Title: “Complete Confidence in the Shepherd”
Over the last several weeks, we have been looking at Psalms 23. We have read this Scripture & we have Heard it quoted for years.
But when I began to break it down verse by verse, this passage of Scripture came Alive to me. I began to see the Heart of David, & the Confidence that he had in “His Shepherd.”
Psalms 23: 6
“Surely goodness & mercy shall follow me All the days of my Life; And I will dwell in the House of the Lord Forever.”
What was David saying to us in this verse of Scripture? He was saying, “I am going to Trust God & have Complete Confidence in Him regardless of the Situation.”
Faith is not merely you holding on to God--it is God holding on to you.
Stormie Omartin said, “Trust that God has your best interests in mind & be willing to do what He asks of you, even if you don’t Understand Why. Obedience starts with having a Heart that says Yes to God.”
Trust- It is assured reliance on the Character,
Ability, or Truth of Someone or
Something. It is one in which Confidence is Places. It means to
Commit or Place in one’s care.
I. God Wants Us To Trust Him In Every Area
Of Our Lives.
Proverbs 3:5-6, 8
“Trust in the Lord with all your Heart, & Lean not to your own Understanding;
“In all of your ways acknowledge Him, & He shall direct your paths.
“It will be Health to your Flesh & Strength to your Bones.”
Psalms 118: 8
“It is better to Trust in the Lord than to put Confidence in man.”
“You will keep him in Perfect Peace, whose Mind is stayed on You, because he Trusts in You.
“Trust in the Lord forever, For in YAH, the Lord, is Everlasting Strength.”
David is saying in this Psalm, “I have a Good Shepherd that is Constantly watching over me & I can Trust Him, to take care of Every Area of My Life.”
How many Christians actually Feel this way about Christ? How many of us are Truly convinced that no matter what happens in our Lives that Goodness & Mercy are going to Follow Us because we are in the Shepherds Care?
It’s Easy to Speak this way when everything is going great;
-If my Health is Excellent.
-If my Income is Flourishing.
-If my Family is all doing Well.
-If my Friends are all Found of Me!
It’s Easy to say, “Surely Goodness & Mercy Shall Follow me all the days of my Life,” when things are going according to my plans.
But what Happens when it seems as if the Bottom Drops out of your World & it Feels like God is a Million Miles Away? Have you ever been there?
1. What do I say when I stand by the Bedside
of someone that I Love & They aren’t
getting any Better?
2. How do I react when my Job folds & there isn’t enough money in the Account to meet the bills?
3. How do I respond when Everything isn’t Peaceful in the Home?
4. What do I say & how do I Respond When Suddenly I’m facing an Enemy & he is doing his best to Destroy Me?
These are the Times that Test a Persons Confidence in the Care of Christ. When my World seems to be Unraveling at the Seams, can I still say, “Surely Goodness & Mercy Shall Follow Me all the days of my Life?”
Or is this just simple just another Religious Platitude that we Quote?
-God will take care of you!
-Just Trust the Lord.
-God’s got Everything under Control.
-Do we Really Believe what we’re saying?
Do we Really Trust God in Every Area of Life?
(We Want To But Do We)?
A. Do We Trust God In The Area of Our Finances?
-Is it God’s Money or is it Yours.
-Does Your Checkbook say, “I Trust God?”
-Does Your Checkbook say, “I’m a Steward”.
-Money Talks, it really does!
-Can you Trust God with the Tithes?
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, In what way have we robbed you? In Tithes & Offerings.
“You are cursed with a Curse, For you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My House, And Prove Me now in this, says the Lord of Hosts, If I will not open for you such a Blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” (Do you believe that)?
B. Do We Trust God To Direct Our Steps?
God doesn’t save your Soul from Hell & then say, “Good Luck, now you are on your own.” But He desires to Direct our Steps as we walk through Life!
“The Steps of a Good Man are ordered by the Lord, & He delights in his way.
“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His Hand.”
C. Do We Trust God To Be With Us In Every Situation That We Face In Life?
“When my Father & my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.”
D. Do We Trust God To Meet All Of Our Needs?
-Do we believe that God is going to watch over our Children?
-Do we believe that God will take care of our Bodies?
-Do we believe that God will Fight our Battles for us?
-Do we really believe that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or Think?
-Do we really believe that God is concerned & in control of every Area of our Lives?
If we are Single do we really Believe that God is able to Lead us to the Right Person?
If we are Struggling with a Problem in our Marriage, do we really Believe that God is Able to do a Work in our Home, & we don’t have to Lean to our own Understanding?
Philippians 4:6-7, 19
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by Prayer & Supplication, with Thanksgiving let your Requests be made known to God.
“And the Peace of God, which Surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts & minds through Christ Jesus.
“And my God shall Supply all your Need according to His Riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.”
II. God Wants Us To Trust Him Even When Life Doesn’t Make Sense.
Catherine Marshall tells this story. He had a friend named Marge that boarded an Airplane bound for Cleveland. As she settled into her seat, Marge noticed a Strange Phenomenon.
On one side of the Plane a Sunset Light up the Sky & it was Beautiful. But out of the other Window next to her Seat, all Marge could see was a Sky Dark & Threatening, with no Sign of a Sunset.
As the Plane’s Engines began to Roar, a gentle Voice spoke within her. It said, “You have noticed the windows, He murmured beneath the Roar & Thrust of the Takeoff.”
“Your Life, too, will contain some happy, beautiful times, but also some Dark Shadows. Here’s a Lesson I want to teach you to save you much Heartache & allow you to “abide in Me” with continual Peace & Joy.
You see, it doesn’t matter which Window you look through; this plane is still going to Cleveland. So it is in your Life. You have a Choice. You can dwell on the gloomy picture.
Or you can Focus on the bright things & Leave the Dark, Ominous Situations to Me. I alone can handle them anyway. And the Final Destination is not influenced by what you See or Feel Along the Way.
Learn this, Act on it & you will be Released, Able to Experience the “Peace That Passes all Understanding.”
Have you ever said to yourself, “God I want to Trust You, but it is hard for me to see Your Hand in this Situation?”
-Are you really with me now?
-Are you really aware of what I’m Facing?
-Because right now Lord it feels like a Solo Flight.
I’ll never forget a Funeral Service that I went to years ago in Nashville. The man that Died was only in his 40’s & he had a Wife & Two Teen-age Children.
You want to say, “Why God I just don’t understand?” The Choir sang a Song that I had never heard before. It was entitled, “When you can’t Trace His Hand, You’ve Got to Trust His Heart.”
1. Job was a man who Trusted God.
-He Lost His Health.
-He Lost His Wealth.
-He Lost His Children.
-His Friends said, “You’ve got sin in your Life.”
-His Wife said, “Curse God & Die.”
-Job said, “I know my Redeemer is Alive.”
“Look I go forward, but He is not there, & backward, but I cannot perceive Him;
“When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him.
“But He knows the way that I take; When He has Tested me, I shall come forth as Gold.
“My foot has held fast to His Steps; I have kept His Way & not turned Aside.
“I have not departed from the Commandment of His Lips; I have Treasured the Words of His Mouth more than my necessary Food.” (I’m not giving up on God).
2. The Three Hebrew Boys Trusted God.
It’s easy to Trust God on the Mountain Top, but Trusting Him when you are facing a Burning Fiery Furnace is another Story! Why were they facing this Fiery Furnace?
-Did they Sin against God? No
-Did they have a Lack of Faith? No
-What did they do to deserve this?
-They Refused to Compromise their Beliefs.
-Then why were they going through a Tough Time?
-Because the Enemy didn’t like it!
-In this world, we face an Enemy.......
“If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to Deliver us from the Burning Fiery Furnace, & He will deliver us from your hand, O king.
“But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we Worship the gold image which you have set up.”
We read this Story & it excited us, because we know the Rest of the Story, but they didn’t at the Time! All they knew at the Time is, it looked like they were going to Die because they Refused to Compromise!
-God didn’t spare them from the Fire.
-They were bound & thrown into the Fire.
-The fire was even 7 times its Heat.
-But something Supernatural Took Place.
When the unbelieving king looked into the Fiery Furnace, he said, “Didn’t we throw 3 men into the Fire?” I see a 4th man in the Fire & He has the Face as the Son of God!
I’m not for sure if these Jewish Boys saw the 4th Man but they didn’t need too! It was the king that needed to see Him! But just because you can’t see Him, doesn’t mean that He isn’t there for you!
3. The Apostle Paul Trusted God.
-He was Stoned & Left for Dead.
-He was Beaten with Rods.
-He was Beaten 5 Times by the Jews.
-He faced False Accusations.
-He faced many Sleepless Nights.
-He faced Imprisonment.
-But Paul Trusted God!
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who Love God, to those who are the called according to His Purpose.”
III. What Does It Do For The World & Us When We Learn To Trust God Completely?
1. It helps us to be able to Rest in Him.
Why should we worry when He has promised to take care of us? We have a Shepherd who is Watching over us!
2. It helps us to be Able to Enjoy the Journey.
I’m afraid that many times that we don’t enjoy our journey through Life because we are constantly worrying about all of the “What If’s”.
3. It helps us to know that we don’t Always have to know all of the Answers for Everything in Life, because we know that He Does.
The Old Song says, “Many Things About Tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand but I know who Holds Tomorrow & I know who Holds my Hand.”
4. It helps us to Realize that God is the One Who Fights Our Battles for Us!