So far we have talked about choosing a standard in our lives, about accepting responsibility for our lives, and this morning we want to talk about developing trust.
We are a cynical nation, a doubting nation. We are skeptical of everything and everybody. Customers don't trust business anymore. Employees don't trust managers any more. Nobody trusts the government any more. In a recent survey of the trust level in America it was discovered that the least trusted professions in America are now:
The two most trusted professions in America are: pharmacists and pastors. But I've got news for you; you can't always trust them! People are people and they will let you down.
What's behind this decline in trust in our society? We've heard all the bogus claims and we've heard all the broken promises. Why don't we trust people? Our society doesn't value truth any more. What they value is what works. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. Truth and trust go together.
We trust people who tell us the truth. We don't trust people if we don't think they're telling us the truth. God designed us with the desire to trust in something greater that ourselves because He wanted us to have a relationship with Him. If we don't learn to trust God, we will create something else to trust in. It may be a diploma on the wall. It may be money in the bank. It may be a husband or wife or children. It may be a career, a goal, whatever. But we will create something in which to place our trust or worship.
Any time we trust any person or anything more than God or anytime we value any person or any thing before God that's called an idol. That is a definition of idolatry. It's when we trust anything or anyone else more than God.
The second command of the Ten Commandments says:
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:" - Ex. 20:3-4
Initially, we might think that God is only thinking of Himself with that command, but in reality it is for our good…it is for our benefit that God commands us to avoid idolatry. Why is that?
(Deuteronomy 4:15-16) Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
God tells us that it is for our own good, that we avoid idolatry.
I. What happens when we trust anything else more than God?
A. We become disappointed.
1. Any time I expect other people to meet a need in my life that only God can meet, I'm going to be disappointed.
2. Any time we make anything, even good things idols, we will be disappointed.
a. "If I could just get married, then I'd be happy."
b. "If I could just find that right person, my life would be totally fulfilled."
c. "If I could just get this job" or "If I could just make `X' amount of money, then life would be fantastic."
d. We have just created an idol, and we're going to be discouraged by it.
(Jeremiah 10:14) Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
(Habakkuk 2:18) What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?
3. It's crazy!
4. We look at a person in the jungle who carves out a little god and then bows down and worships it and we say, "That's dumb! You made it!"
5. But we do that all the time with our careers, relationships, bank accounts.
6. We act as if that is what gives us meaning in life, that's what gives us significance, but we will be disappointed by all of our idols!
7. It's pretty amazing all the things people will trust in instead of God.
8. People spend billions of dollars every year on psychic hot lines, horoscopes, palm reading, tea leaves, good luck charms or religious symbols.
9. Note: Isaiah 44:9-20
When we trust in anything besides God to take care of us, ultimately we're going to be disappointed.
B. We become dominated.
(1 Corinthians 12:2) Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
1. Make a list of the top ten most important things to you.
2. Whatever is in first place is your god.
3. If it is not The God, then we have just built an idol.
4. Whatever is in first place in our life, whatever we value most, eventually controls us.
5. That's why we had better make it God.
6. Because He's the only one wise enough to give us the right directions.
(Psalms 115:4-8) Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
7. Whatever we value most in life, we're going to become like.
a. If I value things most; I'm going to become materialistic.
b. If I value pleasure most, I'm going to become hedonistic.
c. But if Jesus Christ most, I will become more like Him.
C. Why do we start trusting in all these other things instead of God?
1. We want a god we can control.
2. Many don't want a God that they have to worship and love; instead they want a god who lets them do whatever they want, regardless of whether it's right or wrong
3. We really don't want God; we want a genie.
4. We don't want a God that I have to serve, but we want a god who serves us.
II. Why don't we trust God more?
A. Because we really don't know God.
1. We won't trust someone we don't know.
2. If a stranger comes up to you on the street, "You'll live 50 years longer if you put your shirt on backwards."
3. We think, "Who are you to tell me how to live?"
4. We think, "What does this guy know about me? Why should I trust him?"
5. The same is true with God.
(Psalms 9:10) And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
B. If we don't know God and what He's really like, we will not trust Him!
1. Of course we wouldn't expect the lost person to trust God…
2. But often, we as believers do not trust Him as we should!
a. That's why many Christians dismiss His Word.
b. God tells us how we should live our lives, and it is usually completely different than what the world says.
1) He tells us sex is to be reserved for marriage…but the world says go ahead…it's ok.
2) He tells us homosexuality is a sin, but the world tells us people are born that way and we should accept it.
3) He tells us the way to succeed is to submit and be a servant, the world tells us we must look out for #1.
4) He tells us we should be a witness for Him to all, but the world says, "Only kooks do that!"
3. If we do not trust His Word, it is because we do not know Him as we should!
4. The better we know Him, the more we will trust Him!
(Philippians 3:10) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
III. Why should we trust God completely?
A. Because He always tells the truth.
1. He is the truth…truth is defined by God.
2. The nature of God includes the things that are right.
3. The things that are not right are those things that are anti-God, anti His nature.
4. The Bible tells us that it is impossible for God to lie…it is simply against His nature.
(Hebrews 6:18) That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
5. God cannot contradict Himself because He is the essence of truth.
6. That means we can count on Him always to be Truth… we can trust Him.
(Romans 3:4) God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
B. Because He loves us.
1. He says it over and over in the Bible - but more than that.
2. He demonstrates it in our life every day.
3. The greatest expression of His love for us is Jesus Christ Himself.
(1 John 4:16) And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
4. If we want to know what God is really like take a good, long look at Jesus Christ.
5. What keeps folks from trusting God is fear.
a. Afraid they will lose their freedom
(John 8:36) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
b. Afraid they will miss out on fun
(John 10:10b) "… I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
c. Afraid that others will think they are a nut case.
(Proverbs 29:25) The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. 
C. Because He's in control
1. That is an understatement!
2. He created the entire universe! It is held together by Him.
(Colossians 1:17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
3. God is working His purpose and plan in history and He is moving history to an historical climax, a destiny.
4. One day Jesus Christ is going to come back to earth. Nothing is going to stop that.
5. He will work in our life for a purpose if we will allow Him.
(Romans 8:28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
D. Because God will help me.
1. There are so many promises of this.
2. He knows what is best for our lives and if we trust Him, He'll bless us.
(Proverbs 3:5-6) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
3. Underline "lean not unto thine own understanding".
4. Who or what are we trusting; our own plans or God's?
5. Initially that may seem to be a fearful thought.
a. Not really…
b. When we totally trust the Lord, there is no fear.
(1 John 4:18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
c. Example of Father playing with his child…tossing them up in the air.
d. No fear…why because they totally trust their father to catch them.
(Mark 5:36) As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
How do we know if we're really trusting God? We know by observing how quickly we obey Him. Is it immediate? Is it delayed? Do we put up an argument? What do we do? To build our lives upon values that last, we must develop trust in Him.