Summary: We all face trials and tests in our Christian lives, but it is not the trials and tests that are significant, but how we respond to them. This sermon is an example of how I learned to rely on God more in uncertain times.
SLIDE # 1
FINDING YOUR WAY IN UNCERTAIN TMES
PROVERBS 3: 5-6
When I left here last week, I was suppose to be finished with one week-long intensive course, home for the weekend, and heading to another week-long intensive course at IWU for next week. But, due to some unforeseen circumstances, I came home Tuesday night, and am now not going back next week.
To make a long story short, Tuesday night I received a phone call from a local sheriffs deputy that my daughter had been dropped off at the emergency room for what would be best described as self-inflicted reasons. There are several other things that are going on through this situation. Some that I was already aware of. Some that I had no idea about. And some that had me just plain confused. Praise God that she is alright, and that there is no permanent damage of any kind from this, but the truth be told, there are some mental, emotional, and spiritual things going on in the background of all of this that are concerning.
In fact, my wife and I have found out over the last several years that when you decide to serve God with all you have, you are going to be tested. When I pray for protection at the beginning of service, I do that because I have seen how Satan will attack you, your family, and your life when you are trying to follow Jesus Christ. I have seen how he will try to pull you back into your past, through your actions and your attitudes. I have seen how he will attack the one’s you love the most, distracting you from the mission that God has given you. It is not a matter of if you will be tested or attacked, but when. And we have been hit hard, especially over the last few months, and I ask you to continue to pray for me and my family.
Now I don’t tell you this story so that you will feel sorry for me or my family, or that you will feel sorry for my daughter, or that you will run and tell everyone that the pastor has issues in his home. I tell this to you so that you can learn in the same way I have learned that my relationship with God means so much more than my life situations, that my relationship with God means so much more than going to him when I need him, that my relationship with God is what defines who I am, not my circumstances. This week has helped me to see God and my relationship with him in a new perspective, and I want to share that with you this morning.
The Scripture we are looking at is a familiar one for most of you and should be one that many of you have memorized. In fact, if you don’t have it memorized, I suggest you do. It is helpful in any situation.
SLIDE # 2
If you have your Bibles with you, turn to Proverbs 3: 5-6. If you don’t have your Bible the Scripture will be on the screen.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. (Nkjv)
Like I said this is a really short and easy piece of scripture to read, memorize, and interpret. It is really pretty straight forward, but I found out this week that even though I had known these verses for many years I truly didn’t understand the depths of what it meant for me and my Christian life.
So today, I want to give you 3 insights that I have received from this verse on how to find your way in uncertain times.
1. When I am weak then I am strong
As we look at the first 2 lines of this text there two are words that I want us to concentrate on, the words Trust and Lean.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
As modern Americans when we think of the word trust, we tend to think of it as relying on somebody or something.
But was that the meaning of the original word when it was written in Hebrew?
I ask that because sometimes words from Hebrew or Greek do not translate well (or at all) into English, and many times we have taken a word (love/believe) and diminished the meaning of it.
So as I looked up the original meaning for the word trust in Hebrew I found out that it means “to lean with the full body,” “to lay upon,” “to rest the full weight upon.”
In our thinking the word trust means to rely upon or to have confidence in. But the Hebrew word is stronger. It is the idea of stretching yourself out upon a bed or laying on a hard surface. The word means to put your full weight prostrate on something.