Today, we're going to talk about'trusting God. What does it mean to trust? To trust is to rely on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone. How would our lives be different if we completely trusted God? Our lives would have no worry and we would be full of peace and joy. That sounds pretty good.
So, why is it often hard to trust God? It's hard to trust God when things in life are difficult, when we feel like we're going through a desert time in our lives. During those times, we may ask questions of God such as:
Today, we're going to answer those questions from God's Word.
Isaiah 26:4 (ESV) Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
God's Word commands us to trust in the Lord and today we're going to learn how to grow in trusting Him. Young children are the best example of trust. They completely trust their parents to take care of them. Jesus said in "
Luke 18:17 (ESV) 'truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.
A child believes, trusts and receives everything God says without doubting. Young children will leap from chairs, couches or swings, trusting their parents to catch them. Young children don't worry, either about today or tomorrow. They simply trust their parent to take care of them. God wants us to trust Him just like a child. To trust Him even when we feel like we're in a desert. Why can we trust God even in the difficult desert times of life? We can trust God because of who He is, what He has done and what He has promised.
Today, we're continuing in our message series "Discover Hope? from the book of Isaiah. We will be looking at a psalm of hope that the prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 25-26. We are going to answer the question "How can I grow in trusting God? As you grow in trusting God, your worry and anxiety level will decrease and your peace and joy level will increase. So, let's begin. We can grow in trusting God as we ...
In this first point, we can grow in trusting God for our future by looking back to the past. As we remember what God has done, we should
Isaiah 25:1 (ESV) O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
Isaiah commits himself to exalting and praising God. He remembers the wonderful things that God had done in the past. The things that God has done in the past were done according to God's plans. God's plans for His actions are faithful and sure. God is sovereign over all His creation. Nothing happens without His permission, everything is under God's control. God's plans are always carried out and come to pass. So, we, along with Isaiah should daily praise God for the awesome things that He has done in the past. Things that we read about in the Bible, things that others have experienced and things that we personally have seen. God has faithfully done wonderful things for His children down through history. Not only should we praise God for caring for His children, we should ...
Isaiah 25:2,4a (ESV) For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the foreigners? palace is a city no more; it will never be rebuilt. " For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
The first part of this verse speaks of God's judgement on the cities and governments of His enemies. Their cities have been destroyed by the Lord of Hosts. As the first verse that we read, these verses are speaking of God's judgements in the past. Not only are God's enemies judged, but those the enemies have been oppressing are rescued. The second verse speaks of God being a stronghold and shelter for the poor and needy, both from their enemies and from the circumstances of life. The first way to grow in trusting God is to remember God's awesome deeds in the past.
The classic illustration of God's awesome deeds was the exodus of Israel from Egypt. God rained down His judgements on Egypt and its God's through the ten plagues. Then He rescued His people by drowning Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea. God delivered His people from slavery in Egypt and brought them into the Promised Land. There God continued to defeat their enemies for them.
To build your trust in God through such a story, you must believe that the God who did His miracles in the past can and will do miracles today in the present and in the future. Your trust in God will not grow if you simply believe He did these things in the past, but no longer works miracles and is sovereign over creation. As you praise God for His awesome deeds as you daily read His Word, your trust level will grow. You will see greater answers to your prayers. You can look back on the things that God has done in your past and in your family and praise Him for those awesome things as well. Next, in order to grow in trust, we ..
The salvation that God has for us has a present aspect and a future aspect. We praise God for what has already been accomplished in our salvation. And we praise Him for the fulfillment of our salvation when Jesus returns again. In the future, the last enemy ...
Isaiah 25:7-8 (ESV) And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.
The mountain spoken here refers to the mountain of the Lord, Mount Zion, the place were believers will live with the Lord when Jesus returns. But the important part here is the presently there is a covering, a veil that enshrouds and entangles all people. That veil is death, to which we all will succumb unless Jesus returns. God didn't create people to die, He created people to live forever. One day, death will be completely defeated. The dead in Christ will rise from the dead and God will wipe away every tear from every face.
Isaiah 25:9 (ESV) It will be said on that day, "Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
God will come to save us, to not only live with Him in spirit, but to live with Him on the renewed earth in glorified bodies. Today, we can praise God for our future salvation. Not only are our sins forgiven, but we have eternal life with Jesus. In that day ...
Isaiah 25:10-12 (ESV) For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain, and Moab shall be trampled down in his place, " but the LORD will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands. And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.
Moab was an enemy of Israel that was noted for its pride. Moab here refers to all the unbelievers and ungodly people. The essence of sin, the essence of rebellion against God is pride. Thinking that you don't need God and can handle life and eternity without Him. Although pride often leads to a fall in this life, when Christ returns, all the proud will be humbled and laid low in the dust. They will not participate in eternal life with God, but will spend eternity in hell, the place prepared for Satan and his demons. Even now, we can praise God for His present and future salvation.
How does this help us to grow in trusting God? Frequently in this life, we face trials that come from the two sources mentioned in these verses. The first is trials that come from the inevitability of death. The unbeliever has a fear of death. Yet we as believers should not fear death, but know that death is simply a doorway into the presence of God. When we face illnesses or our lives draw closer to the time of our departure, we can rejoice for the future salvation that God has for us.
The second source of trials mentioned in these verses are the prideful, those who oppose God and people who believe in Him. Even though we may suffer at their hands, even though we may be ridiculed or even persecuted, God will bring us through into His presence one day. Not only will we be rescued, but those who do not repent of their pride and sin will face God's judgement and be humbled for eternity apart from God's presence. Knowing the future, helps us trust God in the present. Finally, we can grow in trusting God by ...
In order to trust God, we must rely on His strength, not our own, in the present.
Isaiah 26:1-2 (ESV) In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: "We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
Although that day primarily refers to the future when Jesus returns, even now we have a strong city. The spiritual city that we as believers live in is the New Jerusalem, which really is the same location of Mount Zion.
Hebrews 12:22 (ESV) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
Who can dwell in this strong city? Only those righteous through faith in Christ. This strong city protects us from every attack of the enemy. Those who are in this city will be with God forever. As we learn to trust God, as we rely on God's strength, we come to one of my favorite verses in the Bible.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV) You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
God wants to keep you in perfect peace, not just in eternity, but in this life. This perfect peace is an internal peace that you can have, even though you may be going through trials of many kinds or conflicts. This perfect peace is a peace that relies of God's power, rather than seeking to do things in your own strength. With perfect peace, there is no worry, no anxiety, no stress. And how can we have this perfect peace? We keep on minds focused on God and trust completely in Him. When you learn to increasingly do that, you will be kept in perfect peace. We can learn to trust in the Lord forever, for He is an everlasting rock. When our feet our planted on the rock of Christ, no storms of life can move us from His peace.
This verse reminds me of the story of Peter in a boat in the midst of a violent storm. The wind was blowing and the waves were splashing into the boat when Peter saw Jesus walking on the water. There was perfect peace all around Jesus. Jesus invited Peter to join Him in walking on the water. Peter stepped out of the boat, keeping his eyes fixed on Jesus and began walking on the water, in a zone of perfect peace. Then the wind howled a bit harder and louder and Peter glanced at the storm and began to fear. Immediately he began to sink and called out to Jesus who reached out his hand to save him. No matter what storms are howling around your life in the present, seek to keep your mind fixed on Christ, trust in Him. He is right with you in the midst of the storm. As you trust in Him, he will keep you in the perfect peace of His presence. Rely on God's strength.
We can trust God because of who He is, what He has done and what He has promised to do. Let's encourage one another to grow in trusting God as we " Remember God's awesome deeds in the past. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still works miracles, He still moves mountains, He still heals the sick. We look forward to Jesus' return when everything that is wrong with this world will be made right. Death will be defeated, the proud will be humbled and the righteous will shine like the stars in the sky. We can grow in our trust of God as we believe that our feet are planted in a strong city. We are surrounded by God's protection. God will keep you in perfect peace as you keep your mind focused on Him and trust in Him with all your heart.