Faith Is Not Blind

Psalm 56:11, “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.”


Sir Francis Bacon wrote, “There is a limit to pain, but no limit to fear.” Fear is impatient and does not trust. Fear demands relief now and it wants to be in charge. Scripture assumes that we will be afraid. Therefore, the command God most often repeats is “fear not.” To obey that command one must replace the fear of man with faith in God. Faith is about knowing the Lord Jesus in an intimate, personal way and trusting Him because He is trustworthy. Faith isn’t blind. God has proven, and will continue to prove that you can trust Him. Fear not. Have faith.


Thus Says YHWH…

Jeremiah 17:5, “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.”

The background of this verse is Judah’s seeking the help of Egypt against Babylon. Judah’s leaders trusted their political allies and military strength instead of trusting in the power of God. To emphasize the difference, a barren bush in the desert is contrasted with a fruitful tree by the water (see v. 6; c.f. Psalm 1:3-4). Unbelief turns life into a dry wasteland. Trusting God regardless of the situation or the circumstances is what makes life a fruitful orchard. Fear of man and lack of trust in God always leads to ruin. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and faith is the victory that overcomes the world.


Roll with It

Psalm 37:5, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
Trust equals commitment. There is no commitment apart from trust. To trust God, regardless of the situation, no matter how you feel, means that you will be committed to Christ, regardless of the situation, no matter how you feel. It is worth noting that the Hebrew word translated “commit” – galal – is more often translated “roll,” as in roll on or with something. Ever heard the phrase “Roll with it”? Depending on your company, that may or may not be sound advice, but when it comes to Christ, trust Him and be committed to His Word. God will act on your behalf and for His glory. Roll with that.


Dug Down Deep

Luke 6:48, “He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.”
Dug down deep is how Jesus described the person who trusts and obeys His Word. The person who learns and lives the Bible has a foundation dug down deep. So when the water rises and the wind blows and the storm beats against that house, it stands firm. Pretty houses on weak foundations are disasters waiting to happen. The foolish man builds his house upon the sand, but the wise man builds on the Rock. How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! Trust God’s Word, and stand steady on solid ground.


Daily Decisions Rather Than One-Time Experiences

2 Kings 18:24, “How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?”
How we have walked does not determine how we will walk. Past victories do not guarantee future wins. King Hezekiah had led Judah in a great reformation. Idols ground to dust. Pagan places of worship destroyed. Temple worship of the One True God restored. Then Assyria besieged Jerusalem, and battle rather than blessing was on the horizon. Nevertheless, God calls His people to daily walk by faith not by sight. The purpose of battles in God’s economy is to build character in the lives of His people. Trust Christ ALONE for victory. Any other source is just a broken reed, unable to hold your weight. Trust Christ alone ALL THE TIME. This is a daily decision, not a one-time experience. This is always the right decision, even when the blessing doesn’t seem to come. Trust Him. Every day.


In Whom or In What Do You Trust?

2 Kings 18:5, “He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.” 
False hope never delivers in the end. Hezekiah’s father had trusted in idols and other nations, rather than the one true God and His Word. That did not end well for Ahaz. Unlike his father, Hezekiah’s exclusive hope in every situation was the Lord, and he was obedient to God’s Word, even when it came to national relics of historical importance, like the bronze snake on a pole which had been made by Moses. The people wrongly began to worship that image, but Hezekiah’s trust in God and His Word led him to destroy the icon. He did not want the people worshiping a dead, useless image. True hope resides only in the Lord Jesus Christ. Trust Him.


Fear and Doubt or Faith and Confidence

The way of life for an individual believer and a local church is the way of faith. We must choose to trust God, and that trust must be unlimited. Follow the link to read Proverbs 3:3-10, and consider…

Proverbs 3:5:

  • “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart…” – Deliberately turn from doubt to God and His promises. Make a discernible choice to walk by faith instead of being trampled by doubt.
  • “And lean not unto thine own understanding…” – We cannot trust God with all our heart and depend on our own abilities at the same time. Our confidence is either in God or in ourselves. If we catch ourselves saying stuff like: “I know how to fix this” or “I don’t need any help” then we have a limited rather than unlimited trust in the Lord. We are not claiming the victory inherent to this promise if we doubt God’s Word and lean only on what we can see or figure out for ourselves.

Proverbs 3:6

  • “In all thy ways acknowledge him…” – In every choice, in every decision, in every detail of life, recognize God and factor in His participation. Seek to please God. In everything put Him first. That honors Him. Here is a real practical – and often contentious – example of doing this. It is called giving a tithe and offering. When the money is flowing or when the well runs dry, always give first to God. That means giving a tithe (10%) and an offering (anything above 10%) to your local church. If we acknowledge God in all our ways, then we will be confident that 90% (or 85%) with God’s help is more than 100% on our own without God. Put God first – even with your finances – and trust Him to keep His promises.
  • “And he shall direct thy paths.” – This is a conditional promise from God. He will direct our paths – make the way passable – but only if we trust, lean on, and acknowledge Him. God will pave the way. This does not mean it will be easy breezy. It does mean it will be possible with God’s help. All things are possible with God. He promises to do His part. Will we do ours? Do we think we will do better than God with our problem? God always proves true, because God is always in control. No matter what happens or comes our way, God is in complete control – that is what sovereignty means. God is never blind-sided. God is never caught flat-footed. His hold never slips, and you are in His hands, if you’ve trusted Him.
Trust God with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. Refuse to take your cues from what life looks like at the moment. Do not listen to – or speak – the doom and gloom theories that dominate our news. Instead, acknowledge God in all your ways, and He will pave the way for you.
He is in control.


Preach to Yourself

Psalm 42:5, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”

The follower of Christ is not exempt from heartache, turmoil, or depression, but this does not mean we must surrender to these emotions. Like the psalmist, we should fight back. This means we must preach the truth to ourselves. The only ground for our hope is Jesus Christ crucified for our sins and triumphant over death. Therefore, we must learn to talk rather than listen to ourselves: “Listen, self: If God is for you, who can be against you? He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for you, how shall He not with Him also freely give you all things? Who shall separate you from the love of Christ?” Trust the Gospel, and preach it to yourself. 


Where is Your Confidence Placed?

Isaiah 36:15, “Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.”
Those who oppose the cause of Christ incessantly assault our confidence in the Lord and His cause. They rattle their swords. Puff out their chests, and loudly boast that they, not the Lord or His people will triumph; a pathetic scene replayed in the Old and New Testaments. We especially notice this nonsense at the cross. Don’t allow confidence in Christ to be shaken by the blustering  threats of others. Do not let the derision and the condescension of others make you doubt the Lord. Continue to trust in the Lord and you will not be disappointed. Place your confidence in men, and you will be let down all the time.


Would You Bow Down?

Everybody lives by faith in something or someone. The difference between a true believe and an unbeliever is not the presence of faith but the object of their faith. Daniel 3 is the text for today’s study and this evening’s sermon. There we find that leaders and influencers from across the great Babylonian Empire were assembled to worship the 90′ high and 9′ wide golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. He wanted to unify his diverse empire by means of religion and fear. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Faith Tried by Fire

Trials are used by God to develop our faith. The same trials are used by the enemy to destroy us. During such times we will either be drawn closer to the Lord or further away from him. 
The Babylonian authorities showed up because of the King’s commands. They all stood up for the image’s dedication. When the music played they all bowed down. All except for three. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to break God’s Law. They had already proven a willingness to cooperate with their new pagan leaders, but they would not compromise the clear commands of scripture. Instead, they were willing to pay the price that comes with trusting God.
I wonder if the Apostle Peter had these three men in mind when he wrote 1 Peter 1:7; 4:12:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego were confident in the Lord’s control of  their situation. They stood tall when everyone else bowed low.
Would you bow down?
That is a question to ask and answer as we work through Daniel 3 tonight at 7pm.