(Part 1) March 22, 2020 Sunday Sermon:
What It Means To Trust God
By Pastor Robbie Casas
One of the ways we affirm that God is sufficient for us is through our trust in Him in and for all circumstances in life.
If we believe that He is God and that He is omnipotent and that He is sovereign and that He is Lord over all creation and that nothing is impossible or too difficult for Him, then it must follow that we should trust Him always for and in all things, right? But although as believers we will not hesitate to affirm these truths, in reality when it comes to living out what we claim in the middle of all the difficulties and challenges of life and ministry, our walk often fails our talk.
However, when you really think about it, in the face of all that confronts us not only in ministry but also in life in general, and in this present pandemic in particular, we have no real choice but to trust in the Lord if we ever wish to not only survive but be victorious in our lives as Christians.
Which is why a passage like Ps 31:14-15 is not only most appropriate but also most important for us to remember and understand more deeply. Please read Ps 31:14-15a: “14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, ‘You are my God.’ 15 My times are in Your hand….” If there was a time when we as believers need to trust our Lord for our security and peace, it is now. For that matter, if you who might be reading this have not yet given your life in faith and repentance to Jesus Christ, there is no better time to come in saving faith and trust in Him than at this very moment. This is the worst time to not know Christ and have Him in your life.
It is probable that David wrote this psalm when he was persecuted by Saul; some passages in it agree particularly to the narrow escapes he had at Keilah (1Sam 23:13), then in the wilderness of Maon, when Saul marched on one side of the hill and he on the other, and, soon after, in the cave in the wilderness of En-gedi; but whether it was written based upon any of those occasions, we are not told.
Just quickly looking through this psalm you will see that it is a mixture of prayers, and praises, and professions of confidence in God. In vv. 1-8, David professes his cheerful confidence in God, and, in that confidence, prays for deliverance out of his present troubles. In vv. 9-18, he complains of the very terrible condition he was in, and, in the face of his calamities, still prays that God would graciously answer and move for him against his persecutors (v. 9-18). In vv. 19-24, he concludes the psalm with praise and triumph, giving glory to God, and encouraging himself and others to trust in Him (v. 19-24).
So what does it mean to trust in God?
According to the passage we are looking at, Ps 31:14-15a, there are several things we need to understand if we are to know what it means to trust in the Lord.
First, to trust God is choose to trust in Him.
“14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord…”
There is a clear, deliberate and conscious effort and choice in these words to trust in God. This tells us that trusting in God is not a matter of emotional response – something we do only when we feel like it. Bear in mind the numerous commands to trust the Lord all throughout Scripture which imply a choice we have to make whether or not to obey. This is so important, especially in light of the fact that we all have a tendency to let our emotions rule us so that there are times when we just don’t “feel” like trusting the Lord. Take note that this declaration in v. 14 comes right after a whole litany of troubles David was currently in from v. 9.
That’s why the word “But” is an important transitional word in the very thought and mood of the psalm. David chose to trust God in the midst of a very dire life-threatening situation. In saying, “But as for me”, it was as if he was differentiating himself from others who might have been in the same predicament. It seems that he was implying that in such a grim state of affairs, there really was no hope. But instead, he chose to trust in God.
WE MUST CHOOSE TO TRUST IN GOD. True trust in God – trust that is full and wavering – is not something that will come to us automatically the more desperate the situation. The greater tendency at impulse is for us to seek our hope in others or even in ourselves (more on this later).
This is why, for those of us in Christ, this choice can be made by only by the help of the Holy Spirit. It is not a choice made by sheer will power, but by dependence on the enabling of the Holy Spirit – “O Spirit of God, help me to choose to trust in my heavenly Father!”
For those who have not yet come to this saving knowledge of Christ, all the more you are powerless to believe God on your own – not without the indwelling life of the Holy Spirit (again, more on this later).
Having said all this, the point needs to be made once more: To trust is to choose to trust in Him. This is where it starts.