Summary: A short sermon for our older congregation on whether God can be trusted (or better asked ’what can God be trusted for?’)

"Can God be trusted?" Silver Service. 8th Sept 2005

I’m a police officer and occasionally park my cruiser in residential

areas to watch for speeders. One Sunday morning I was staked out in

a driveway when I saw a large dog trot up to my car.

He stopped and sat just out of arm’s reach. No matter how much I

tried to coax him to come for a pat on the head, he refused to budge.

After a while, I decided to move to another location. I pulled out of

the driveway, looked back, and learned the reason for the dog’s

stubbornness. He quickly picked up the newspaper I’d been parked on

and dutifully ran back to his master

That dog trusted his master and was trustworthy

Can God be trusted?

- of course, the answer is easy when you’re a child, teenager or early 20s

o but when you’ve seen much of life? Events? Tasted, watched suffering?

o "Can God be trusted"

Well- I believe, even to the wise and mature (particularly to the wise and mature!) the answer is, in the end, very simple:

- absolutely! And in every way!

But the question to ask is not ’can God be trusted?’

- as we can then think ’God can be trusted to do whatever I want!’

- it’s: what can God be trusted for? What does He promise

Now, some examples: Does He promise:

- that we won’t have troubles?

o Far from it.

o JN 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.

o But how does He continue? "Fear not, I have overcome the world!"

o There are troubles… and even the child of God is not exempt from them… but Jesus overcame the world and so can we. John, Jesus’ best friend, teaches that the right kind of faith in God can overcome anything! (1 Jn 5:4)

- That we will understand everything?

o Nope. I LOVE this passage from Proverbs 3. It says that we should TRUST the Lord… that He can be trusted… and that we shouldn’t lean on our own understanding.

o What does that mean

" Don’t let your limited understanding hinder you

" Don’t rely on your own wisdom… understanding… it will let you down

o My favourite passage in the Bible is IS 55

ISA 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,"

declares the LORD.

ISA 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Does God promise that we won’t get old?

- actually- there’s lots in the Bible about getting old: and it’s seen as positive, as well

o grey hairs!

o Wisdom! Respect! Close to God! Honoured!

- And we are encouraged to prepare for it in the right way.

ECC 12:1 Remember your Creator

in the days of your youth,

before the days of trouble come

and the years approach when you will say,

"I find no pleasure in them"--

- Lay a foundation and habit pattern of praise while we can

Does He promise that we won’t die?

- well… again.. so much of the bible is actually ABOUT this and preparing us FOR this

o and, again, it’s seen as positive! Because we can ’go to be with the Lord which is far better!"

o it’s not saying there isn’t a sting to it! It describes the sting of death

" but that it is defeated… the last enemy!

- Nope: God can not be trusted to make sure we never die

o Heb 9:27 ’each person is destined to die, and after that give an account for their life’

BUT there are promises in the Bible. What do you make of this?

JN 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

What’s this talking about? It sounds like a promise. And God can be presumed on for His promises!

- His promises will never let you down. Other things will

o Cf Aunt Bessie’s puddings What’s the one thing in life that will never let you down?’- Aunt Bessie’s’ Yorkshire puddings! Advert posted through doors in Jan 97. Filed in Ills drawer.

o USA. ’Human fly’. man who would climb up buildings etc. Eventually fell and was killed- found in his hand a wodge of cobwebs. He had grasped at something not real, solid.

What’s this saying? That we will ’never die?’. And is it backed up elsewhere?

It’s a clear promise… 100% reliable.. that all who call on the Lord will

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