Month: September 2017

053 – Can I Trust God? Part 2

Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young Can I Trust God, part 2, Write from the Deep podcast Trust is hard. Even with God. Sometimes it’s especially hard with God. It’s not that we don’t believe He’s trustworthy, it’s just that we can’t surrender ourselves to that trust. But there’s a wonderful reward when you do so, and that’s immeasurable peace. So let us help you discover what’s holding you back, and how to start trusting today!

In our last episode we talked about how trust has two parts, there’s the action on our part—believing, relying, depending, hoping. And a qualifier about who or what we trust in. The reliability, truthfulness, ability, or strength of what we’re hoping in, what we’re placing confidence in. And we tackled the latter side of the issue first: Is God trustworthy?

Our answer? A definitive YES.

Today we’ll talk about our side of the bargain. If God IS trustworthy, are WE able to act on that? Are we able to do the trusting? How do we know?

Signs that you’re not trusting God

  • Anxiety
  • Worry
  • Lack of peace
  • Taking back something you’ve “surrendered”
  • Not obeying God

What builds the obstacles inside of us that hold us back from truly trusting God? The simple answer is fear.

We’re afraid we won’t like how God will handle something. That those who deserve to be punished won’t be, or that those who deserve great rewards won’t get them, or that those who are hurt and sick won’t be healed physically.

We put our expectations of timeline, of how things should happen, on God. But remember who sees all, from beginning to end? That’s not us, folks. That’s God and God alone.

When you trust God, really trust Him, you surrender the situation and yourself and walk away. Trust means giving something to God and then not thinking about it again until you see His answer. No matter how it comes, and no matter how long it takes. (Another resource to help you with this aspect of trusting is episode 47: Is God Really Good?)

So why is true trust in God so important?

Trust changes everything.

The Fruit of Trust

Blessing

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.  Jeremiah 17:7-8

Freedom

Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.  Romans 8:1-2

Joy

If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.  John 15:10-11

Guidance

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.  Proverbs3:5-6 (the Message)

Confidence

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength…”  Isaiah 30:15

Future reward

For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by His power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.  1 Peter 1:4-5

How do we develop trust?

We learn to trust by trusting. There is no magic formula.

  • Be in communication with God about both how we’re trusting and what we’re struggling to trust Him with
  • Purpose to dwell on God’s proven dependability and not on our fears
  • Set up Ebenezers – Stones of Help – to remind us of what God has done in our life and writing journey

Scriptural examples of Ebenezers or markers:

He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”  Joshua 4:21-24

The Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”  1 Samuel 7:10

Final words

The moment you start to dwell on obstacles or fear, remember and praise God instead for what He has done in the past. Remember your Ebenezers, your markers. Then praise Him for what He’s doing now, tell Him what you’re trusting Him with now. And tell Him where you’re struggling and ask for help. And when you surrender it to Him, HANDS OFF!

Then move into the day in faith!

 

We want to hear from you!

What Ebenezers do you have from your own writing journey?

 

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Trust is hard. Even with God. Discover what’s holding you back from fully trusting today!

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052 – Can I Trust God? Part 1

Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young, Can I Trust God, part 1     It’s easy to say we trust God, but do we really? True trust means no worry, no taking back what you surrendered. True trust means peace. No matter what.

In our last episode, Ginny Yttrup joined us to talk about surrendering to God, and in the comments on the post we talked about how hard surrender can be and one of the things Ginny posted was: “Surrender is a walk of trust.” She nailed it. One short little sentence, very big idea. Because what she was saying was trusting is a prerequisite of surrendering. How can you surrender anything to God if you don’t deep in your gut trust Him?

We all THINK we trust God, but if we do, why do we worry, fret, take back what we’ve surrendered? Why do we struggle to find peace?

What is trust?
  • New Oxford American Dictionary: “To believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of”
  • New Oxford American Dictionary: “Have faith or confidence”
  • Webster “To rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of”
  • Webster “To place confidence, depend, hope”

If we’re talking about trusting God, we have to ask: Is God trustworthy?

Can we hope in Him?

Rely on Him?

Is He strong enough to do what He says He’ll do?

Sure it’s easy to say He is…on the surface, but what about the deep places? We talk on this podcast about the deep having different meanings, and often we talk about the place of struggle, but the deep is also a place of deep relationship with God. Deep abiding. Deep knowing. Deep communing. Deep…trust. If we want that kind of relationship with God, then we better settle the question in the deepest part of our being. Is God trustworthy? Because that’s going to affect everything going forward.

Is He trustworthy/truthful?

How do you decide? You look at what He says and does. What’s His track record?

Moses, at the end of his life, before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the promised land, reviews for them everything God had done. He gives them their history so that they can remember God’s track record.

  • The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”   Deuteronomy 7:7-9

Joshua does the same thing at the end of his life:

  •  “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”  Joshua 23:14

And God is still keeping His promises, like the promise of sending us a savior in Jesus:

  • “From [David’s] descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as He promised.”  Acts 13:23

So the evidence in Scripture proves that God is trustworthy, but what about strength?

Is He strong enough to do what He says?

Daniel chapter 3 talks about Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego in the furnace in Babylon:

  • Nebuchadnezzar makes a big statue and forces everyone to worship it, but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse, and they’re brought before Nebuchadnezzar who’s furious at this rebellion.
  • He gives them a final chance and the consequences: “…if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Nebuchadnezzar challenges God.
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed God was strong enough. They stood up to an angry king and said, “…the God we serve is able to deliver us …”
  • They’re thrown into the hot fire, but they don’t die. Instead they’re walking around in the furnace. Nebuchadnezzar says, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
  • Nebuchadnezzar, a polytheistic pagan who believes in many gods, claims this God is the highest among them all. He concedes God’s dominance. ”I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

 

Can we hope in God?

In 2 Chronicles 20:1-30, King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah face an attack from a vast army:

  • “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”
  • Jehoshaphat stands up in the assembly amidst everyone and prays to God. “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you…”
  • He goes on about how God said if His people cry out to Him, He will hear and save them.
  • He finishes the prayer by saying, “Oh God, will you not judge them…For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you…”
  • They don’t run around preparing for battle. They stand before the Lord…and wait.
  • God answers them through one of the prophets and says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…”
  • They worship God and obey Him. They go out the next morning praising God, and Jehoshaphat reminds them again to have faith. And they see God’s deliverance.
  • God causes the different armies to slay each other and they all die. Israel doesn’t have to fight at all. They go down into the desert and collect the plunder, so much that it takes 3 days. And they have another celebration praising God.

God’s track record is impeccable. The point of these things being written in Scripture was exactly so we could have the hope and trust we need now.

  • Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

 

When we believe God is trustworthy, it glorifies Him.

For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing the praises of your name.”  Romans 15:8-9

 

How do we build trust?

Take Jehoshaphat’s example:

1) Look to God first: focus on Him first, not the problem, not your weakness. Focus on God and who He is.

  • Acknowledge who God is – His sovereignty, strength, might. He’s capable.
  • Acknowledge what He’s done in the past – He’s proven His trustworthiness. Confess the ways He’s shown that to you.
  • Acknowledge the promises He’s made to you

2) Pray:

  • Confess your situation, your problem
  • Confess your dependence on Him and your willingness to trust in Him
  • Watch. Listen. Keep focusing on God.

3) Respond:

  • When you listen and He tells you to do something, do it
  • Praise Him while you do what He’s commanded

 

Benefits of trust

  • Peace. “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].”  Isaiah 26:3, Amplified version.
  • Steadfastness.  “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.” Psalm 125:1
  • Joy. Psalm 33:21 “In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”
  • Blessing. Psalm 52:8 “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.”

 

We want to hear from you!

What promises has God fulfilled in your life?

 

Tweetable

It’s easy to say we trust God, but do we really?
How to know God is trustworthy

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