OceanSide church of Christ
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WHEN OUR TRUST IS TESTED
Victor M. Eskew
A. Trusting in God involves our putting all of our care into the hands of the Almighty God.
B. The Bible exhorts us to trust in God in numerous places.
1. One of the most familiar (Prov. 3:5)
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
2. Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us: Selah.
3. Isaiah 26:4
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.
C. It is easy to say we trust the Lord. It is much more difficult to possess a deep trust in God.
D. How can we know whether really trust God or whether our trust is artificial? The answer to this question is: When our trust is tested.
E. Those five words will be the title of this lesson: “When Our Trust Is Tested.” Let’s look at some of the tests that can confront our trust in God.
I. DIFFICULT COMMANDS
A. There is not one command that God gives to man that cannot be obeyed.
B. There are some commands, however, that can be difficult to carry out.
C. God’s command to Abraham regarding Isaac was a difficult command.
1. Genesis 22:1-2
And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
a. This was the son of promise.
b. This was a son whom he loved deeply.
c. The action of taking a life would be difficult, a human life, his son’s life.
d. Too, Abraham did not understand the purpose God had in mind.
2. Abraham deeply trusted God.
a. Genesis 22:3-6
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and cleaved the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and they went both of them together.
b. Hebrews 11:17
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.
D. Question: When we are faced with the difficult commands of God, will we respond in deep trust as Abraham did?
II. DREADFUL CHALLENGES
A. There will be times in our lives when our beliefs and practices will be challenged by others.
1. Those who challenge us will not be friendly.
2. Those who challenge us will seek to destroy us.
3. Those who challenge us may appear to be quite strong.
B. For Israel, a dreaded challenge came upon them in the days of King Saul. It was a challenge by a giant name Goliath (II Sam. 17:4, 8-10).
And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath, whose height was six cubits and a span…And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then we will be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
1. Goliath was an extremely strong and intimidating figure.
2. Goliath manifested no fear at all.
3. Goliath publically called for someone to fight him.
C. Prior to this day, had someone asked Saul if he trusted in God, he would have said: “Yes.” Had that question been posed to the soldiers in Saul’s army, they, too, would have said: “Yes.” Now, their trust was tested. Sadly, they failed the test (I Sam. 17:11).
When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
D. Question: When we are faced with dreadful challenges, are we going to stand against the enemy? Or, will we fail as Saul and the army of Israel did?
III. DEMANDING COURT
A. Even though governments are authorized and empowered by God, they are not always friendly to God’s people.
1. They do not want their transgressions confronted.
2. They do not want their power lessened by submitting to the Christ.
3. They do not want to face the conflict of ungodly people because they seek to follow the will of the Lord.
B. The actions of the court will often go contrary to the will of God.
1. Pharaoh refusing to let the people of Israel go (Exo. 5:2)
2. The three Hebrew youths being commanded to bow before Nebuchnezzar’s golden image (Dan. 3:12).
3. Daniel being told he could no longer prayer to his God but only through the king. (Dan. 6:10).
4. Mordecai commanded by the king to bow down to the wicked Haman (Esth. 3:2)
5. The apostles being commanded to no longer speak in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:18).
C. The courts are the law of the land.
The courts are authorized by God.
The courts surely have our best interest in mind.
The courts are strong and can take horrible measures against us.
D. Question: When we are faced with a demanding court, will we defy the court as so many of God’s faithful have done in the past?
IV. DEFYING COMMON SENSE: Saul waiting for Samuel
A. Common sense could be defined as our logical, natural reasoning about a situation.
B. There are times when God’s will seems to defy our own common sense.
C. Saul’s battle with the Philistines is a case in point.
1. Saul had been told by Samuel to remain at Gilgal until Samuel came to him on the seventh day in order to sacrifice burnt offerings and sacrifices (I Sam. 10:8).
2. While in Gilgal, the battle with the Philistines raged. This battle and the waiting that Saul was having to do caused him great mental anguish.
a. The Philistines had thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen (I Sam. 13:5).
b. The Israelites became distressed and began to flee the field of battle (I Sam. 13:6).
c. Even those who remained with Saul were trembling (I Sam. 13:7).
d. On the seventh day, Samuel still had not yet appeared.
D. Common sense told Saul that he had to do something, and he did (I Sam. 13:9).
And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.
E. Samuel should have defied his common sense and should have continued to wait. Immediately after he had offered the sacrifices, Samuel came to Gilgal (I Sam. 13:10).
1. Samuel asked him what he had done (I Sam. 13:11a).
2. Saul’s reply evidences his common sense approach (I Sam. 13:11b).
And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me in Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.
3. Samuel immediately rebuked him and told him: “Thou hast done foolishly” (I Sam. 13:12).
F. Question: If called upon to rely on your common sense or the commands of God, which would you choose?
V. DEATH’S CALL
A. Death is not a friend of man. In fact, the Bible refers to death as an enemy (I Cor. 15:26).
B. The events leading up to death can be a horrible, painful experience.
C. NOTE: The death we face does not have to be our own. It could be the death of someone very close to us.
D. When death came, many individuals suffered through it with great trust in God.
1. Job (Job 13:15).
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
2. David suffered the loss of a child. After his death, he said he would resolve to go and be with him (II Sam. 12:23).
But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again/ I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
a. Yielded Himself to the Father’s will with abiding trust. (Matt. 26:39).
b. When death came, He commended His spirit to the Father (Luke 23:46).
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice he said, Father, into thy hands I command my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
a. In his second epistle to Timothy, Paul expressed his deep trust in God (II Tim. 1:12b).
…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
b. In death, Paul was ready (II Tim. 4:6).
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
E. Question: When death raises its forces against you, will be have a deep, abiding trust in God during that hour?
A. A claim to have trust in God is just that, a claim.
B. In the hour of trial, our trust in God is tested. It is then that we prove whether we trust God or not.
C. Those tests come in all forms:
1. Difficult Commands
2. Dreadful Challenges
3. Demanding Court
4. Defying Common Sense
5. Death’s Call
D. The question that will be answered when the test comes is: “Do I truly trust in God? Or, will I buckle under the pressure?”
E. Psalm 25:20
O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.