Faithlife Sermons

Trust in God Alone

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God's good news is a source of freedom to all who put their trust in him.

“In God We Trust” is the official motto of the United States. The origins of this political motto lie in the Civil War, where Union supporters wanted to emphasize their attachment to God and boost morale. Despite the religious tone, this phrase is never found verbatim in the Bible.
Yet, there are many passages that exhort readers to trust in the Lord. Solomon instructs his readers to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). David adds that people should “offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the Lord” (Psalm 4:5). There are many similar instances in Scripture challenging people to trust in the Lord. We also discover instances in the Bible where people epitomized the saying In God We Trust. Jesus trusted His Father (Hebrews 2:13). Daniel trusted in God and was delivered from the lions’ den (Daniel 6:23). Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, also trusted in God, and He delivered them from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:28). David wrote that God doesn’t forsake those who have trusted in Him (Psalm 9:10). On the other hand, there are numerous biblical warnings against trusting in anyone but God. Job explained that trusting in wealth is an iniquity tantamount to denying God (Job 31:24–28). Solomon cautions that the one trusting his own heart is a fool (Proverbs 28:26). Jeremiah records God’s warning against trusting in humanity: the one who trusts in “flesh” is like a bush in the desert, while the one who trusts in the Lord will be like a tree planted by water (Jeremiah 17:5–8).
God wants us to trust him. We are to trust that he is good, that he loves us, and that he is full of mercy. Our faith is to be in him for He is trustworthy, reliable, and faithful.
By focusing on the issue of trust, this psalm touches human life directly in every generation. What are the temptations regarding our allegiance?
What does it mean for me to first pledge my allegiance to God? It means I am a citizen of heaven. Almighty God is the sovereign ruler over my life, to whom I owe my unquestioning love and loyalty. However, in a land of plenty there are plenty of competitors to my loyalty to the Lord. Affluence creates options. For example, Sunday, the one day of the week designated to worship God, can become just another day to work and play. Prayer, praise and Bible study are replaced by travel, sporting events and recreation. Has my allegiance to affluence replaced my allegiance to God?
Where will we place our trust? In democracy? In the president? In the promise of science and technology to solve our problems? In military might? In ourselves? In the financial security we build up?
From the perspective of the psalm, to be wicked means to be self-ruled. In contrast to the self-centeredness of our culture, the psalms and the gospels challenge us to be God-centered. To be righteous means that one’s life fundamentally depends on God.
Human power and authority are unreliable, but God’s good news is a source of freedom to all who put their trust in him. The good news forces us to reconsider where we place our trust. Do we trust in God or in human leaders?
We as the church must model trust in God alone.
You see friends, trust, or faith, is a key ingredient of our life in Christ. We are justified by faith (Romans 3:28), sanctified by faith (Acts 26:18) and saved by faith in Jesus Christ. We live by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), stand in faith (Romans 11:20), work in faith (1 Thessalonians 1:3) and pray in faith. We cannot please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). It is absolutely essential!
When we put our trust in God, we are trusting him to be our very life (Colossians 3:4). That means that when we first put our faith in God, we are taking the first step toward learning to trust him for everything! It’s a step beyond belief.
Trust is active. We do not merely accept that God took care of our salvation from sin and death and then go on our way with no further thought about it. Trust in God cannot be a passive thing—by its very nature, it has to be active.
Faith generates action. It is far more than just believing a set of facts about God (James 2:19)—it is trusting God to be and to do everything he said he will be and do for us. When we trust God, we are committed to everything he is committed to.
Joshua, who had been chosen to succeed Moses and who, unlike his predecessor, had been privileged to enter the Promised Land, assembled his people to remind them of the mighty acts of God. He assured them that Yahweh would continue to bless them if they were faithful.
The Israelites, like all people, were confronted by alternatives. Some were interested in materialistic gods. Joshua knew this and challenged them to choose their god. He did not want them to live by half choices, convenient choices, or popular ones. The climax to his valedictory was “Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).
That is why worship is important and meaningful. Worship is a means God has given us of rehearsing and remembering who he is and what he has done for us. Through worship, God helps us more deeply understand and value who he is and what he has given us. Worship helps us commemorate and celebrate his love for us and the good things he has done for us.
The Psalmist encourages us to "Praise the Lord." Praise is a fitting response to God's actions—God’s grace--in our lives and God's faithfulness as we trust in God alone. We are to praise the Lord with our soul. This is not some small part of our being, the spiritual part of us. The word in Hebrew means our entire being. We are to praise the Lord with our singing, speaking, and actions. Every aspect of our lives is to be an avenue of praise.
We are to join all of creation in praising the Lord.
When we trust God, we don’t want to hide any part of our lives from him. We want him to make us into the person he wants us to be, and we trust him both to know what to do and how to do it. The Holy Spirit leads and empowers us to love him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:30), and to adore him, desire him and delight ourselves in him (Psalm 37:4).
In worship, we praise God for his power and love. We express and act out our faith that he will always be the most important reality in our lives. Our praise helps us put life into better perspective.
And so when we trust God, we realize he is our greatest priority. He is more important to us than anything else—more valuable than possessions, money, time, reputation and even this mortal life. He is our all in all.
The greatest commandment The greatest commandment, Jesus said, is to love God with all that we are. That means we orient our lives around him, around his gracious will for us. When we trust him, we believe he knows best for us, and we want to please him. He is our point of reference, our definition of a meaningful life.
When we trust him, we do his will not out of fear, but out of love—not begrudgingly, but with joy. We trust his judgment, his word and his ways. We even trust him to give us a new heart, to make us more and more like him, to lead us to love what he loves and to value what he values.
We would never be able to do any of this on our own—we must trust God to fulfill his promise to do his work in us from the inside out, by the Holy Spirit transforming us. To trust God is to let him have his good way with us. It is to believe him, to desire and to take his advice, to seek to follow him wherever he leads.
When we trust God, we trust him with all that we are—our past, our present and our future combined. Like a toddler resting fearlessly and contentedly in its mother’s arms, we rest securely in the love of our heavenly Father.
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