray, I did my own thing, I went down the wrong road, I defended it, I made excuses for it, but now have I kept Thy word. Verse 71, It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Thy statutes, to bring us to obedience. Next, afflictions come to bring us to a greater level of spiritual maturity. James chapter 1 verses 1 to 4 says, Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations. And there's an immediate resistance to that.
What on earth is the writer talking about? I can't possibly rejoice when trouble comes. It certainly doesn't mean that you say, I want to sign up to hurt. I like trouble, I like pain and just bring it on.
No. Pain obviously is uncomfortable. None of us want pain, none of us want sickness, none of us want trials. But when it does come within the providence of God according to His sovereignty, you recognize His purpose in it. And therefore, though you don't feel joyful and think the trial itself is good, the end result of it is good, so you can count it joy because He's going to bring you to a greater level of maturity. So that you're going to be complete, perfect He says, meaning complete, lacking nothing.
So you may not have realized that you lacked as much as you have lacked. You say, I've been following the Lord for a long time, I've learned a lot, I've gained some ground. The Lord says, you're lacking a few things and the only way to get you equipped is to go through trials. It's there you learn to persevere, to continue on course because you're going to be trusting in God. Next, the purpose of trials is sometimes simply to reveal to us His great compassion. We go through the season where we say, it looks like God has forgotten me.
I just don't know why this has all come to me. But look at the end of Jeremiah's ramblings here as he talks about his great trouble. He said, my strength and my hope is perished from the Lord. Finally in verse 21 of Lamentations 3 he says, This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed because what? His compassion fails not. He is a compassionate God. I don't understand all the ways that God works, but I know He's full of compassion. And if you really have a sight of your own sin and your own unworthiness, you say, it's amazing grace that it's as well with me as it is. If it were not for His mercy, His grace, His compassion, I would have been gone a long time ago.
I'd be lost and ruined for eternity. God is a compassionate God. When you understand then that the purpose of the trial may be that God is going to reveal to you the extent of His compassion, it gives you hope and courage to press on. Another one is that He makes us more mindful of heaven.
He says that these present trials work for us a greater sense of the glory of heaven that we're anticipating. You go along through life and you're thinking about the day-to-day task. You're thinking about the problems you've got to solve.
You're thinking about the work you've got to get done. You don't think that much about heaven, but let deep troubles come. It works for us an exceedingly great sense of the reward that is ours in Christ. When the tears flow here, you say, I'm thankful to know there's coming a day that all the tears will be wiped away.
When you've struggled with sin and with the consequence of it in your own life and seen its devastation in the life of others, you say, I'm thankful, Lord. There's coming a day in the glorious resurrection when we're present with you. There'll be no more sin, no more consequences of sin, no more pain. We pray, even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus. I look forward happily to that day. When at last I'll be with Him.
Do you ever think about that and have a little difficulty just grasping the reality of it? I think about that the other day about how many times I've preached about heaven, read about heaven, participated in the singing of hymns about heaven, and then I start thinking about that and I think, what will it actually be like to be there? To be in that perfect place and see Jesus and be able to have conversation with Him. And know that this is a glorious state that you'll never end. And be able to be a part of that heavenly chorus to lift up songs of praise to Jesus Christ. And the joy of that to be beyond anything that we can presently imagine. You say, I can't get that all together.
I can't get that set in my mind. But I rejoice in the hope of the glory of God and anticipate it because of His marvelous grace. The third thing we look at here quickly. He says that He is the God of all comfort. And notice also, He declares in this passage, when He says in the third verse of 2nd Corinthians chapter 1, Blessed be the God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies. He again points to the fact that He is the source of the mercy that we need. He is the God of all comfort, not just some comfort but all of it. Who comfort of us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble. I've counseled with people who seem to think that if I hadn't experienced exactly what they had, I was incapable of understanding them and could not counsel them. This says that because of your comfort that you've received, you're able also to comfort those who are in any trouble. Because whatever the particular trouble is, the principles involved are the same.
And I'm always quick to point out to people who raise that question, I don't have to understand a hundred percent where you are. Because I'm telling you about the one for whom the comfort comes and He understands you. He understands you better than you understand yourself. And so He blesses us as we receive comfort to be able to comfort others. David said in Psalm 51 verses 12 and 13 when he'd been confessing his great sin and praying that the Lord would restore a right spirit within him. And he says then, when that has come about, when I have received once more the joy of Thy salvation, then will I teach transgressors the way. But when I've come through this experience and I've had the joy of salvation restored, I've got a lot to say to other people. I'm going to be able to be a help to them. And that's something I rejoice in in a counseling situation is when a person will finally say, do you believe that I could someday be a help to other people that have gone through what I've gone through?
Absolutely. That's God's purpose is to prepare us to be able to comfort others. And I'm always encouraged to feel like great progress has been made now. Here's somebody that quit thinking about their own trouble and thinking about how can I minister to somebody else. And in the gospel of Luke chapter 22 verses 31 to 32, Jesus said to Peter, I pray that your faith will not fail. And in fact, the fact is that Peter did deny the Lord, but his faith didn't fail. His faith continued. Jesus' prayer on his behalf was answered. But he said then, when thou art converted, strengthen the brethren. Peter disobeyed.
Peter denied the Lord. But he said, when you're converted, when things are turned around, now you strengthen the brethren. You're able to strengthen and help somebody else. Now, many times there are people who are sincere and want to help others, but they don't know how.
They don't know what to say. This says that you're able to comfort others with the same comfort with which you have been comforted. Have you been comforted with the promises of God? Have you been comforted with the realization that there's instruction given you as to how you're to conduct yourself in the time of trouble? Have you been comforted with the recognition of his divine sovereignty, that he had a purpose in your trial? He is teaching you. He is training you.
He is bringing you to a greater level of spirituality. Do you understand that? I had to say that sometimes Christians have the idea, well, the way I comfort somebody is say, well, now, you know, it's not really all that bad. Does that help anybody that's in deep trouble?
Minimizing whatever their trouble is? No, it won't be. Or to say, well, now, cheer up because it's going to get better. How do you know?
Are you a prophet? It may get a lot worse. Sometimes they can get a whole lot worse before they get better, so how are you going to tell somebody it's going to get better? That's no comfort. You comfort them with the same comfort wherewith you've been comforted. You comfort them with the truth of God's Word. And if you've really learned by your experience, you've had some of your dross consumed, you've had some of your pride burned out, so you're not going to come at somebody challenging them, speaking harshly to them. You're going to come with a heart of love.
Yes, there's a place for confrontation and boldness, but when you've been down in the dark places, when you've been in the depths of the valley, when you know something of your own weakness, you're going to have some of the compassion that our Heavenly Father has shown you. You're going to be prayerful. You're going to be faithful in the utilization of the Word of God.
Romans chapter 15 verse 4 says, For whatsoever things are written the fourth time are written for our learning, that we might through patience and comfort of the Scriptures have hope. We might comfort from the Scriptures. We want to comfort somebody.
We use the truth of God's Word. Verse 13, Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace and believing that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost. Paul said in 2 Corinthians chapter 7 verses 4 to 6 that God comforted us by the coming of Titus. God does use others to comfort us. But it's not just a matter that my friend is here, I'm thankful for their presence. It's a matter that we recognize still that God is the source of our comfort.
It comes from Him, so we're not looking to the channel of it, we're looking to the source of it, but we are thankful for the channel through which it flows. Great is my boldness, he says, great is my glory of you, I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. For when we were coming to Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side, without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless, the God that comforted those that are cast down comforted us by the coming of Titus. It's God who comforts those that are cast down, and in this case, He blessed Titus to be the channel of it. May we recognize God is the God of all comfort. And may we pray, Lord, use me as a channel of comfort for somebody else.
Must be the same comfort with which you were comforted. Not some worldly wisdom, but the truth of God's word, because you're pointing that individual to God himself, who is the source of all comfort. Living below in this old sinful world, are we a comfort can afford, striving alone to face temptation's sword. How often the Lord's children have suffered greatly because in the time of difficulty, rather than to turn to their Heavenly Father, they've leaned upon the arm of the flesh.
They have turned to worldly wisdom and to counsel which is not at all biblical and consequently not God honoring. What reassurance we have to know that our Heavenly Father cares. He knows our circumstances. He loves us. He encourages us to call upon Him.
And there's where we find our source of comfort, the God of all comfort. He uses His word to enlighten us, to instruct us, and to give us the promises that we so desperately need. I hope that you will write us this week, letting us know that you have listened to today's broadcast. Till next week at the same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. Yet when I face the chilling hand of death, where could I go but to the Lord? 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. Where could I go, where could I go, seeking a refuge for my soul, needing a friend to save me in the end? Where could I go, where could I go, where could I go but to the Lord, to the Lord? Where could I go, to the Lord?
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-21 02:08:43 / 2023-05-21 02:19:12 / 10