Trusting God

Trusting God

There’s a story about a guy named Speedy Morris. Speedy was a basketball coach for LaSalle University. He was shaving one day when his wife hollered that he was wanted on the phone by Sports Illustrated. Speedy Morris was so excited by the prospect of national recognition that he nicked himself with his razor and ran down the hall with a mixture of blood and shaving cream on his face. He rushed down the stairs so quickly that he slipped on the third to the last step and fell to the floor. Limping in pain, he finally got to the phone and the voice on the other end said, “For just a dollar an issue you can get a one year trial subscription…”

The pain of disappointment is something all of us are familiar with. Few things are more important than trust between people, and few things are more devastating than to have that trust violated.

For example, can you remember a time when you were counting on someone to be there for you at some critical moment, but they failed to show up? Have you ever given your heart to someone, only to have that person break it? Have you ever shared a secret with a friend, but they gave it away? Have you ever put your faith in a doctor, financial advisor, or a preacher, only to have their “wisdom” prove disastrous? Have you ever devoted yourself to an employer, only to be laid off for a younger person who could be paid less?

In December 2001, I was told my job in forest industry was over. The news shocked me. I had just completed next year’s forest management plan and financial budget on time. I had been a faithful, hardworking employee for 26 years. I had done nothing wrong. Under my leadership, my division was making profits.

I felt my boss, who delivered the news, had hit me in the stomach. Immediately, I heard the Lord say, “Do not fear. I have something else in mind for you. Trust me.”

Peace quickly returned to my soul, because I heard His voice and remembered what the Lord did in the past. I had learned to trust Him. I didn’t know what the future would hold, but I would trust His Word to me. My boss was amazed at how gracefully I received the news about my lay-off.

At 51, I had to trust God for a new career. I applied for many forestry jobs, first locally, then all over the country. God tested my trust in Him while I waited six months before being offered a job. Nevertheless, God was faithful and moved me to a less stressful forestry position in another state. There, I met new people with whom I could share Christ.

Now at 67, God has moved me to DeQueen and I must trust Him to sell my home in Delight to relieve the huge debt I incurred in this move. Again, I don’t know what the future will hold, but I will trust His Word to me and share Christ with people here.

Psalm 62:5-8 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

It is only when we put our faith in God first, that the rest of life falls into place. The career that shows so much promise, the children that seem so exceptional, the nation that appears so strong—all these things are like shifting sand. They offer us no permanent security! The rich can’t make their lives secure by the things they collect. The poor can’t make their lives secure by getting what the rich and powerful have. Security, hope, peace, love, and salvation can’t be bought!

Only when we completely trust God can we see the purpose of other things. Everything else in our lives is to flow from that trust.

God lifts our burdens, comforts our grief, forgives our sins, and bears with our unfaithfulness. God’s love and trustworthiness are proven most strongly in the suffering of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus came and died to atone for our sin. He rose again from the grave and sits on the throne as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He did everything He said He would do. He has proven He is God, and He has proven He is trustworthy. It should not be difficult to trust Him! But vainly, we still struggle. Why?

Isaiah 26:3-4 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

The world we live in is a scene of anxiety and turmoil all around us. It may be the natural thing to fear what we see in the world, but we have been born again of the Spirit and we no longer live by the natural instincts. The old, natural man has been put to death. We now walk by the Spirit. Our lives, our hope, and our trust is in Jesus Christ, not in the so called, “reality” of this present world.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Yes, it’s hard to not be anxious when the bills seem to overwhelm us (gas, electric, water, phone, mortgage payment, car payment, doctor bills, and etc.). It is hard not to be anxious when we are facing health issues. That is why Jesus so often says, “Fear not”.

He also said in John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Therefore, how can we trust God with financial shortcomings, declining health, broken relationships, job losses, calamities, wars, and tribulations and still have peace?

2 Corinthians 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

It isn’t enough for believers to carry the Bible in their hands. They must read it, trust it, and obey it. That means total commitment to Jesus Christ. That means rejecting the ways of the world. That means taking every fearful, anxious thought captive and rejecting it. That means focusing on what God said, trusting Him, and obeying Him even if we must suffer.

Why did Adam and Eve disobey God in the garden? They did not trust God! The devil is behind our mistrust in God. He is quick to bring fear, doubt, and anxiety. The devil still asks us the question, “Did God really say…? Oh, but your situation is different.” Like Adam and Eve, we believe the devil instead of believing God!

The #1 problem from the beginning of Creation and in our life today is lack of trust in God! We lie to others because we don’t trust God. We steal because we don’t trust God. The reason every time we sin is because we don’t trust God.

Brothers and Sisters, I’m not just identifying a problem this morning. I am warning us! If we do not properly learn to deal with life’s problems and trust God, those problems will kill us spiritually. We must look to God for our peace. If we look for inner peace in any other place, we will come away empty.

Another thing we must understand is this: There will always be new problems, cares, and worries to take the place of the ones that we have just overcome. And God will handle those, too, if we let Him. So don’t live in fear about what the future holds. Trust God.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The battle is in our minds. That is where Satan whispers words of doubt and fear. However, the one whose mind and trust is on God will have perfect peace.

If we go through a whole day without thinking about or communicating with God, we will lose God’s peace. Therefore, God’s will is for us to pray continually.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Remember this: God will keep, in perfect peace, those WHOSE MINDS ARE STAYED ON HIM!

The reason why so many Christians do not have the peace that passes all understanding is that they have stopped focusing on God. They are focusing on their problems and their meager and totally limited abilities to fix those problems. Perfect peace will come to those who CONTINUE TO TRUST GOD!

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Walking with Christ is not an occasional thing. Jesus is not our genie that we can go to whenever we want something. Sure He blesses us, but He wants our lives. He wants our fears. He wants our dreams and desires. He wants us 100% of the time.

When Christ is allowed to be Lord of our lives, He is always on our mind and our lives are filled with the joy and peace that only Jesus can provide. We need to trust Him and look to Him as we face difficult decisions and tasks, but we also need to trust Him with our everyday “little” problems. We must keep Christ on our minds throughout every day, whether we face problems or blessings.

Is that possible?

Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

We don’t have the strength to overcome the world and the enemy. That is why we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, who is God in us. He will keep our minds on Christ and His Word.

But instead of seeking the Holy Spirit, we give into an overwhelming urge to do battle with every single thing that comes our way. We never give a thought of how God might fit it into His plan. So we lie in our beds, unable to sleep, because our minds are on our problems instead of God.

Instead of worrying, why don’t we pray until the Holy Spirit gives us trust in God and sleep comes? Is it because we might be just a little bit too proud and we don’t want give up control and trust God? Could it be we want things done our way and we don’t want to wait for God to work it out His way? Could it be that we just don’t want to admit our limitations and our sin? Maybe that is why God says, “humble yourselves” when it comes to prayers.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

God’s will is to give us the victory. God’s will is to give us the peace which passes all understanding. But, we continue to miss His will by not submitting to it, by not seeking it, by continuing in pride, by not repenting of our sin, and by failing to seek out the strength and peace and victory that God has for us through prayer, through trusting Him, and through the grace of the Holy Spirit.

How long will we stubbornly insist on trying to handle all of life’s problems by ourselves? Can’t we see how we are hurting ourselves in both the physical and the spiritual realms? It is time we go to Gethsemane and give up our own will and way!

Those who trust in God are those who pray about everything! Some will say, “I don’t need to pray because I trust God!” We never see Jesus doing that. We never see Paul doing that. The real reason we don’t pray more is because we don’t trust God enough. If we trust Him, really trust Him in everything, we will pray continuously.

Furthermore, those who trust in God will win other people to Christ. The best evangelism strategy is to show the unsaved how much we trust Him!

Psalm 56:10-11 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Do people see you as someone who is always fearful, anxious, or complaining? Or, do they hear you talk about your faith and trust in Jesus Christ? People will not believe your faith if you are worrying, complaining, and have no trust in Jesus to work out your problems for the good.

On the other hand, if you are fully trusting God, you will attract people to your faith. That trust will fill you with peace and joy. They will see your trial and your peace and joy in the Lord, and they will desire that grace for themselves. They will want to know its source. And if you unashamedly tell them about Jesus as your source, they will come closer to believing you.

1 Peter 3:13-17 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

Those who trust in God will serve God in everything they do and whatever they must endure. It’s not more passion we need in order to serve God. We need more trust. The passion will come from trust—never the other way around.

If we trust God, we will give our life to God. We do that by believing Jesus Christ is the Son of God who atoned for our sin on the Cross and rose again from the dead to sit at the right hand of God the Father. What we believe, we confess to others and act on it.

Therefore, if you believe in Jesus Christ, repent of your sin and self-rule, and make Jesus your Savior and Lord by following Him in water baptism. It will be a death to your independent life and you will be born again of the Holy Spirit, whose fruit of peace and joy will flood your soul. He will lead you to fully trust God every day in every situation.

   November 2018   
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