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December 15, 2020 3:00 am
Sometimes when were tired. Can't wait for him to hit the pillow. But what happens when life gets overwhelming and we feel worried or afraid where we find rest for an anxious soul today on Truth for Life. Alastair Begg teaches us how to find peace when were overcome by uncertainty is continuing a message titled my times are in your hands.
I invite you to take your Bibles and turn to the 31st Psalm Psalm 31 where our text this morning is in the opening phrase of the 15th ours. My times are in your hands before we turn to the Scriptures, let's turn to God father.
It is in no sense of routine that we pause before your powerful word to seek your help we come in our weakness in our frailty and in our need come to hear your voice speak, Lord, in the stillness, while we wait on the hushed our hearts to listen in expectancy, amen. We pick up where we left off having dealt with three statements which came under the heading. My times are in your hands. We said that in light of that essential biblical truth. There were three things that were initially true number one you're able to declare I am not trapped in the grip of some blind force. Number two I am not tossed about on an ocean of chance number three. I am being trained in the school of God's providence and in addressing the matter of Providence we pointed out that it was by definition, the continued exercise of God's divine energy, whereby the creator preserves all of his creatures is operative in all that comes to pass in the world and direct all things to their appointed and and as a result of having said that, we then were going to go on and consider other important elements which emerge from that essential truth and to these we know, my times are in your hands. Therefore, asperity should not be the occasion of Christ, the proud man or woman in the attic. An individual has never come to grips with Providence. The person who delights to say and so in all that I did it my way. I didn't do it in a shy way, and so on. The personal likes or turn that up full blast on their stereo and reflect on the last little period of their lives and puff out their chest and look in the mirror and congratulate themselves is on the absolute wrong end of the discovery of the doctrine of Providence and Calvin addressing that very issue says it is an absurd falling that miserable men take it upon themselves to act without God when they cannot even speak except he wills that miserable men take it upon themselves to live their lives as if they can go ahead without God.
When an actual flag for that they are prepared to accept it or not, they are unable to even put sentences together without the providential rule of God. So if I know as a farmer success in my sewing and I look out on the fields of plenty. If I understand the doctrine of Providence. Then I will not be quick to congratulate myself on how well I did.
I will be thankful for the fact that I was diligent and my workers were also but I will recognize as first Corinthians 37 says that while one can plans and another can water only God can make things grow tall, repairing it to spiritual things in first Corinthians 3 using the principle which is clearly from the physical realm in the same way if as a businessman, my enterprises have proved successful and I am able to reflect upon a 12 month period that I have known great encouragement, then I will praise God, if I understand Providence the degree to which I congratulate myself and make much of myself and tell others of my prowess and boast of what I have achieved is an indication of the five that I have not come to terms with the fact that my times are in his hands and what if we have known success in interpersonal relationships.
What if everything is going particularly well at the moment and we had eyes of an earlier.
We went in conflict with one and with another and now it seems that even our enemies are getting on with us and will even taking telephone calls from people that were prior to this very antagonistic. What are we going to say that we don't understand the doctrine of Providence we will say you know I'm really quite a likable fellow.
After all, I'm glad these people and suddenly understood or I'm so glad that I did what I did, I'd certainly won them over. We understand that our times are in God's hands and we will recognize as Solomon says in Proverbs 16, seven dads when a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord.
He makes even his enemies to live at peace with that.
He is the one who gives us favor with people and even with those who are our enemies.
Moses understood what he was called to go before Pharaoh you can read about it in Exodus chapter 3 he thought it was a daunting prospect. And God tells him he says you should understand this. I have my promise given to you that I will bring you up out of the land of Egypt, and in less you are in any doubt. Although you will be the one that is stretching out your hand over the sea, you need a mighty powerful hand to lead you out, and it will be my hand that lead you out, you have not only my promise and my word, but you have the power of my presence and also you will discover the provision that I am prepared to make for you and when you go back to Exodus 3 and read on. You will discover that those things are absolutely fulfilled as a result of God's goodness and the people from Egypt go scurrying out not simply able to lay down the bricks that had previously caused them so much heartache. It would be one thing if you just be eliminated and left in Egypt. It would've been another thing if they had been liberated and I managed to sneak how does it work, but no know they went out with great chunks of the produce of Egypt with them and they must've been going out sitting to one another. What a radical change in our circumstances. Only a few days ago we were making these horrible breaks and here we are. Look at his blanket, look at this rolled look at this wonderful pottery is in this fantastic ennui brilliance. This is God's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. We can even put a step in front of the other one.
But for his Providence.
So when we walked out with all this produce. We congratulate ourselves. While not because God doesn't share his glory with anyone else share it with arrogant businesspeople, snobby farmers stuck on themselves.
Pastors, egotistical churches doctrine of providence digs rude within our hearts we begin to see my times are in your hand that we recognize that prosperity is no occasion for pride. Also, we recognize that uncertainty should not be the occasion of panic when I travel. Now my wife looks after me so well that she tells me to take my pillow so I do. I feel a little strange. I try and hide it under cold or something, but I have my pillow because it's a great pillow and otherwise why would you take lessons like in all like that blanket that could suck on or something when they're small, we call it yeah security pillow yeah that's it security blanket. No, it's not when you put your head on at night while a pillow, given what you really put your head on at night. We have one of those thoughts is as big L die in my sleep. Ready for your head or I hope I won't do anything you put your head on is the providence of God, then you go to sleep.
The Puritan said Providence is a soft pillow for anxious heads and some of us are here this morning, and if we were to look up anxious in the dictionary to be a photograph of us right beside and find there is not enough room to put the faces of all the people who when you use the word anxious or worrisome or panic does not go. Oh yes I understand that most of the occasions of my worrying. Most of the occasions of my rising fears can be traced. Ultimately to a loss of confidence in the doctrine of Providence can be laid traced to the fact that I am prepared to say my times are in your hands, but I'm not prepared to live in the light of that truth.
So you lie awake at 3 o'clock in the morning and your life is passing before you faster than a weaver's shuttle, you feel yourself on a locomotive, the one that they have in France and goes through the tunnel. It's going to hundred and 48 miles an hour and you put no confidence that there's anybody up front and if they're upfront you think of fallen asleep at the wheel, and if they have fallen asleep at the wheel is no prospect of them waking up and even if they woke up, he couldn't find a break. Maybe just me.
Maybe she's meet reason newspapers and goes I am going to go crazy. Is this really the land of the brave and the home of the free section on this is our nation goes down the middle is not international sanctions and national section does not inquire this New York Times, and the stories are and there are just most unbelievably sad stories 54-year-old grandfather looking after his two-year-old grandson decides to take him sledding word is he taking dictation to suicide Hill was down the hill. His grandson is killed in between his knees and the force treated me is not good news. This course is my spirit without blueberry muffin in the Lodge. McDonald's coffee and the kids again. The paintball guns is the same column start firing him on the backyard start fighting paintballs up against the fence of the 64-year-old gentleman who lives next door who decides that the only way you can settle the issue is to get it at 357 Magnum is that we call the gun and come out over his back fence and an load to the bullets into the chest of the 19-year-old boy and when the 44-year-old father of the 19-year-old protest. He gives him two in the chest and to the bank just to go along with its sinking of the street is skittish.
This things off the rails. Do I go farther to the 42-year-old man living in a house with a 29-year-old woman that is a seven-year-old child, seven-year-old daughter is doing the dishes but not to the satisfaction of the 42-year-old man who slaps her so hard that she loses bladder control on the kitchen floor and as a result of seeing that he beats her into a convulsive home and the 29-year-old mother takes the seven-year-old and places her any garbage can in the backyard and sets fire to ask the people write me letters about this. The state why reducers are dreadful things on a Sunday morning I'm trying to cheer myself up. Well guess what song I and I want to know how to cheer myself up in light of that stuff and the only place I can leave my search somehow in the mysterious purposes of Almighty God, my times are in his hands. These evil times in which I live have not taken him by surprise. These dark and dreadful days have not overwhelmed me because I know that he is still at the tiller paying of concern for loved ones in our agony over their lives and their homes in their dreams and their futures on the ends of their days. All of this down on nights sentences is only one place I can go. I can only say my times are in your hands.
Prosperity must be the occasion of my pride. Uncertainty must be the occasion of panic and thirdly adversity must not become the occasion of self-pity.
If Joseph had operated beyond the pale of God's providence if he had only looked on the tragedy of his life if he only had looked at everything that he had missed out on in terms of his father's company in terms of this journey to a place he didn't know into slavery with people he didn't like to learn a language that he had never even considered. If he had focused on all of that if you use the passage of time and the inroads of an adversity to his soul into his mind as an occasion for self-pity. Then when he had the opportunity to greet his brothers, all that would've come out from him was just bile and just would have been vitriol all it just would have been Speights but you remember that wonderful scene in Genesis 45 when the brothers show up and they don't realize is Joseph, and Joseph finally says to them come close to me and when they done so, he said I'm your brother, Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt. How was love that phrase like you mean there was another one. That's the closest he gets to a little dated, I'm your brother, Joseph. You know the one you sold into each.
But he quickly follows it up, maybe even at that point he was maybe was going to take the low road at that point.
This is a now do not be distressed. Don't be angry with yourselves for selling me here because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.
God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on Eric to save your lives by a great deliverance. In other words, God knows what he's doing. My times are in his hat Joe in the experience of the loss of his loved ones as all manner of chaos and disappointment and pain is about to descend upon him. He acknowledges that he comes before the events that are there and he finds himself shaving his head and putting on his his role which is torn and he falls to the ground in worship and he says you know naked I came from my mother's woman naked, I shall depart the Lord gave on the Lord is taken away May the name of the Lord be praised, and in all this Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. I don't misunderstand that verse people have use this as a rod to beat themselves with. Because in the experience of pain and of loss. They have found themselves and why God why is this the case. That is one thing, the reference here is to the fact that Job did not charge God with sin, because he knew that God is incapable of sin if we'd seen them we would have seen his torn robe and we would have seen a shaved head and we would've said Job's in deep trouble. But if we had drawn close and Herod and pray, we would've known that in his tears he was trusting in the providence of God.
When David is subjected to abuse. First, from his own son and then from people around him. It's his confidence in the providence of God that gets in through one days walking down the street and a guy called share my approaches and he cursed as he came out and he began just a Carson abuse David and furthermore he pelted David and all the kings officials with stones. Anybody able to identify with us so far as a guy cussing you out and throwing stones at you. Let's be honest, how many of us are immediately going to send 3115. My times are in his hands.
Well, wait a minute I my times are in his hands will missed it.
Now were right here with a big guy. What a great idea. He is a dead dog. I like to cut off his hand, myself, but the king said what do you and I have been calling you sons of zero. I if he is cursing because the Lord said to him, cursed David who can ask why do you do this and David said to have a shine all his officials.
My son who is of my own flesh is trying to take my life. How much more than this Benjamite leave them alone.
Let him curse for the Lord has told them to. It may be that the Lord will see my distress repay me with good for the cursing. I'm receiving today, but the fact is, it may not and whether it is for good or for ill. My times are in a sense, and we sought to get to grips with this thought even in the middle of the storm. The fact is that in the middle of the store can sound trite to say these things, although it isn't, and often it will be time the passage of time. The change of circumstances that allow us to look back over our shoulders and begin even with a whisper of a child to recognize that there is no trying or even tragic circumstance, but that God is sovereignly permitted it. She logically there is no other choice.
You either have to be a Deist of a pantheist. We believe in the providence of God, you, I have to say I am I am being buffeted by a blind impersonal force. I am adrift on the sea of chance or is there there is a providential God who orders the affairs of time. If the providential God of orders. All the affairs of time, then by his permissive will he allow those things to pass to us through his hands, but they do not taken by surprise he sovereignly involved in the lifecycle of the sparrow and therefore he is profoundly involved in the circumstances of those whom he is made special objects of his mouth and therefore with confidence even in the face of difficulty we can be assured that since the fatherly providence of God is permitted.
These things he has done so for our good and his glory, and he will sustain us and he will watch over is in the midst of them, and even if it takes to heaven. He will then make clear to us what now we see through a glass darkly fatherly providence of God is a comforting refuge in the middle of the storms of life. Today's message is titled my times are in your hands, listing the Truth for Life with Alistair Begg. Our study about God's providence in the midst of prolonged periods of difficulty could not be more perfectly. Time to close out 2020 for all of us. This is been a year of challenges. So, our team has prepared a study guide that corresponds with this current series. My times are in your hands to great way to apply Alister's teaching in this series to your personal situation. If it feels like the wheels are falling off. This study is a great comfort to help you find rest and peace in God's sovereignty will find the study firstname.lastname@example.org/store may also suggest an inspiring collection of daily readings that will provide you with great encouragement in the midst of difficult times. This is a collection titled check book of the bank of faith 19th century pastor and author Charles Spurgeon wrote this he based the title on a comparison between God's promises and checks we write and give other people check is given to someone in the present, but it's fulfilled in the future when it's cashed in this devotional is checkbook sized. It comes with a rich leather cover.
It contains 365 daily readings which make it ideal for encouragement on the go just in time for the new year today is the final day were offering this book, so be sure to request your copy when you donate today. Simply tap the image you see on the mobile app or visit truth for like.org if you prefer you can call us at 888-588-7884 course you can always mail your donation to us and request the book right to truthful. I for PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, OH 44139. Finally, if you're looking for a way to share God's word in the year to come. Consider a Bible that we have just added to our store. We regularly receive requests from people for Bibles that can be purchased in multiple qualities to give to friends or to donate to organizations this edition of the Bible is priced to give away. It's a complete ESP Bible comes in a soft cover and it's available for purchase from Truth for Life for just two dollars you'll find it online that Truth for Life.org/store or you can order multiple copies through the app by calling us at 888-588-7884 Bob Lapine clicks regarding us. Hope you can listen again tomorrow.
The conclusion of our message and series titled my times are in your hand the Bible teaching of Alister Beck is furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is for Living