Sermon #1762                                                                     Miscellaneous Sermons

 

      Title:                                 He Careth for You

 

      Text:                                 1 Peter 5:1-7

      Date:                                Sunday Evening — September 14, 2008

      Subject:               Casting Our Care upon the Lord

      Readings:           Bob Poncer & James Jordan

                                                Psalm 37:1-40

      Tape:                    Z-53a

      Introduction:

 

1 Peter 5:1-7

 

Verse 1 ― “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder.” — When Peter speaks of elders among the people, he was not addressing one local church with a plurality of elders. He tells us this back in the first two verses of chapter one. He was writing to God’s saints scattered in many places.

 

(1 Peter 1:1-2) “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, (2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

 

The elders here were the pastors of individual local churches. There can only be one pastor in any congregation. There may be other elders within the assembly; but there is but one pastor.

 

And a witness of the sufferings of Christ.” — Peter was not literally an eye-witness of the sufferings of Christ. He had already denied the Master and went back to his nets. But had he been an eye-witness of the Lord’s suffering, that would not qualify him to be a Christian, much less a pastor. Multitudes were eye-witnesses of our Savior’s physical sufferings, who went to hell. Peter was more than one who saw the Lord’s physical sufferings. He was “a witness of the sufferings of Christ.” That is precisely what every true gospel preacher is ― “a witness of the sufferings of Christ.” The gospel preacher is a man to whom and in whom Christ is revealed, sent to bear witness of his sufferings.

  • The Person who suffered.
  • The things he suffered.
  • Why he suffered.
  • How he suffered.
  • The result of his sufferings.

 

And also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.” — All who are witnesses of the sufferings of Christ are also partakers “of the glory that shall be revealed,” the glory of Christ as our Mediator, the glory he obtained, the glory that followed the things he suffered as our Substitute (1 Peter 1:11).

  • Eternal redemption.
  • Eternal life.
  • Heavenly glory!

That glory he has given to all his people, and all his people are partakers of it. ― “When we shall see him we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is!

 

Verse 2 ― “Feed the flock of God.” ― The church of God is God’s flock. It is the pastor’s responsibility to feed Christ’s flock, the sheep and the lambs of Christ, with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15). Preaching is more than communicating facts and more than giving out the sense of a text. Preaching is feeding your souls with knowledge of Holy Scripture and understanding of your needs.

 

Preaching at one of our Bible conferences several years ago, Pastor Scott Richardson made a profound statement about preaching. He said, “Preaching is getting a message from God’s heart to my heart and delivering it to your heart. Anything else is just filling in time.” What a profound, insightful and needful statement! The Lord God promised to give his church pastors after his own heart, who would feed his people with knowledge and with understanding (Jeremiah 3:15).

 

He commands his prophets, “Speak ye comfortably to” — to the heart of — my people (Isaiah 40:2). That is the responsibility of a gospel preacher every time he speaks to eternity-bound men and women in the name of Christ. But it is a task no man can accomplish. The only way a mere man can speak the things of God to the heart of another is if God himself is pleased to speak through him.

 

Two hundred years ago John Rusk wrote, “I want an experimental preacher, one who, when he has had one meal, is tried how he shall get the next; one who is tormented with devils fit to tear him limb from limb; one who feels hell inside himself and every corruption in his nature stirred up to oppose God’s work; one who feels so weak that every day he gets over he views it as next to a miracle.”

 

Which is among you.” ― God’s servants are just sheep among sheep, sinners washed in the blood of Christ, saved by his grace, and robed in his righteousness, just like you. We know nothing in the church of God of “clergy” and “laity.” We are all one in Christ, on one level. My being your pastor and teacher is not the exaltation of one man above the rest. I simply happen to be the man among you appointed and called of God to be your pastor, God’s messenger to your souls, Christ’s under-shepherd, the one to whom he has entrusted the care of his blood bought sheep.

 

Taking the oversight thereof.” ― As your pastor, it is my responsibility to take the oversight of this flock of sheep. I am not responsible to take the oversight of any other assembly, and dare not presume to do so. But I am responsible to take the oversight of this assembly, and dare not fail to do so.

 

Not by constraint, but willingly.” ― This must not be something forced upon a man, something he is coerced into, but that which he is willing to do. I do not mean merely that the pastor must be willing to preach. Lots of men are anxious to do that. God’s servants are men who are willing to devote their lives to the care of God’s flock, watching over their souls as they that must give account, laboring in the Word to bring them meat in due season, praying for them, carrying them upon his heart, and seeking their eternal welfare in all things.

 

Not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” ― Faithful men are not motivated or in any way controlled by money and personal interests. They consider themselves debtors to all men and are ready to preach the gospel to all. Such men are to be provided for by the generosity of God’s saints, but will not enrich themselves by the most generous care bestowed upon them.

 

Verse 3 ― “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” — That man who is entrusted with the care of immortal souls must never presume to rule and govern the lives of God’s people. His business is to feed the flock and led the flock, being an example to the flock.

  • In faith.
  • In faithfulness.
  • In devotion.
  • In uprightness.
  • In love.

 

Verse 4 ― “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” — When Christ comes again, every faithful pastor shall, along with all the flock of God, receive “a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” We shall receive Christ in all his fulness and all the unfading glory of eternity!

 

Verse 5 ― “Likewise, ye younger.” ― By the younger, Peter means you who are younger in faith and you who are younger in years. — “Submit yourselves unto the elder. ― What wise counsel! Submit your judgment, your thoughts and your desires to those who have already walked in your path. — “Yea, all of you be subject one to another.” ― That is what it is to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-6:1). That is the way families get along. There is no other way to walk in peace, to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

And be clothed with humility.” ― If we would live in this world for the glory of God, serving one another, we must constantly clothe ourselves with humility, putting on the mind of Christ. To be clothed with humility is to consciously, and with deliberate purpose, walk before God acknowledging who and what you are before him and before your brethren.

 

(John 12:27-28) “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. (28) Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

 

(Philippians 2:1-11) “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, (2) Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (3) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

For God resisteth the proud.” ― We are all terribly proud creatures by nature. In our sinful, shameful pride, we stoutly resist God and God resists us. That is a battle we are sure to lose. The person who fights against God is a fool indeed. — “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!” (Isaiah 45:9). If the Almighty should lift so much as the finger of his wrath against you or me, it would crush us instantly and eternally into the lowest hell!

 

Yet, we are such proud, foolish creatures that by nature we all live with our fists shoved in the very face of God, defying his infinite holiness, justice and wrath! Those who do so have this promise from him – “God resisteth the proud.” If God resists you, you must be forever undone! If God almighty resists me, I am altogether without hope.

 

And giveth grace to the humble.” ― This same God, who resists the proud, “giveth grace to the humble.” Notice the conjunction. It is not “but,” but “and.” The very same God who resists the proud gives grace to the humble. If God resists me, I am damned forever. If he gives me grace, I am forever blessed and saved.

 

But how can a proud, stiff-necked rebel, a stout-hearted sinner, a child of Adam ever hope for grace, if God only gives grace to the humble? Obviously, grace must do something for me before I can ever enjoy the experience of grace. I will not attempt to explain the mystery of God’s gracious operations in the souls of men; but this much I know —— No sinner will ever be broken, humbled and abased before God until God almighty himself breaks, humbles and abases him by his grace. Grace operates on us and in us before grace is received by us. That which breaks the heart is the revelation of Christ in the heart (Isaiah 6:1-6; Zechariah 12:10; Acts 9:1-9).

 

God gives grace to the humble (Psalms 34:18; 51:17; Isaiah 66:1-2).

 

(Psalm 34:18) “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

 

(Psalm 51:17) “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

 

(Isaiah 66:1-2) “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (2) For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

 

Find me a truly broken soul, a broken hearted sinner, one who weeps over his sin before God, and I will show you an object of God’s grace, one to whom God has promised salvation.

 

All who are humbled by grace humble themselves before God and seek his grace, looking to Christ in faith; and all who seek the grace of God by faith in Christ, trusting his blood atonement obtain the grace they seek (Luke 18:9-14). Yes, God gives grace to the humble: saving grace, sanctifying grace, sustaining grace, sufficient grace, and satisfying grace! God gives grace, all grace, to the humble.

 

Verse 6 ― “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” — Since God gives grace to the humble, we are here instructed to humble ourselves before him, that we might obtain his grace. As I said before, I know that no one will humble himself, until he has been humbled by God. Yet, it is our responsibility to humble ourselves before the Lord God. All who refuse to do so shall be forever destroyed by him. All who do humble themselves before the Lord shall be forever saved by him.

 

Unbelievers

 

First, I take these words to be addressed to you who are yet without Christ, to you who are yet unbelievers, to you who are yet under the wrath of God. When Hezekiah the king was justly threatened with death because of his transgression, he humbled himself and sought the Lord his God. Therefore, because he humbled himself, God spared his life (2 Chronicles 32:26). It is written in the Scriptures: “He shall save the humble person...He forgetteth not the cry of the humble...He giveth grace to the humble...Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (Job 22:29; Psalm 9:12; James 4:6, 10).

 

(Isaiah 57:15) “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

 

I hope someone is asking, “What is it to humble myself in the sight of God? How can I humble myself before the Lord?” I do not pretend to be an expert on humility. But I do know this — If Moses was the meekest man who ever lived, then humility is not at all what men and women naturally assume it is.

 

If the hand of God lays heavily upon your heart, if you carry in your soul the sentence of death, if you are now under a sense of God’s justice, wrath, and judgment, and sense that you are rapidly slipping into hell, the Holy Spirit here calls you to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Are you interested in what is thus demanded of you?

 

The Publican

 

Look at the example given by our Lord himself in Luke 18:9-14.

 

(Luke 18:9-14) “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: (10) Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. (11) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (12) I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (13) And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. (14) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

 

If ever a man exemplified what humility is, it was the publican in the temple. Clearly, three things are involved in humbling yourself before God. If you would humble yourself before the holy Lord God, if you would abase yourself before him...

 

1.    You must acknowledge who the Lord God is in his infinite, unapproachable, sovereign holiness. “The publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast.” This man knew that he was unworthy to approach the living, holy, Lord God. And he knew that the root of the problem was his own wicked, depraved, deceitful heart. Do you realize that?

2.    You must acknowledge and confess your utter sinfulness. Oh, God help you to cry out to him like this publican, “God, be merciful to me a (the) sinner!” You cannot be saved until you take your place in the dust before God as a sinner. Take the ground he gives you, and plead for mercy. If you can, if you will, you will obtain mercy (1 John 1:9).

3.    You must see, acknowledge, and confess that the only grounds upon which God can or will forgive your sin is the blood atonement, the propitiatory sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. The word translated “merciful” is actually propitious. The publican was saying, God, look on the blood of your Son, the Mercy-seat, the blood of the Lamb, and forgive me. If in your heart you thus humble yourself before God, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, his salvation is yours!

 

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” ― Such humiliation is the way to exaltation. As soon as you thus humble yourself, the “due time,” the appointed time of your exaltation has come. No sooner does a sinner cry, “God, be merciful to me a sinner,” than he is exalted to sit among the sons of God, crying from his heart by the witness of the Spirit, “Abba, Father!”

 

(1 John 3:1) “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

 

Believers

 

But this call to contrition is also addressed, indeed primarily addressed, to you and me as believers, as the sons and daughters of God. — Whenever the hand of God is heavy upon us in loving chastisement, we are to humble ourselves under his hand. At all times, let us humble ourselves under his hand, knowing that in the hollow of his hand we are perfectly safe and secure. When trials, temptations, and troubles come, couch down in his omnipotent hand, and be at peace.

 

“Quietly submit to his will; patiently bear every affliction without murmuring, repining, or replying against him; be still under the rod, and despise not the chastening of the Lord; mourn over sin as the cause, acknowledge your vileness and unworthiness, and stand in awe of his Majesty, considering yourselves as under the mighty hand of God.” — (John Gill)

 

If we can, by the grace of God obey this word from our God, we will have little problem with the next part of our text.

 

Verse 7 ― “Casting all your care upon him.”

 

“Now I see, whate’er betide,

All is well if Christ is mine;

He has promised to provide;

May He teach me to resign.

 

When a sense of sin and thrall

Forced me to the sinner’s Friend,

He engaged to manage all,

By the way and to the end.

 

‘Cast,’ He said, ‘on Me thy care;

‘Tis enough that I am nigh:

I will all thy burdens bear;

I will all thy needs supply.’

 

Lord, I would indeed submit;

Gladly yield my all to Thee;

What Thy wisdom sees most fit,

Must be surely best for me.

 

Only when the way is rough,

And the coward flesh would start,

Let Thy promise and Thy love

Cheer and animate my heart.”

                                                                                                                                                                        John Newton

 

Some time ago, a very dear friend and brother in the Lord, one who was going through some real struggles and trials (Some he knew were of his own making.), said to me – “Don, I’ve been singing that hymn to myself for weeks, ‘Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.’ But no matter how I try, I just can’t leave it there. I wish I could, but I just can’t.”

 

Really, I do not know that any of us can leave our burdens with the Lord. We should. If we believed him as we ought, we could. But we simply do not believe him as we ought. Still, I will tell you what you can do. As often as a burden presses upon your heart, as often as a care arises in your soul to trouble you, you can cast it upon the Lord.

 

Will you please notice the tense of the word. It is not written in the past tense or in the future tense, but in the present tense, Casting all your care upon him.” It appears from the very tense of the verb that we are to be always casting all our care upon him.

 

I once read a very good sermon on this text by Mr. Spurgeon. It was quite good. It was profitable and edifying. But in the introduction to his message, he said, “There are some cares which we must not cast upon God.” But Mr. Spurgeon was mistaken. The Holy Spirit clearly says, “Casting ALL your care upon him.”

 

Let me talk to you now for a little while about our cares and the cure for care. Our Lord does not mean for us to be slothful, negligent of duty, or careless in our responsibilities. But he does mean for us to trust him with all the affairs of our lives (Matthew 6:25-34). Therefore, our text calls for us to cast all our care upon him.

 

Do not think that I am being careless with the Word of God when I tell you that there is no limit, no boundary, no extremity, no line which you must not cross in “casting all your care upon him.” The Lord God would have us to cast upon him, and to cast upon him constantly, all our cares!

 

Spiritual Care

 

Cast upon him all your spiritual care. ― Cast upon the Son of God the care of all your sins: past, present, and future (1 John 1:7). ― Cast upon him the care of your personal weaknesses (Philippians. 1:6; Isaiah 43:1-5). ― Cast upon him the care of your present temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13). ― Cast upon him the care of your future dangers (Romans 8:35-39). ― Cast upon the Lord Jesus Christ, your Savior, the God of glory, your heavenly Father, and the Spirit of sanctification, all the care of your immortal soul for all eternity (2 Timothy 1:12).

 

“What more can He say than to you He hath said,

You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?”

 

Earthly Care

 

If we cast upon him, if we truly cast upon him all our spiritual and eternal care, we ought not find it difficult to cast upon him all our earthly, carnal care. Again, let me say no more than I know to be true. But I must speak the truth. If I trust him with my corruptions, I ought to be able to trust him with my children. If I trust him with my transgressions, I ought to be able to trust him with my troubles. If I trust the Lord with my wickedness, I ought to be able to trust him with my welfare. If I trust him with my soul, I ought to be able to trust him with my body. If I trust him for all things in eternity, I ought to be able to trust him for all things in time. He bids us cast all our care upon him.

Š      The Care for Daily Bread

Š      The Care of All Earthly Needs for Ourselves and Our Families

Š      The Care of Our Businesses

Š      The Care of Our Children

Š      The Care of His Church and Kingdom

 

In all things, let us be careful to do our duty, to do what we are responsible to do under God. But having done what we are responsible to do before him, if we would live in peace, we must cast our care upon him.

 

Now, I want us to look for just a moment at the last line of our text. Here is a cause for confidence.

 

For he careth for you.”

 

Oh, what a word of grace this is! Children of God, we may confidently cast all our care upon the Lord our God, “for he careth for you!” It is good to know that he is strong, that his shoulders are broad, that he has the ability to carry the load of my care. But all that would be meaningless without these words, “he careth for you!”

 

(Zephaniah 3:14-17) “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. (15) The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. (16) In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. (17) The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

 

(Romans 8:28-39) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

He careth for you!” ― Get hold of this if you can. It will help you through your rough waters. This is what those words mean...

 

Special Love

 

The Lord God has a special love for you. This is the very heart and essence of all our comfort (Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 37:5; 55:22).

 

(Psalm 37:5) “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”

 

(Psalm 55:22) “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

 

(Hebrews 13:5) “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

 

The Lord Jesus says, to every disciple, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” When he comes to you across the troubled waters, hear him speak, “It is I, be not afraid.

 

It is I

 

In Mark 6, you will recall a time when the Lord’s disciples were in the midst of a terrible storm, in the middle of a dark, dark night. They were toiling hard with trouble, but everything appeared to be contrary to them. In those circumstances, our all-glorious, ever-gracious Savior came to his troubled friends, walking upon the sea that caused them so much trouble. As he approached their little, storm tossed boat, he said, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” Then, “he went up unto them into the ship, and the wind ceased” (Mark 6:45-51).

 

This is written in the Book of God for you and me, “that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). I trust that the Lord will graciously step into your storm-tossed lives and cause the winds that appear to be so contrary to you today to be calm.

 

Remember, it was the Lord Jesus who sent his friends into the storm, who sent them away from himself (Mark 6:45-46). He seems to have done so specifically that he might come to them when they desperately needed him, speak these words to them, and make himself known to them in a way that was not otherwise possible. Surely, that is the case with you. Listen, then, to the voice of your tender, omnipotent Savior in the midst of your storm. ― “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.”

 

Š      It is I” who raised the tempest in your soul, and will control it.

Š      It is I” who sent your affliction, and will be with you in it.

Š      It is I” who kindled the furnace, and will watch the flames, and bring you through it.

Š      It is I” who formed your burden, who carved your cross, and who will strengthen you to bear it.

Š      It is I” who mixed your cup of grief, and will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father’s will.

Š      It is I” who took from you your strength and health, your peace and tranquility.

Š      It is I” who made the light darkness about you and raised the contrary winds.

Š      It is I” who have done all these things, not against you but for you, not to hurt you but to do you good.

 

I make the clouds my chariot, and clothe myself with the tempest as with a garment. The night hour is my time of coming to you. The dark, surging waves and billows are the pavement upon which I walk. Take courage!

 

Š      It is I”. Don’t be afraid.

Š      It is I,” your Friend, your Brother, your God, your Savior! I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for your good.

Š      It is I” who brought this storm that assails you. Your affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above — a heaven sent blessing disguised as an angel of light clothed in a robe of darkness.

 

William Cowper’s hymn describes God’s ways so well. We need often to be reminded that, as Cowper put it…

 

“God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform.

He plants His footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.”

 

Deep, in unfathomable mines

Of never failing skill,

He treasures up His bright designs,

And works His sovereign will.

 

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,

The clouds you so much dread

Are big with mercy and will break

In blessings on your head.

 

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,

But trust Him for His grace.

Behind the frowning providence

He hides a smiling face.

 

His purposes will ripen fast,

Unfolding every hour.

The bud may have a bitter taste,

But sweet will be the flower!”

 

I have sent all in love! ― “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” ― “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (John 11:4, 40) This trail will not be forever. It will not always cast you down.

 

Š      It is I” who ordered, arranged, and control it.

 

In every stormy wind, in every dark night, in every lonely hour, in every rising fear, may God the Holy Spirit give you grace to hear your Savior’s voice, saying to you, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.”

 

(John 13:36-38) “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. (37) Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. (38) Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.”

 

(John 14:1-3) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

 

(Psalm 23) “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (2) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (3) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

 

Special Providence

 

The affairs of this world are under the dispensation of God’s special providence. God’s universal, general providence is directed by his special love for his own and his special designs of love for his elect. “He careth for you!” He is the Savior of all men in providence, but he is especially the Savior of those that believe.

Š      Romans 8:28

Š      1 Corinthians 3:21

 

Application: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.”

 

(Prov 3:5-6) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

“Humble yourselves before the Lord,

Bow to His sovereign will.

Children of God, the way to peace

Is bowing to His will.

 

Casting all your care upon Him,

You’ll find Him strong and true,

His shoulder’s broad to take the load

That now is crushing you.

 

Hear this inducement from the Lord,

Especially for you.

To help you cast your care on Him,

He says, ‘He cares for you!’

 

‘He cares for you!’ ‘He cares for you!’

Your Father cares for you!

‘He cares for you!’ ‘He cares for you!’

His grace will see you through!”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com