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My Times Are in Your Hands (Part 1 of 4)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
December 11, 2020 3:00 am

My Times Are in Your Hands (Part 1 of 4)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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December 11, 2020 3:00 am

When the world seems to spin out of control, we might feel thrown off balance and wonder if God really cares. How do we deal with life’s ups and downs? Study along with us on Truth For Life as Alistair Begg teaches us to relinquish fear to God.



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Alistair Begg

The this year you're filled with ups and downs for so many. You probably experienced a share of good days and bad days.

Maybe a heavy dose of unsettling days. So how do we make sense of all that is happening in our lives today.

I'm Truth for Life.

Alistair Begged reveals some basic truths about God's providence that are rooted in this simple phrase.

My times are in your can I invite you to take your Bibles and turn to the signs with me if you would book of signs we begin reading the first verse of Psalm 31 and you are Lord, I have taken refuge.

Let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in your righteousness turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue.

Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me since you are my rock and my fortress for the sake of your name, lead and guide me free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge into your hands I commit my spirit redeemed me oh Lord, the God of truth I hate those who cling to worthless idols. I trust in the Lord.

I will be glad and rejoice in your love for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.

You have not handed me over to the enemy, but have set my feet in a spacious place, be merciful to me oh Lord Fryman distress.

My eyes were weak with sorrow my soul and my body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish in my years by groaning my strength fails because of my affliction and my bones grow week because of all my enemies. I am the author contempt of my neighbors. I am a dread to my friends.

Those who see me on the street flee from me.

I am forgotten by them as though I were dead, I have become like broken pottery. But I hear the slander of many.

There is a tattered on every side. They conspired against me and plot to take my life, but I trust in you will Lord I say you are my God, my times are in your hands deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant. Save me in your unfailing love. Let me not be put to shame will Lord, for I have cried out to you, but let the wicked be put to shame and lie silent in the grave. Let their lying lips be silenced for with pride and contempt. They speak arrogantly against the righteous. How great is your goodness which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you in the shelter of your presence. You hide them from the intrigues of men in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues. Praise be to the Lord for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city in my alarm I said I am cut off from your site yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.

Love the Lord, all his saints.

The Lord preserves the faithful. But the proud, he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you hope in the Lord.

Amen. I want to draw our attention to one phrase in the reading that we just shared namely the opening six words of the 15 verse which read as follows.

My times are in your hands, my times are in your hands now. If anybody were to ask you what was the sermon about our church today you will be able to say it was about our times, being in God's hands and my purpose is not to expound the 31st Psalm, I want to deal with this subject topically, which I do sparingly but nevertheless do from time to time, but I do need you to notice that in the 31st in the verses that we read there is a cycle which repeats itself in the opening verses the psalmist is in anguish and by the time he gets to verse eight he has come to a position of assurance and just when it appears that everything is hunky-dory when everything is all right when the clouds are gone of the rain has stalled our eyes scan to the ninth hours and we discover that after the clouds have gone the rain has actually returned and he says again in verse nine. I am in distress is not an uncommon experience in life at a superficial level and at a more serious level. As I was thinking about it this week. I don't know why I'm playing there's you know what songs but the phrase that came in. It is from a different genre, but the phrase that came as I got to the nine verse was that I just when I thought I was over you.

Just when I thought I could stand on my own old baby. Those memories came crashing through I will I have a misspent youth or not.

I don't know but it is the pain of a guy who thought that he had managed to weather the storm. The clouds are gone, the rain, it ceased and it was all fine now and then all of a sudden broke over his head once more. That is the experience of the psalmist here and it is not unusual experience of Christian pilgrimage.

If we are going to be honest we need to admit the fact that on the path of faith there is the reoccurrence of pain and disappointment and distress, and difficulty and burden and disappointment and the key issue is what are we going to do with those realistic experiences I come to this because this year has been marked for each of us by a number of events, some of which have brought as encouragement and others of which have brought us pain. Few have been neutral, simple things have brought us joy resembled my favorite letter.

I want to read to you because you know I get some other letters that are in my favorites and I can derive great joy from something like this, written by a nine-year-old girl I preserve her anonymity's as dear pastor begged.

I like the way you preach each sermon. I also liked it when you came to Tampa Wingo and preached that's a little island up in the Adirondacks. You are a very nice man sees a perceptive younger you are also a funny man, I hear you on the radio a lot. You don't structure a lot. Let me be honest you do start to once in a while you say good and strong words. I like your friend then take much to cheer me up. A tall, but I don't want I so succession of letters written by nine-year-olds because then I have to reply to the mall but nevertheless there have been those and then there have been others, but you know I only keep the good ones there you sit here we are. Jumble of emotions cross-section of experiences the good the bad the ugly has washed over us in the last weeks and months in one of the distinguishing marks of the believer as opposed to the unbeliever.

The Christian as opposed to the person who just talks about Christian things is to be found in the way in which the believer views the passing of time and the ordering of the events of life, and here is the affirmation of the person who knows himself or herself to be. Despite the disasters despite the difficulties, under the care of Almighty God in a phrase, says the psalmist. My times are in your hands is a truth that is true for every believer you actually make one just to say it out loud to say that love my times are in your hands again.

My times are in your hands are easy.

It is this truth which will bring equilibrium to as in the span of events which would inflate our ego or crush our souls, and there are nine things that I would like to tell you which emerge from this simple statement. The first truth is this. Since my times are in your hands number one. I am not trapped in the grid of blamed forces. I am not trapped in the grip of blamed forces.

I am not stymied. If you like by fate. When Paul addressing the intellectuals of his day in the city of Athens and you can read this in acts chapter 17 began to speak to the people both in the marketplace and in the synagogue, and then eventually in a more rarefied environment. He discovered that the minds of the people had been percolated by two fundamental ideas. These ideas were largely attributable to the influence of two characters who had lived in the third and fourth century and the first character was a chap by the name of Zeno and this guy. Zeno is the father of Stoicism.

You remember he says that he was talking with some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers who are interested to find out what the babbler had to say because according to Luke Paul was bringing some strange ideas to their attention because these individuals were now finding out that there was a different way to view the world this little Jewish man who was proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ was calling in question. What many of them had taken as self-evident. Namely, that the ideas of this man. Zeno would live between 335 and 263 BC were really true, namely that the events of the world are determined by a merciless, cold and impersonal fate and so taught Zeno to his followers. Instead of trying to struggle with this. Instead of trying to change your circumstances if you're going to be truly story in your response then what you need to do is simply cast yourself on this merciless mover and learned to say case arrive sir, whatever will be will be the future is not mine to see case.

Sarah, no matter what comes the good the bad and the ugly. You just grip your steering wheel a little tighter and you say hey that's just the way it is, life is held in the grip of a cold, merciless faceless power cold feet and is blind impersonal force is often referred to simply as nature. It was then that it is today at his most evidential level, you hear it every two or three days. As you listen to the weather forecast as the chapel on the then the weather Channel are the lady on channel 3 whoever introduces as brightly as she can subject, which is before with the phrase well let's see what mother nature has for us today know what she's actually declaring there with her. She realizes her nod is a form of Stoicism that in point of fact, the way in which rivers run to the oceans. The cycle of the planets, the trajectory of the moon.

All of that is somehow or another simply like a spinning top that was wound up at some point in in eternity and was spun ones and it is now just spinning hopelessly and there are from it as if you like these forces which determine the way in which life goes in a more profound level.

This notion is evident in the pantheistic ideas of our prayers which are frequently propounded now in not only New Age gatherings but also in many church buildings and the notion is that we are simply individual cells in a single global organism that constitutes the air which is Gaia. If you haven't picked up on a tall, then you find yourself listening to it in the car and saying I wonder what in the world.

Gaia is and I wonder why James Taylor would be so interested in Gaia while it is because he has bought the idea he has bought the philosophy that we are somehow simply caught up as organisms in the mixture of all that God has done and that he, God himself is not distinct from his creation, but is trapped in his creation and what we have been is a form of late 20th century pantheism. What is brings with it is all kinds of chaos I say to you again that one of the most distinctive features of the Christian now is the way in which we will be able to articulate our view of the world.

We have lived through Marxism, which said, life has meaning and the dialectic which we hope will move us in the struggle towards a classless society, so at least a Marxist in the 50s in the 60s knew that there was a purpose and that's why they were so passionate in what they were doing and in certain areas of the world. They remain equally passionate. They know why they exist. They know what they hope to achieve in their given their very life's to achieve for the Hindu life is simply an endless cycle of birth and rebirth.

You hope that as you go through the cycle, you will eventually strike it rich and move on. For many of our friends. This is especially true of university students in the present time they have embraced form of nihilism, nothingness, whereby they are convinced that life is no meaning at all. There was nothing before you were born, there is nothing after you have done. I and so they have concluded that they are trapped in the grip of a blind force some of your counter worship this morning and that's exactly I just propounded your philosophy for you. How you sleep at night. What you do do drink whiskey to get off to sleep and when you awaken in the morning puts a spring in your step to die and go to who knows where.

Now, in contrast, the believer says oh no, my times are in your hands.

I am not trapped by a blind force. Secondly, I am not tossed about on the ocean of chance. This brings us to the other Kennington and egg 17. His name was Epicurus from which we get Epicurean he lived between 341 and 270 BC he passed on a system of ethics which is come right down to the 20th century for Epicurus the good was what life was all about.

And the good could be determined by what brings most pleasure.

Therefore, you spend all of your life trying to achieve the good and the way you achieve the good with my gain as much pleasure as you possibly could not find his Epicurus and his followers never pushed it to his logical conclusion didn't have to because you want to come people after them who would do that for for example, what you have in Sartre's philosophy which all of you when you went to school to as part of the foundational courses of philosophy of you live that a certain era. Sartre says okay I'll take that out pushing to his logical conclusion and he writes his first novel called nausea and he puts in the lips of one of his key characters requirements and the expression on the ultimate futility which is the flipside of the statement of faith. My times are in your requirements and is pictured walking in the city park and he is overcome by the nausea of the meaninglessness of life and as he looks around he concludes quote every existent is born without reason prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance, that is contemporary existentialism at the grassroots level where to get it everywhere.

For example Robin Williams dead point society can't PDM seize the day, you must do your best in the moment that you have now in one says that is a very fine piece of advice because we need to make use of the time that we have, because the time that we have is the time that we have, but the underlying notion in it, is that there was no yesterday, and there will be no tomorrow. Please actually doing propounding the empty philosophy of nature who declared there remains only void man is falling.

His dignity is gone. His values are lost, there is no difference between and down. It is become chilly and the dark Knight is closing in on you get that sense I get it in different places, I get it in springtime in Coventry.

I would say the Arabic coffee shop when it's 74 and Tana really interesting young folks are sitting on the wall. Despite the springtime sun on their shoulders. I know that they would be prepared to say it is become chilly in the dark night is closing in.

Because you see their living without hope and without God in the world they cannot see my times are in your hands because they believe their destiny to be in their own control. So what is the Christian say if to say, my times are in your hands means that I'm not trapped by blind check fate that I am not tossed around on the sea of chance. What is it is this. I am being trained in the school of God's providence, while men and women are smothered by the pessimism that we just described, and others embrace the kind of superficial optimism of hedonism. Sam says no, we can simply go to that the Christian affirms the truth that God has not abandoned the world that he created as deism, nor has he become absorbed by his creation as pantheism, but rather he is distinct from what he is made and he is working everything in relationship to his creation out according to his plan with a reassuring reminder that God is at this is true for life or series is called my times are in your hands. We all struggle from time to time to believe God's promises, especially when we find ourselves facing adversity, the famous preacher Charles Spurgeon was no stranger to trials.

It was during those times of difficulty. The God's promises became even more precious to him. In fact, he compared them to a bank check because they point to a future reality that has been guaranteed and that's the title of a book recommendation. We want to make to you. The book is called checkbook of the bank of faith each day. This compact one year devotional provides you with a promise.

God makes to us in the Scriptures, along with a brief reflection from Spurgeon. We may not know what 2021 has in store. But we do know that God keeps his promises. This powerful devotional will keep you grounded all year long and comes along with our thanks when you give today. Visit our website Truth for Life.org/donate or click the book image you find in the mobile app and if you have not yet ordered the documentary films American gospel. Don't miss this opportunity.

This double documentary takes a hard look at how a man-made gospel has taken root in America from New Age faith healers to the prosperity gospel to a version of Christianity. The promises that all roads lead to heaven the gospel of the Bible in our day is being distorted. This documentary series American gospel explores the difference between biblical Christianity and the increasingly popular messages that have led people astray. Both of these films feature interviews with dozens of preachers, including Callister bag there exclusively available on DVD from Truth for Life for only five dollars. The shipping is free and the DVD package includes a link for streaming.

Visit Truth for Life.org/store. One final note as you look ahead to Christmas. I want to tell you about a brand-new USB from Alastair titled the miracle of Christmas. This is a collection of eight brief series that explore the wonder of Christ's birth, no matter how long we been following Jesus. There's always something we can learn about this remarkable you can purchase the miracle of Christmas on USB today for just five dollars in the shipping again this visit Truth for Life.org/store and with the weekend upon us.

Keep in mind you're invited to watch Alastair as he teaches at Parkside church when our services are streamed live to see if Alastair is teaching this weekend and check the schedule a Truth for Life.org/live on Bob Lapine join us again Monday as Alastair continues her message. My times are in your hands the Bible teaching of Alastair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life learning is


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