Summary: The way is often perilous and hard. We can’t see what lies ahead, feeling helpless and alone. God wants you to trust even when you don’t understand, when the future’s uncertain, and you cannot go on. Trust Him.
Disclaimer: Source material for this sermon has been gleaned from many different sources. I have attempted to acknowledge these sources whenever possible.
“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.”
INTRODUCTION: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. If I were to ask you individually, most of you would say without hesitation that you trust God. Do you. However, if you are honest, you will have to admit that there are times when trusting is not so simple. The way is often perilous and hard, with no end in sight. We cannot see what lies ahead and feel helpless and alone in our struggles. God wants you to trust even when you do not understand, when the future is uncertain, when you feel like you cannot go on. God says trust Him.
I. Trust Him when the way is hard and perilous.
A. Life can be tough. How you can tell when it’s going to be a rotten day:
· You wake up face down on the pavement.
· You call Suicide Prevention and they put you on hold.
· You see a "60 Minutes" news team waiting in your office.
· Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.
· You turn on the news and they’re showing emergency routes out of the city.
· Your twin sister forgot your birthday.
· Your car horn goes off accidentally and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell’s Angels on the freeway.
· Your boss tells you not to bother to take off your coat.
· The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.
· You wake up and your braces are locked together.
· You call your answering service and they tell you it’s none of your business.
· Your income tax check bounces.
· You put both contact lenses in the same eye. – Source Unknown.
B. Job 14:1 “"Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.”
C. Life can be hard. The trials of life can be intense. Life often throws us into disarray and can cause us to be despondent and discouraged.
D. Consider Job and the hardships of life he endured.
E. Job 1:13-19 “Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; and a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away--indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"
F. Look at his response in verses 20-22 “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”
G. The ultimate reason, from our standpoint, why God fills our lives with troubles and perplexities of one sort and another -- it is to ensure that we shall learn to hold him fast. The reason why the Bible spends so much of its time reiterating that God is a strong rock, a firm defense, and a sure refuge and help for the weak is that God spends so much of his time showing us that we are weak, both mentally and morally, and dare not trust ourselves to find or follow the right road. When we walk along a clear road feeling fine, and someone takes our arm to help us, likely we would impatiently shake him off; but when we are caught in rough country in the dark, with a storm brewing and our strength spent, and someone takes our arm to help us, we would thankfully lean on him. And God wants us to feel that our way through life is rough and perplexing, so that we may learn to lean on him thankfully. Therefore he takes steps to drive us out of self-confidence to trust in himself, to -- in the classic scriptural phrase for the secret of the godly man’s life -- "wait on the Lord." – James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986