Summary: The God we worship deserves our trust. He promises to never let us down.
1. A Story of Trusting God
Henry Moorhouse came to a Welch mining town to hold a revival meeting. The most immoral, violent man in town was Ike Miller. Ike hated church and sent word to Moorhouse that if he preached, Miller would pistol-whip him. The men of the community told Moorhouse to return home, that it was not worth the price for him to be beaten. Moorhouse told the men that the service would go on and that he would trust God.
That night the service began and Ike was not present. The little congregation was packed with curious people, they had come to see if Ike would come and beat the preacher. They enjoyed a few minutes of singing and then Henry Moorhouse stepped into the pulpit to preach.
Immediately, Ike came through the doors, sat down on the front pew, crossed his arms and stared at Moorhouse. The look in his eye was hatred. The congregation wondered what Moorhouse would do. He did as promised and preached his heart out.
At the end of the service, Ike stood up and went out the door. He walked by his favorite tavern and ignored the invitations of his drinking buddies. He went into his house where his children ran to hide and his wife braced herself for another beating from a drunken, violent husband. But not this night.
He kissed his wife and tenderly gathered his two children into his arms -- something he had not done for years -- and sobbing, he told them that they were going to pray that night. He gathered his family together, they bowed their heads, and they began to pray. Ike was embarrassed that he did not know how to pray but remembered a little prayer his mother had taught him years ago. "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, Look upon a little child; Pity my simplicity, Suffer me to come to thee." Ike Miller was a changed man!
What had Henry Moorhouse said that so moved this man? How had the heart of a violent, angry man changed? The lesson that night was John 3.16.
2. We would easily say that it is good to trust God. -- National Motto: In God We trust -- Proverbs 3.5-6
3. To trust, we must sometimes "leave it in God's hands." This is often easier said than done as we want control or we may want to "help" God (Abraham and Sarah)
a. At times we ask, "Why?" and don't have a clear answer
b. Uncertain futures -- [R.E. Lee at Gettysburg, "It's in God's hands, now."
c. When we get in over our heads -- by our doing or someone else's
1) Daniel in the lions' den
2) 3 Hebrew boys in the furnace
4. We know Jesus "left it in God's hands."
a. His Ministry
d. Even when he felt forsaken -- Matthew 27.46
5. When we trust God, we put our lives in his hands:
I. God's Hands of Strength
A. Creative Strength --
13 My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together. Isaiah 48.13
B. Combative Strength
Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power,
your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy. Exodus 15.6
C. Corrective Strength
1. Bad things happen to good people -- Job 2.10b
Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?"
2. Sometimes hardships are an indicator of the hand of God improving our lives
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah 5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah Psalm 32.3-5
3. When the pressures of life unnerve me I will say:
"The pressure I feel right now is the squeeze of God's Hands on my life as he is shaping me."
But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64.8
II. God's Hands of Steadfast Love
A. God's Expression of Devotion to Us
1. He practices the love of the first and second commands
2. To "US" and to "ME" -- Galatians 2.20
B. God's Supportive Hands
1. [Adults support children when they are learning to swim; go to deep water; hold up; the child practices; the adult lets go, but is always nearby
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. 36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. Psalm 18.35-36