Joseph Prince - When Life Doesn't Make Sense
God wants you to know that he loves you, and perhaps what you're going through right now that you cannot understand and you say, "Where, where, where are all his promises"? Well, David asked that one time, all right? David asked where are all his promises. He was going through a tough time, and he might say, "What happened to Psalms 91? What happened to this? What happened to that"? This morning I asked, and I claimed, and I told God, "I have favor with you. I want a cark park, Lord". And then, someone else took my car park, Lord. Where are all his promises? Are his mercies clean, forever gone, you know?
So I wanna share with you, perhaps you're going through something more serious, but I wanna tell you something that God will not leave you alone. And for some of you, in fact, many of you, perhaps what you're going through is because your Father is loving you, okay? So let's look at Romans 4. We are continuing where we left off. Romans 4, says, "To the one who does not work," and he was talking about Abraham as an example, a prime example, let's look at Abraham first, okay? Verse 1, "But what then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh"? Now, Abraham, what did he find according to the flesh? What did Abraham, our father... when he says, "our father," he was speaking to the Jewish crowd.
And that's the thing that we need to understand when we read our Bibles. Some people don't understand, you know? They say, "Pastor Prince, the letters are all written to the Christians". Yes, yes, for the most part, it's all written to the Christian, but sometimes the writer will pause and address the Jews. Sometimes he will pause and address the non-Christian Jew or Gentile, amen. And he is saying, "our father Abraham". Obviously, he's writing to Christians as well as also to the Jews that are listening to this sermon when it is being read. "Our father Abraham," all right? What did he find? "If Abraham was justified by works," if he was made righteous before God by works, by his efforts, "he has something to boast about, but not before God. What does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness'". "It was accounted to him for righteousness".
I want you all to say a Greek word after me right now. Say, "logizomai", from the word "logic," right? The word "logic" is from there, "logizomai". "Logizomai" means "accounted," or you find the word "impute" in the Bible is "logizomai," okay? Let's keep on reading. It says here, "Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt". So if you work for something, all right, the person that you work for have to give it to you because he owes you, not as a grace to you, right? Am I right? If you work for it, you earn it, then it cannot be given to you. Your salary is not given to you by grace. It's given to you because you work, amen. "But to him who does not work but believes on him who justifies the ungodly", very, very interesting statement.
A lot of people missed it. The Bible says this very clearly, and if you look carefully at this phrase, "God justifies the", who? Which category? Mm, one more time. Are you sure you read that? "God justifies the", "God justifies the", "God justifies the", okay, getting stronger, "God justifies the", how can God justify the ungodly? Many a times, you read real fast. You think that God justifies the godly, but here it says, "God justifies the ungodly". And "It is those who does not work," all right, "to be right with God," those who does not work, use their efforts, "but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted, is imputed, 'logizomai,' for righteousness".
So we make sure we understand this because this is the kind of faith that God says, all right, "makes you a righteous man in my eyes". But it is a faith that believes on him who justifies the ungodly. How can a holy God, a thrice holy God who cannot pass over sin, justify you and I, the ungodly? There must be a solid foundation, amen. So verse 6, now, "Just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works", so how can God imputes righteousness to you and I, ungodly people? On a solid foundation, his Son's death, amen. The death of our Lord Jesus Christ, that sacrifice of infinite worth has settled the question of sin forever, all right? There's a finality. It is done. It is finished, amen. Doesn't mean you are perfect today. Doesn't mean I'm perfect today, but God sees us righteous, amen? All the blessings of the righteous are ours.
For example, in Proverbs, "There shall no evil happen to the just". That's yours now, amen. That's yours now. Doesn't mean you won't have negative events, but it will not be evil. All things will work for good because "There shall no evil happen to the righteous". For example, in Proverbs, it says, "The seed of the righteous is delivered". That's you. Your children are delivered. You don't know where they are? Right now, you don't know where they're gonna be this week, but wherever they are, they are delivered because they are "the seed of the righteous". Claim that. Believe that. Rest in that. Can I have a good "Amen"? Praise the name of Jesus. You are the righteous. "The effectual proven prayer of a righteous man availeth much". That's you, and when you pray, amen, God hears. Praise the Lord.
Of all the people in Singapore, when you pray, God hears. I'm not referring to New Creation Church. I'm referring to everyone that's born again, whichever church they attend, amen. They're the people of God. They are righteous. Even those fighting this message, they are righteous, amen. So I'm coming now to the dealings of God. Let's look at this now. And the blessed, verse 7, David described the blessedness of a man. I won't go into it because I did that last week. You can get that message. "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin". Very interesting, the second part. "Blessed is the man to whom", so our sins our forgiven. That means, at the cross, God put all your sins on Christ, and you are forgiven completely. Can I have a good "Amen"?
So "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin". This word, "shall not," is double negative, "ou me," in Greek, which is, "ou" is used for "never," already by itself, or "no" or "not," all right? "Me" is also used for a negation. You put them together, you have a strongest negative, "shall not". God will not, never in any way, impute sin to you, and the word "impute" is "logizomai". Now, a Greek scholar says, "logizomai," and I've memorized his definition. He says, "logizomai," "impute," has got to do with reality. If I suppose, if I reckon, I "logizomai" that I have $25 in the bank, it is because I have $25 in the bank. It does not deal with suppositions or my opinions. It deals with facts. Are you listening?
So when God imputes righteousness to you, it's not like make believe. It's really imputed righteousness to you, but don't forget, this righteousness, in a sense, is not produced from you. It is given to you as a gift because Jesus received your sins and become the sin offering on the cross. He did not do sin to become sin at the cross. You do not do righteousness. You receive righteousness, the same way Jesus received your sin. All right, this last part is the part I wanna focus on before I close. Are you ready? Okay, look at Hebrews 12. Hebrews 12, "You have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: 'My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by him. Whom the Lord loves he chastens, scourges every son whom he receives'". Next, "If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father does not chasten"?
Now, the word "chasten" here, just to let you know, the Greek word for "son," child, a young child, is "pais". "Pais". The word for "training a child" is "paideuo". The noun is "paideia". The verb is "paideuo". "Paideuo," the Greek word "paideuo," "child training," is where we get the word "pedia". A "pediatrician," a doctor that deals with children. "Pediatrics," all right? It's from the Greek word "pedia". "Pedia," the noun, all right? "To train". So whatever it is, it's not child abuse, all right? It's not punishment for the sake of punishment. It is training a child. Now, God will not impute sin to us, but if we continue in our selfish ways, and many times, we are very, very blinded to our selfish ways, God will discipline us, but he will not use sickness. He will not use disease to discipline you.
If you have a sickness and disease, hey, God wants you well. Don't buy the idea from anywhere, any branch of Christianity that tells you that sometimes God discipline you with sickness. God does not do that. Whatever Jesus took at the cross, God doesn't want you to take or else he's wasting all that work, that beautiful work at the cross, amen? But we will suffer persecution, yes, yes. People make fun of us. That's part of our discipline, our child-training as we grow on. We build a resilience, amen. We have this attitude that we have just been criticized. Who criticized us or that person? Nothing much. I thought it was God. Listen, we are not under law. We are under grace. God does not impute sin to us, but he will discipline us.
I said he will discipline us. Like, for example, Jacob is someone who has the righteousness by faith. In and of himself, he was a crook. In and of himself, he deceived. He even deceived his father, who was pretty blind at that time, you know, and the father says, "Is this Jacob"? "Yes, now touch me". Actually, he wrapped the whole thing up with the goatskin, so his brother was hairy. His name is Harry, hairy Esau, okay? So, and the father felt him, and the father says, "Yes," feels like my son Esau and he deceived his father, right? Finally, he found the woman of his dreams. He loved that woman, wanted to get married to her, okay? He loved the younger sister, Rachel.
Finally, the wedding day came, all right, in Middle Eastern time, all right, back in those days, they are fully covered, all right, the bride. I don't know what happened that night, all right. The candle was blown out early or too fast or whatever. All I know is the next day, a man yelled, "Get out of my bed. Who are you"? And you know what? He realized it was not Rachel. It was Leah, the older one. Poor Leah, the things that she had to go through. And he was very angry with the father-in-law and says (Laban was the father-in-law), he says, "You deceived me". Going back, all right, to his father, "Is this Esau"? "Yes, Dad".
So we don't see ourselves many a times, but God will deal with... they're not under law. They're people that God dealt with. So even though you are righteous by faith with the blessings of Abraham, God will love you so much, he will deal with you. Is there a frustration in your business life? Is there a frustration in your married life? Is there something you're going on, and you say, "I claim, I claim it"? Maybe it's not the claiming. Maybe it's not the trying to claim Psalms 91. In some cases, Psalm 91 is still real, amen, but God is wanting to develop your character. He's the God of Abraham, the God of faith, response of faith, then Isaac, the heir who receives everything. That's what we all do also. But then he's the God of Jacob, dealing with the character. Then God wants to deal with your character, but he'll never impute sin to you.
Verse 9, and I'll close with this. "Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us" now, in the old King James, it says "We have had fathers of the flesh". I like that. I prefer that. I tell you why in a while's time. "Furthermore, we had fathers of the flesh who corrected us", human fathers, I know, but fathers of the flesh, all right, "and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits" so, actually, it's a contrast between "fathers of flesh", which is our natural father, and "Father, the Father of spirits".
So that tells us what? God does not deal with your flesh. God doesn't put sickness on your flesh. God is not dealing with your flesh. God is dealing with your spirit. And many a times, the correction come from the pulpit. I agree. I know word of faith, you know, teaching is that God only corrects with the Word, but many a times, those who need the Word are not attending church. Those who need the Word are not reading the Bible. So how does God correct them then? Disappointments, frustration, closed doors, like punching, punching, punching, only to find his hand bleeding, you know, frustration. And all the while, God is loving. You're shouting at God while, all the while, God is loving.
God does not mind being misunderstood as long as his will is accomplished in your life of developing you so that all the draws from that gold that you are will all be melted away, and you'll come forth as fine gold. Maybe that colleague that you have, he's actually God's dishwasher. You know the one that bothers you all the time or the boss that you have because the Bible says, one time, God uses language in Psalms 60: "Moab is my washpot". What? By the way, Moab is where Ruth came from, right? And God says Moab literally, in those days, in that day and age, they don't have dishwasher, but they have a special pot, all right, of water where they wash their utensils and, you know, cutleries and stuff, and dishes, and God is saying, "Moab is my washpot". Moab is the one that's always, all right, a thorn in the side of Israel, always bothering Israel. Ruth came from Moab, by the way. It's present-day Jordan, all right? And they're always a pain in the posterior end.
They're always, you know, do you have colleagues like that? "Pastor, don't do anything. He's sitting beside me right now". Family member. Family member. "I feel sometimes I don't know what, you know, what's going on in our marriage". It's like, hey, you are being washed. Laban, the father-in-law was Jacob's washpot. Are you listening? Jacob had to learn his lessons the hard way, but God never left him alone. But when you see God talking to Jacob, there's no rebuke. At Bethel, God says what? "I'll be with you. I will keep you. I will bless you". No correction, but in his life, in his actions there was correction. In closing, I just wanna say this. There are those who say, "Well, sometimes God takes you home". He disciplines you. He takes you home early.
I got a problem with that because the Bible says, when God discipline you, there's a lesson to learn, okay? He doesn't use sickness or disease. It's a lesson. If he take you home, you are there. What lesson to learn? Let me prove that, okay, and kill that once and for all. I only have time for that, and then we close. Look at this, last part, "Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live"? "And live"? "And live"? "And live without you, without you". Whatever the correction is, it produces this: We live. We live. We live. Another five years, another ten years, and the lesson we learn, if we are humble to say, "Lord, thanks for that disappointment," or people say something, "You know, he said that... how can a person say that"? Then you realize there is some truth in what the person says, amen? You learn from that.
Whatever is not true, throw it away, but don't be so fast to, sometimes it's your wife that God uses. It's amazing how God uses his washpots, I'm telling you. Then another thing is this: We gotta learn to confess "I'm the righteousness of God in Christ. Christ is my wisdom. Christ is my righteousness. Christ is my holiness". And whatever it takes, God will allow you to go through experiences whereby you say, "I'm not holy in and of myself. I cannot be holy". Then you become partaker of his holiness. A lot of people misread the last verse. One more verse, verse 10, "For they indeed," our parents, "for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them", sometimes what is "best to them" is not best for us, right? And they can make mistakes because they are human parents, "but he," our Father, "for our profit", underline that, businessman. Underline that, CEO. Underline that, amen? Underline that, "for our profit".
He always does it for your profit. God doesn't do things with glee... You know? "I have been waiting to whack that one". No, God does it for our profit. Not only that, "That we may be partakers of his holiness". But some people read like this, "That we might learn to be holy". Doesn't say that. It says "That we may be partakers of his holiness". Christ is my holiness. Whatever discipline it is, we come to a place to not rely on ourself but to partake of him, to learn to say, if you see yourself having a lot of problems, you know, you don't know why your eyes are full of adultery, all right, 'cause some men have this problem, or you don't know why you're always irritable, all right, always irritable, you know, you buck at the first statement someone makes, just realize all this discipline is bringing you to a place whereby you're seeing yourself, and then you say, "Jesus, you are all beautiful. I don't see any beauty in me. I partake of you. You are holy, altogether holy".
Holy is beautiful. Holy means "whole," amen? And holy is the word "whole," from the word "holy". "I partake of your holiness. You are my righteousness. You are my holiness," amen, church? And then you're growing in the Lord, praise God. And then, you know what? You become someone that people can rely on, trust, because you're not always quick to blame someone else, amen? It all began with the garden. The devil tempted Eve. Eve fell. Gave to her husband. Her husband ate. Then, when God came, God says, "What has happened"? The woman says, "The snake". Adam is more classy. He blamed two at one time: "The woman you gave", so comes the blaming game.
If you're gonna be a leader, take responsibility even for people who fail under you. Like it or not, you're responsible. You understand? Amen, learn to be someone, and I'm telling you, a lot of people don't want that kind of role. That's why people have this kind of role, they have power, they have poise, they have royalty, they have that kind of, because people know that they're someone, but, actually, this person is not strong in and of himself. He appears strong to people because he's strong in the Lord. He's putting his trust in the Lord. And if there's disappointments, stop, or I say, "Lord, I thank you for this lesson. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord". You feel like you're jealous of someone? Say:
Lord, I thank you, Lord, for exposing that. I thank you I'm still your righteousness in Christ, but thank you for exposing that. You know, I realize I'm jealous because there might be a belief that I don't trust you so much, Lord. Maybe I believe that you bless others more than me. I repent of that. Lord, you can bless him. Why can't you bless me? Thank you, Lord.
It's a wonderful relationship, and God knows that. And many a times, when you have that kind of lesson, you don't need so much lessons, okay? My time is up. Give him praise. Hallelujah, thank you, Jesus.