Summary: A deductive exposition of the text introduced with a series of stories about the necessity of trust in all relationships.
Theme: God’s Presence/Trusting God
Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness calling God’s people in my care to trust God completely because he is with us and will not abandon us.
Response: Individuals choosing to trust God in this new school year will stand to pray with me.
Can you imagine a marriage without trust? If one spouse cannot trust the other, will either one ever be comfortable in their relationship?
What would happen in a family where the parents refused to trust their children? Would they ever leave the house?
What if your boss didn’t trust you to do your job? How long would you stay at job where your supervisor stood right behind you all day?
How long can two people stay friends if they don’t trust each other?
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT TRUST IS ESSENTIAL IN ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS, EVEN WITH GOD.
We can take a look at the history in the Bible to find how true that can be.
Joshua and Caleb said “Do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them” (Numbers 14:9).
That kind of “God-is-with-us-we-will-win” trust can be seen in more recent history too.
William Carey, often called the father of modern missions, faced a ministry disappointment of overwhelming proportions. Carey began his missionary career to India in 1793. He labored in that country for 40 continuous years, never once returning to his native England. Carey was a prodigious translator, translating portions of Scripture into over a dozen Indian languages.
One afternoon after 20 years of plodding labor in that country, a fire raged through his printing plant and warehouse. All of his printing equipment was destroyed, but most tragically, many of his precious manuscripts were completely consumed by the fire. Of course, Carey had no computer back-up files or Xerox masters. Twenty years of nonstop labor were gone within a few hours.
How would he respond to this crushing devastation? Carey wrote to his pastor-friend, Andrew Murray, in England:
“The ground must be labored over again, but we are not discouraged…. We have all been supported under the affliction, and preserved from discouragement. To me the consideration of the divine sovereignty and wisdom has been very supporting…. I endeavored to improve this our affliction last Lord’s day, from Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." I principally dwelt upon two ideas:
1. God has a sovereign right to dispose of us as he pleases.
2. We ought to (comply) in all that God does with us and to us.”
Citation: Bill Mills and Craig Parro, Finishing Well in Life and Ministry (Leadership Resources International), pp. 101-102; submitted by Dave Parsons, Santa Rosa, California © 2001 PreachingToday.com / Christianity Today, International
That kind of “God-is-with-us-we-will-win” trust can be seen a story told by television and radio talk show host Larry King.
He talked about three farmers who gathered daily in a field during a horrible drought. The men are down on their knees, looking upward, and praying the skies would open and pour out a much-needed rain. Unfortunately, the heavens were silent, and the petitioners become discouraged, but they continued to meet every morning to lift up their request to God.
One morning an uninvited stranger approached and asked the men what they were doing. They said, "We’re praying for rain."
The newcomer looked at each of them and shook his head, "No, I don’t think so."
The first farmer said, "Of course we’re praying. We are down on our knees pleading for rain. Look around, see the drought. We haven’t had rain in more than a year!"
The outsider continues to nod his head and advises them their efforts will never work. The second farmer jumped in and cried, "We need the rain; we aren’t asking only for ourselves, but for our families and livestock."
The man listened, nodded, and said he still wasn’t impressed. "You’re wasting your time," he said.
The third farmer couldn’t take any more, and in anger he yelled, "Okay, what would you do if you were in our shoes?"
The visitor asked, "You really want to know?"
The three landowners answer, "We really want to know! The future of our farmlands is at stake."
The guest announced, "I would have brought an umbrella!"
Citation: Larry King, Powerful Prayers (Renaissance Books, 1998), p. 243; submitted by Louis Lapides, Thousand Oaks, California © 2001 PreachingToday.com / Christianity Today, International
The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6,
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Thesis: Trust is just as necessary in our relationships with God as it is in any other relationship.