OceanSide church of Christ
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WHEN TRUST IS TESTED (2)
Victor M. Eskew
A. In a previous lesson, we looked at the subject: “When Our Trust Is Tested.”
1. In that lesson, we noted that all of us like to affirm that we truly trust in the Lord.
2. We also noted that we really find out whether we trust in God when our trust is put to the test.
3. In that lesson, we looked at five tests of our faith.
a. Difficult Commands
b. Dreadful Challenges
c. Demanding Courts
d. Defying Common Sense
e. Death’s Call
B. In this lesson, we want to look at our other things that can test our faith.
C. As we study these things, please keep this passage in mind (Isa. 26:4).
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.
I. DAUNTING CROWDS
A. Another word for daunting crowds is “multitude.”
B. Most of us are scared of the multitudes.
1. The multitudes must be right we assume.
2. The multitudes put pressure on us to see and do things their way.
C. We must remember that a multitude of people doing something does not constitute right behavior.
1. We have often asked our children: “If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump?”
2. There are several examples in Scripture of the multitudes being in error.
a. In the days of Noah, the multitudes were practicing violence and immorality.
1) Genesis 6:12
And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
2) Out of all the people living on the earth at that time, only eight souls were saved (I Pet. 3:20).
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
3) Aren’t we glad that Noah and his family did not follow the multitude?
b. When the spies returned from spying out the land, ten of twelve gave a negative report of the land. When two, Caleb and Joshua, stood firm, the people were ready to kill them (Num. 14:10).
But all the congregation bade stone them with stones.
c. The Sanhedrin court was the supreme court of the Jews. It was composed of 72 individuals. This court voted and found Jesus guilty. We know from Scripture, however, that Joseph of Arimathea did not go along with the multitude (Luke 23:50-51a).
And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (the same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them)…
d. Jesus also warns us about the multitudes in Matthew 7:13-14.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
D. Exodus 23:2
Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil…
E. Question: When the multitudes oppose God and His Word, will we follow the multitudes or will we continue to trust in God?
II. DEPLETED CAPITAL
A. Capital refers to our assets.
1. This can involve our physical property and wealth.
2. It can also refer to intangibles that bring us prosperity such as position and power and relationships.
B. Our capital does several things for our lives.
1. It provides us with our needs.
2. It provides us with the luxuries of life.
3. It provides us with a sense of independence.
4. It provides us with security.
C. Some have been confronted with the loss of their capital when it came to following the Master.
1. The rich young man (Matt. 19:21-22)
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
2. Saul of Tarsus, that is, Paul the apostle (Phil. 3:7-8)
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
D. Question: If we were ever called upon to give up everything for the cause of Christ could we? Would we be like Paul? Or, would be like the rich young ruler?
III. DESOLATE CHRISTIAN
A. We mentioned the multitudes being against us in the first part of this lesson. Now, we are talking about being all alone in following Christ.
B. There will be times when family, friends, and our brothers and sisters in Christ will flee from righteousness. They will not stand true and firm. Thus, we find ourselves all alone.
C. Being alone can be a horrible experience.
1. We are lonely.
2. We feel rejected by those closest to us.
3. We must use reserve sources of energy because there is no one to support us.
4. When friends and loved ones are not around, there is a greater temptation to give in or give up.
D. Let’s consider two examples of men who stood alone.
1. One was the apostle Paul as he went before Caesar in Rome (II Tim. 4:16).
At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
2. Jesus Himself (Mark 14:50)
And they all forsook him, and fled.
E. Question: When we must stand alone for Christ and His cause, will we trust God and remain loyal in His service?
IV. DERIMENTAL COMPANIONS
A. One of the most precious gifts that we possess is our friends.
1. Our friends give us a sense of belonging.
2. Our friends love us, even when we are unlovable.
3. Our friends are loyal to us and we want to be loyal to them.
B. Sometimes, however, our friends can be detrimental to us.
1. Friends have beliefs that must be believed if you are going to remain a friend.
2. Friends have rules that must be kept if you are going to remain a friend.
3. Friends have ways to disciple those who might begin to stray from the beliefs and rules.
C. Our friends can put a lot of pressure on us to do things that are wrong or to fail to do things that God wants us to do.
1. We call this “peer pressure.”
2. In the book of Esther, Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, was one of the king’s servants who was in the king’s gate.
a. This is an inner circle of individuals who are of like status and supposed to be of like minds.
b. When King Ahasuerus decreed that all should bow and reverence Haman, all bowed except Mordecai.
c. Immediately, the pressure from the other servants was put upon Mordecai (Esth. 3:3).
Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, why transsgresseth thou the king’s commandment?
d. In the next verse we are told that they spoke “daily unto him” (Esth. 3:4).
e. Mordecai refused to bow to the pressure put on him by his equals (Esth. 3:4).
…and he hearkened not unto them…
D. I Corinthians 15:33
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Be not deceived: evil companionships corrupt good morals.
Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.
4. We might also say it like this: “Do not fool yourself. Evil friends can destroy your spiritual life.”
E. Question: When God’s Word is at stake, to whom will we bow? We will bow to the will of God? Or, will we bow to the will of our friends?
A. Remember, a claim to trust in God is just that, a claim.
B. It is only when our trust is put to the test and we pass the test that we can truly say: “I trust in God.”
C. There are many tests that we can face.
1. Daunting Crowds
2. Depleted Capital
3. Desolate Christian
4. Detrimental Companions
D. Isaiah 12:2
Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.