by Evang. Victor Aina (16 September 2018)
A similar case in the Bible that can be compared to our time when true voices are silenced in the land was the time of Elijah (1 kings 18 & 19). God raised up Elijah who stood his ground for God on Mount Carmel but was later unable to fulfill his ministry because of fear, fear of Jezebel (1 kings 18 & 19).
From Elijah’s case we see that when our natural feelings overtake the word of God, faith is replaced with doubt, which in turn gives birth to fear. With this it becomes obvious that we need what we can hold on to when everything around us is falling apart, when everything around us does not make sense. All we need to do to remain focused is just to trust in God completely and hold on to His word.
The 3 Hebrew children were able to make their mark, not because they had a special skill or power but because they trusted in the Lord even when they were not sure of the outcome (Dan 3:16-18).
2 Sam 22:31 says God’s way is perfect. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him (2 Sam 22:31).
Thayer defines the word trust as confide or hope; confidence, to be bold, to feel safe; be secure; be careless.
Case Study: the story of Hezekiah (2 Kgs 18:19-21,30).
Why Do I Need To Trust God?
- God is able to do absolutely anything (Jer. 32:27, Gen. 18:14, Job 42:2)
- No power except from Him (Ps. 62: 11, Rom. 13:1, Matt. 19:26)
- He has total power over man (Job 12:10, Dan 5:23, Ps. 75:6-7, Ps. 107:33-40, Isa. 42:13)
- That is where His blessing lies (Ps. 8:45, Ps. 40:4, Ps. 84:12, 2 Cor. 34:5, Ps. 127:1)
- He can do what you can’t do. It’s not by power (Zech. 4:6.)
- By strength shall no man prevail (1 Sam 2:9b)
- Without Him you can do nothing (John 15:5, Ps. 73:16-17, Job 9:19a, Isa. 40:29)
In recent times I’ve encountered many believers who are going through pruning (I have also experienced it in my life) and then I began to hear from many going through similar challenges who think they are been “Cut Back.” But no, God only takes away branches that do not bear fruit and prunes the fruitful ones.
We live in such a day that Jude called the Apostates Autumn (Jude 1:12) of false teachers and attacks on the name of the Lord etc
Luke 9:54-62 tells the story of some people who wanted to be Jesus’ disciples. One of them says, Let me go bury my dead, let me go say good bye.
Jesus replied in Luke 9:62, “No one who put his hand on the plough is fit for the kingdom if he looks back”
The word fit speaks of preparation, building capacity, focusing on the goal ahead. The Greek word transited fit is Euthetos: which means: well placed, useful.
Embrace the truth
In the days of Jeremiah (Jer. 42-43) the nation was in distress, facing judgment, brought on them by decades of rejecting God’s word and His ways (Jer. 42:2-6). The people came to Jeremiah to seek God’s face but when Jeremiah returned with the word from the Lord they didn’t trust God, for His word (Jer. 43:1-2)
Hezekiah discovered that it’s one thing to tear down the high places (repentance) v4 and yet another thing to trust God completely when challenges are rising daily, when the enemy is right outside your door and you are outnumbered.
If we want to really make it to the end, next to repentance on this journey is complete trust in the Lord, you need to completely trust in His ability to take you through the journey despite all (Matt 24:9-13, Ps 40:4).
Absolute trust in God was the characteristics of great champions of God (Heb 11)
The quality of our spiritual life can be directly connected to the quality of our trust in God.
- Complete trust is trust that does not change.
Many of us are chameleon Christians; it’s our situations that determine our loyalty to God.
- Choice – Hezekiah choose to trust God (2kg 18:5, Ps 44:6). He blamed no one for what happened around him, because his trust was in God not others (even though his father was an evil king who led Judah into sin). Too often our happiness is placed in things or others and when we are disappointed our happiness disappears. When this happens it’s an indication that your trust may be misplaced.
- Ceaseless (2 kgs 18:6, Ps 56:3-4) – Hezekiah held fast to the Lord. He “did not cease to follow Him.” This means Hezekiah did not only trust God when things were good but also when thing were bad and God seemed to be far away. Our relationship with God is not based on just how well things go for us, but on confidence in God’s goodness at all times. Hezekiah had witnessed that Sennacherib captured all and conquered nations around Jerusalem yet he did not alter his confidence in God based on his circumstances.
Trust in God should be like marriage vows: for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health even till death.
- One of the greatest weaknesses of Christians today is their wavering faith when things get tough. James 1:8 says that a wavering man or woman is unstable. We need to learn to be confident in God, not only when we see visible signs to give us confidence.
“Never be afraid to entrust an unknown future to a known God” – Corrie Ten Boom
- The most successful Christians, do not let their walk with God go up and down with their circumstances. Their faith is rooted in trusting God (Ps 112:4-8)
- Trust That Does Know Challenges 2 kings 18:17-25
- In conflict (2 kgs 18:17-18)
Here was a man that did well in tearing down all the high places and ridding Judah of idols and now this happens. It seemed things were getting worse.
Trust in God keeps us going, when others would have given in
Conflict helps to define our real trust in God. Such times make our faith show.
Hezekiah had no other option but to trust in God. Sometimes God may bring us to this point that we must make a choice: whether to trust or to turn
- In dicey situations (2 Kgs 18:19-25)
- It appeared Sennacherib had all the winning cards. His army conquered all groups that came against him. No other gods has been able to conquer him. Even Judah’s helper, Egypt, had just recently lost to Assyria and Judah’s own God had declared that Assyria was going to be used to discipline Judah. This was a tough place to be. Even Hezekiah knew this.
- Sennacherib even offered Hezekiah a friendly bargain, a bait. Most have make a shipwreck of their faith by accepting bargains from the devil, an offer of a way out that is not God’s way.
- Hezekiah recognized that it was better to trust God than compromise with the enemy.
- Trust That makes champions (2 Kgs 19:14-19, 32-37)
- Conviction 2 Kgs 19:14-19, Ps 38:3-5
Hezekiah’s response: As soon as he received the enemy’s threat he went to God’s house and placed the letter before God. This is a good model for dealing with crisis. He prayed that God will defend His own name and not the name of Hezekiah.
- Our prayer should be, “God, do what will glorify Your name, not what we would like,” even in times of crisis
- Hezekiah’s trust was based on God’s character, not Hezekiah’s desires. Note: Here is where Hezekiah found God’s power in trust.
- Be honest, when praying to God (it’s a sin to pray and not expect results). God is enough to make all the difference.
- Hezekiah’s complete trust was based on the fact that he knew God’s desire was to make Himself known to all the nations of the world and he saw this threat from Sennacherib as an opportunity for this (e.g. Nigeria’s situation now)
- Confidence – 2 Kgs 19:32-37
- Hezekiah’s confidence did not go unrewarded. Though, there were about 185,000 soldiers that had never been defeated in battle facing him, God gave him victory. Hezekiah could not bring himself to despair, even when confronted with overwhelming odds because he knew God and trusted in God’s character and word.
- All these were reckoned by genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel. The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war. And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him. 1 Chron 5:17-20
- Job said, though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him (Job 13:15)
- Trusting in God completely may not always be an easy choice, but it will always be the best choice.
- Trust does not exist in a vacuum; it grows by constant choices and through constant use in the conflicts of life (Pro 3:5-6).
- How much trust in God do you have? How much trust in His word do you have?
- Jesus says, If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. John 12:26.
- Let those who trust in God rejoice (Ps 5:11-12,)