Trust In The Lord
How do you handle a difficult phase in your life? Do you get stressed, anxious, afraid and panic or do you trust in the Lord? I want to bring to you a message on a theme that we usually, sometimes casually use when someone goes through a difficulty. The scripture also speaks about this theme. Preachers, Bible teachers, counselors, or Christian friends use these words many times in their sermons, counseling and teaching. This is the word mostly people use in theirs testimonies of how they navigated through a difficult phase in life. The words are: Trust In The Lord
Trust In The Lord
This is a very simple statement yet profound and very difficult to follow and obey: Trust In The Lord
5Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
So what do you do when things are going against you? Trust in the Lord.
Adoniram and Ann Judson were the very first pastors to ever set sail overseas from America.
1812 – The Judson’s were married. They sail to India as missionaries.
Initially, on track for India, they come to William Carey and get baptized in India and then the couple take up Burma (modern-day Myanmar) to preach the gospel.
1822 – Ann Judson is forced to return to America for medical support.
1824 – After the re-entry of Ann, she and her husband relocate to Ava, Burma the capital city. Maria, their daughter is born.
1826 – Ann Judson passes away in Amherst at age of 37. Maria passes away at age 2.
1827 – Adoniram Judson relocated from the jungle to Moulmain, Burma.
1828 – Adoniram Judson begins ministering to the Karen tribe.
1834 – Adoniram Judson marries Sarah Boardman. They have eight children.
1837 – 1,144 Burmese are baptized. The Judsons complete the entire translation of the Bible from English to Burmese.
1845 – Sarah passes away looking for medical attention and is buried at St. Helena.
1846 – Judson returns to Burma with his third wife, Emily Chubbuck. They continued missions work for Christ.
1850 – Adoniram Judson was buried into the watery depths of the Bay of Bengal.
Here is a list of the Judson’s ministry work:
Translating the Bible into Burmese
Baptizing new Burmese converts
Discipling new Burmese Christians
Started a printing press and school
Made an English-Burmese dictionary
“In joy or in pain,
Our course be onward still;
We sow on Burma’s barren plain;
We reap on Zion’s hill”.
– Adoniram Judson, 1819
We are facing difficulties and death in the world of Covid-19. Good insurance policies can replace accident cars, broken houses and companies but no policy can replace the loss of life or special possessions, irreplaceable loses.
We stand at a time where we have no way of knowing what the future holds for you. We do not know what is coming tomorrow. There may be loss and there may be gain. All loss is painful and all gain is joyful but through it all we are brought back to proverbs 3:5-6
5Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
All Your Heart, All Your Ways: Trust In The Lord.
We have a problem with trusting God because of several things.
1. We Are Self-Sufficient.
We have learned how to get ourselves out of difficulties rather than acknowledging the delays in life. By not trusting him, we short circuit the test and go our own way, getting ourselves out of our own mess. We are too self-sufficient.
2. We Are Too Quick To Call On Others.
We have a lot of very capable friends. As life unfolds, you meet other people, many of them much smarter than you are, some of them richer than you are, some are better connected than you are. Some of them with good influence. It is possible that they can become your go to person, your anchor in trouble. You will trust them than rather than the Lord your God. because they are right there and they have connections and abilities and when you are in a problem they will get you through it.
3. We Feel Far From God.
Psalm 13:1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me.
4. We Worry
We have cultivate the bad habit of worry.
Many of us are much better at worrying than we are in trusting. Some of you if you put your worry list, it can outrun your prayer list. Right now you are worried about something. Most likely it is related to something about the covid 19 pandemic, or maybe your finances, you never have enough money. Maybe you are worried about your job or studies. So you are worried about that and you do not trust God.
The only way get you will get through worry is to learn to trust God. To put the worry on hold and to set it aside and deliberately shunning it away and saying, “Lord at this moment I trust in you and you alone.”
If you are married, “Lord help my spouse and me to trust you, to lean on you, to listen to you. to endure the test with you. “
I put together a quick list of things that reveal how little we trust God.
When you choose to worry, you do not trust.
When you try to fix what is impossible, you do not trust.
When you hurry ahead and don’t wait for the Lord to move and to change you, you don’t trust.
When you lie awake twisting and turning at night, you do not trust.
When you doubt Biblical principles and promises that are in the Bible, you do not trust.
When you go to others first for help you do not trust.
When you listen to human counsel and give a higher priority for that than the principles you in the Bible have just learned, you do not trust.
When you manipulate and maneuver situations, you do not trust.
When you step in and take charge without praying and being led by the Spirit of God, you do not trust.
When you cling to others in order to feel secure, needed and loved you do not trust.
The list goes on and on. See how easy it is to live in the flesh. How easy it is to go on and disobey to trust God with all our heart. and on with our project.
When are the things that keep us from trusting God?
Think about ways you can begin to trust God regardless of the situation.
In Job 1, Job lost his 10 children and wealth. Job 2: Job is inflicted with a painful skin disease. In all this Job did not sin.
Job’s suffering prolonged for months
Job 3: Job cursed the day of his birth
Job’s friends accused Job and his children of sin.
Job maintains his innocence.
Job is suffering. He does not know why. He has lost everything and it looks like his own body is rotting in boils and he is about to die. Job said:
Job 13:15 NIV Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.
KJV Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.
Trusting in God’s wisdom is the strongest counsel that the Bible has to offer. It must suffice. Trust refrains from asking why. Why did God do such a thing or allow that to happen? Our language is inadequate to explain God.
“TheSuffering and evil of the world are not due to weakness, oversight or callousness on God’s part, but rather they are the inescapable cost of a creation allowed to be other than God.”
Dear friends, being a child of God will not make you immune to tests like this. So what do you do when you go thorough a trying time in your life?
What do you do to trust God?
Open your Bibles to 1 Samuel 30.
David the shepherd boy was summoned by King Saul to play the harp. King Saul was so pleased with David especially after his victory over Goliath that he honored David with a post in the army, but very soon Saul because jealous of David.
Saul is so eaten up with envy and paranoia that he mistakenly thinks David is trying to steal his throne. So he tries to take David’s life on several occasions. David sensing danger eventually had to run away from King Saul. David fled to many places but finally David and his men fled to the Philistines, the enemies of Israel thinking he will find peace there.
For one year and four months David and his men lived in the enemy camp, a place called Ziklag. David now even started to fight for the Philistines. God wanted him to fight for Israel but now he is fighting for the enemy.
David thought he found peace, security, and prosperity in the enemy camp, but it was short-lived. Soon the Philistines were preparing to battle King Saul, and David and his men had gone to join with the Philistines. In the planning meeting the Philistine commanders were unhappy with David and men fighting against Israel and they were sent back midway.
The man in question here is David. He has just left the ranks of the Philistines. He is in the rear ranks along with Achish who tells him that the Philistines does not like to have you and the Hebrews around and you need to go back. The Philistines They finished the battle, weary, sweaty, tired. They walk about 3 days to Ziklag, not knowing what their future will be. He is still hunted by Saul, the king of Israel. So they come to what was their home. It must have been a rugged place. They must have been living there for a year or year and a half.
Out of the blue, unexpectedly the shock of what they were about to see was just over the hill. So David and his men returned thinking of taking some rest back home. They thought they were coming home to the welcome and warmth of their families, to rest and food, but instead, they saw smoke coming out of their city at a distance. Oh! In the meantime the town of Ziklag had been attacked.
1 Samuel 30:1-3
1David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way. 3When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.
Perhaps you’ve had days like that, days when the sun refused to shine, days when your heart ached so violently that you were thinking why it is all happening to me? But listen, things got even worse for David!
See the response of David.
1 Samuel 30:4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.
Never think that trusting God means that you do not weep. We are not to tell people when they weep, don’t cry. We don’t weep as those who have no hope, but we weep with hope. I cannot experience loss without tears.
1 Samuel 30:5-6
4So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5David’s two wives had been captured – Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters.
The Hebrew word has the idea of depressed. David slops into depression. He has lost his wife and kids and they have lost theirs. He was also distressed because the people spoke of stoning him. These are his own troops, these are his staff. These are 600 of his warriors that he has trained. These are his troops, his security men. They spoke of stoning him because of their loss of sons and daughters. Why did you leave them without protection? You were the leader here. You should have thought about the consequences.
There will be people who will turn to you when you have nothing to do with what has happened. You become a scapegoat, you are the target. All of them looked at David and turned against him.
1 Samuel 30:6b NIV But David found strength in the Lord his God.
AMP But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
You see, in a crisis, we can do all the things these people did, or we can do what David did. David encouraged himself in the Lord. When there is no one for you, when you are down, God can encourage you.
Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
David lost his wives, his kids, he lost the trust of his people. Oh God! He found strength in the Lord his God.
Maybe David remembered the Psalm he wrote:
1The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? 2When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
David would have said, “God, you came through in the life of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph, Moses. I know you will rescue me in this situation”
How To Find Encouragement In The Lord?
Finding encouragement in the Lord in times of crisis is not easy as it sounds, but it is possible. Here are some practical pointers from David’s story on how to encourage yourself in the Lord.
1. Worship In Distress
David is well known as a man of warfare. We know of him as a boy who fought against a lion and a bear; then was his victory over Goliath. It’s an astounding victory which is on the highpoints of David’s life. The soldiers in both the Philistine army and the Israelite army view the spectacle in disbelief. A little shepherd boy with a sling and one small stone from the bed of a brook defeats the giant. This gave him entrance and rank into Saul’s army. There he becomes so well known that they sing songs about him. But don’t miss the key of David’s life. Before anything else – David was a worshipper. David spent enough time worshipping God. Here, in our text today, David didn’t just get angry and stomp off to battle against the Amalekites to reclaim his family and property, he paused to spend time with God.
1 Samuel 30:7
Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him.
An ephod was an article of clothing used by the Jewish High Priest, also a worship object used in ancient Israelite culture. In 2 Samuel 6:14, David is described as wearing an ephod when dancing in the presence of Ark of the Covenant. In the OT it was almost exclusively a priestly garment, or one used in the worship of God
Here David calls for the ephod which signifies worship. David worshipped God before he could react. Spending time with God in worship is to be our first priority if we are to stay encouraged in the midst of battles. Be whatever circumstances if you can worship God you can see God moving for you. Worship helps you to stay encouraged and prepares you to face your situations.
Can you imagine a soldier marching off to war without proper training, without having proper weaponry and ammunition? A soldier without those things is bound to fail. But a prepared soldier is a victorious soldier. Our preparation for spiritual warfare is our time spent with God! Have a heart of worship.
2. Ask For Godly Direction
When we are broke it is natural to panic and seek directions all over, no just seek God.
After David spent time with God listen to what he did next that brought encouragement into his life. 1 Samuel 30:7-8 7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
The priest wore the “holy vest” to symbolize the presence of God. David was symbolically going into the presence of God, and, he was asking God’s will. The point is, David was asking God what to do. He did not take any advice other than God.
First he regained his composure by worshipping God. Now he makes his plans by consulting God. Worshiping God alone is not enough, if you want to stay encouraged you need to follow God’s instructions, follow God’s commands, obey what he says.
Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight. Your joy in times of trouble is not going to come from your circumstances; it is not going to come from your family or friends. Your joy comes only from the commands God has given you. When you do what God tells you to do, you will find joy in your discouragements.
Just two chapters before in 1 Samuel 28 we have another man in a tough situation like David. King Saul was getting ready to go to war and prophet Samuel who had guided him until then had recently died. Saul knew he needed advice but there was no one to go to. Do you know what Saul did? He received advice by consulting with a psychic witch.
1 Samuel 28:5-8
5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. 6 He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. 7 Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.” “There is one in Endor,” they said. 8 So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”
In desperation Saul goes to the wrong place for advice. The wrong spirit advised Saul to go in for battle with the Philistines. Satan deceived Saul into the battle; as a result Saul and his 3 sons were killed.
It really matters where you take your advice from when you are discouraged. There are only two types of advice you can get: godly advice and ungodly advice.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
Remember, the right advice will build you, wrong advice will break you. Opt for godly advice. Ungodly advice will only mess up your thinking and eventually lead to more misery. If you want to encourage yourself in God, seek Godly direction.
3. Treat People Fairly
A lot of times when our life gets tough we are tempted to do what David’s troops did. We are tempted to take our frustrations on someone else. I have seen many people do this, when they are hurt they hurt someone else. Treat others fairly when you are hurt.
Understand every crisis is just temporary. So, it is not worth to behave badly toward anyone when you are hurt and lose Godly people in your life. So do yourself a favor, when troubles come be aware of yourself and behave yourself.
Listen, David was aware of this principle. When David finally left to hunt down the Amalekites that had taken his family, 200 men in his army of 600 were so tired and discouraged that they did not go with David. So he let them rest. David did not badmouth them, he did not curse them, he did not belittle them. Listen, with the 400 men David pursued the Amalekites and recovered everything they had taken. When David returned with the plunder of the battle he even gave the 200 people who rested an even portion with the 400 who fought the battle. David treated people fairly.
Dark days can be real tests of your behavior. And if you want to encourage yourself in God you need to act like God would act, express kindness toward others. Love them in spite of their failures. Don’t take your anger and frustration out on them. Treat people fairly.
Where is your trust today? Do you trust in the Lord for your situations? David encouraged himself in the Lord and God gave David the victory. David then went on to become the second king of Israel. David could have given it up all at Ziklag. If David had given up, he would probably have not become the king of Israel ever. Many times we miss on God’s best because we give up too soon, we get discouraged and say it is all over. You are closer than you think to your victory.
Psalm 30:5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Some of you are on the verge of God’s best but in order for that you need to encourage yourself in the Lord. Just another few days of believing, doing the right thing, and waiting on the Lord, you are going to reach your destiny. Stay encouraged in the Lord because the keeper of Israel will neither sleep nor slumber until he fulfils what he has promised. Amen.
This was one of the most difficult situations imaginable for David. Away from his real home, chased by a mentally ill king, living like a vagabond, forced to side with the enemy, his family being taken into captivity by another enemy, and now his own men speak of mutiny by making him a scapegoat for their misery and threaten to kill him.
I want you to sense the desperation of this dark chapter in David’s life. One reason I want you to sense it is to know that you are not alone when you face feelings of desperation; men in the Bible too went through such times. They went through heartbreak, loss, and defeat. This was rock bottom for David. This was the end of the rope. This was heartbreak time. David had nobody – No family to console him, no mentor in Samuel, and his associates are against him to the point they want to kill him. How would you respond in times like this?
Author Mark DeMoss in his book “The little red book of wisdom” writes, “I will never forget standing on the lawn in my pajamas at 2 am that Memorial Day weekend, watching with my family in disbelief as flames gutted our home…… by dawn everything we possessed was lump or ash. I was 10 years old and was the first to escape the infernal…One of the firemen was coaxing my sister to jump from the second floor window into his arms. The scene was chaotic. A week or so we lived with friends and rented a house for nine months before moving again.”