What a pleasure this morning to have a guest pastor, Pastor Brian Plouffe, visit us at my home church in Haliburton. This was our first Sunday back in our church since last October because we spent six months away this winter.
Our homecoming – wonderful. Read my post on Together.
Today here are a few thoughts from Brian’s sermon called “Learning to Trust in the Lord”.
What is trust? What do you trust? Brian made us think about what we trust in – will the chair hold me? – do we actually feel it and check it out or just sit down? We know the sun will come up each day even though we may not see it – we know it is there. We can trust in Jesus, His saving grace and our salvation, too.
The passage he chose for his sermon is one of the first ones that I had memorized:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).
As he went through the passage he took each section so I will do the same.
IN THE LORD
God is worthy of our trust. He sent Jesus – who died for us and made the way for us to be with God – here and in Heaven.
WITH ALL YOUR HEART
That means your whole being – not just a little bit. Everything that is in you. Jesus told us to:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NIV).
I like the analogy he used to help me see trust. He said “plant seeds of trust”. Trust needs to be planted; needs to be watered and nurtured and cared for. How do we do this? Because trust takes time and effort we have to work at it. That means to draw close to God in prayer and in reading the Bible. Not just “go to church”.
He told us a bit of his testimony, which involved his first introduction to reading the Bible. When he first started to read (as a brand new Christian who had no background at all in Christianity) he read the Bible from the beginning but even though the stories were good – Leviticus and Deuteronomy bogged him down and he gave up. That is until one year later when God led him to a Messianic Jew while he visited Europe. She asked if he knew Jesus. He said that someone had led him to know who Jesus was – but He couldn’t find out about Him in the Bible. She explained that there are two testaments in the Bible. Jesus comes in the New Testament. And he followed her advice and found out all about Jesus.
It is important for us to draw closer to God.
AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING
We need to use our minds to discover, to read, to watch and to listen. But God will not reveal everything to us. We don’t need explanations of why does such and such happen. We do need to pray for wisdom and understanding. But He doesn’t have to tell us everything.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD” (Isaiah 15:8 NIV).
God is all-knowing – not us. But we do need to read, read and read some more. Encourage our young people to read as well.
IN ALL THY WAYS SUBMIT TO HIM
I liked this part so much. How do we acknowledge God? With a nod? A high five? See ‘ya later God? Or do we bow down just as Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane and said, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39 NIV)
AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT
Yes, He will and sometimes we may fall. But when we do we fall into a puddle we need to cry out to God – not stay down in the puddle and whine. We have to ask for help and not moan or mope where we are. We need to ask for that help and stop blaming God or the puddle. This reminded me so much of Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. To know Eucharisteo – thanks in all situations.
And the ending:
Even in the midst of uncertainty – we can trust a God who has saved us. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus – the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) God blesses our hearts if we let Him in.