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Community Bible Chapel Podcast
5/5/19 A Different Way To Live –Living in Trust
Jack is a wreck.
-His boss is a tyrant – always yelling and demanding something more.
-He goes to work in fear of what might happen today.
-He is struggling to pay the bills now and his boss is threatening to cut his pay if he doesn’t pick up the pace.
-Then he goes home and his wife has been sick and the doctor said she needs ten weeks of bed rest.
-So she won’t be able to care for the kids and they will have to find someone to help.
-On top of that, something is always breaking.
-Last week it was the car.
-The week before it was the washer.
-This week the fridge broke.
-With all the news of measles and school shootings, Jack is in a constant state of fear from the time his kids get on the bus to when they come home.-Every text sends him into a panic thinking it will be from the school.
-He is becoming more and more afraid each day almost to the point that he can’t get out of bed in fear that something else will go wrong.
-His life is out of control and it’s getting worse by the day.
-We hear these stories and begin to wonder if there is any help for Jack.
-We all know someone like him or we are somewhat like him ourselves.
-Does the Bible offer any hope for him?
Today we continue the series A Different Way To Live-We introduced the series with the Hope of the resurrection.
-Last week we looked at living generously.
-And our Life groups helped us to dig deeper into our heart this week.
I invite you to join me in Isaiah 41:10. Page 513 – You version
In ancient Israel people struggled with worry and fear just as we do today.
-Their circumstances were darkened by the immanent invasion of Babylon and the destruction of the temple, their Nation, and their families living in exile.
In the midst of that fear, Isaiah writes to encourage them.
READ Isaiah 41:10
The Problem – Fear – What is it?
-The passage begins with the command: “do not fear.”
Webster = an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.-Imagine – Adam walked with God in the Garden and felt no sense of fear.
-Although a bit of fear might have helped him make a better decision.
-It wasn’t until after they sinned that they felt fear.
-The result of that fear was that they hid from God, lied, and then played the blame game out of fear.
-The fear of the Lord entered in along with sin and rebellion against God.
-At that point, their eyes were opened and they began to experience fear.
-Since we all inherited Adam’s sin nature, we all struggle with fear.
-And so the Scripture assumes that we will be afraid – we are human and fear is part of the human condition.
-Ps. 56:3 makes that assumption.
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”
-The Psalm writer is experiencing an emotion due to the fearful circumstances – that’s normal and not sinful.
-But the second part of that verse is more the thrust of all Scripture.
-When I am afraid, what do I do?
-Or more to the point: Who will I trust?-The issue is not whether I fear or not, it’s will I trust God or will I trust self?
-The result of trusting self is that we:
-Hide in the bushes with Adam?
-Regress into fruitless worry?
-Lash out in anger?
-It’s not fear that is sinful, but the response that can become sinful.-In addition, just to keep our terms straight, when the Bible talks about
Fear, worry, anxiety – all terms that mean mostly the same thing.
It gives us a Biblical definition = A lack of trust in God.
-And we see this all through God’s Word as these passages will point out as we substitute fear or anxiety for trust.Ps. 19:9 The fear (trust) of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
Ps 33:8 “Let all the earth fear (trust) the Lord. . . .”
Rom 8:15” The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear (not trusting God) again”
I Samuel 9:5 “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying (as if God doesn’t exist – lack of trust) about us.”
Matt. 6:27 “Can any one of you by worrying (not trusting God) add a single hour to your life?”
Prov. 12:25 “Anxiety (not trusting God) weighs down the heart -I Peter 5:7
“Cast all your anxiety (not trusting God) on him because he cares for you.”
-In our lack of trust in God, we live life just like those who don’t believe in God.
-I would call that a practical Atheist.
-A believer who lives and makes decisions just like an Atheist does – as if there is no God.-Now, there is another side to fear and it’s “the fear of the Lord.”
-But that fear is transformed as the relationship with God grows, and that fear is actually a progression.
Terror – dread – fear – respect – esteem – awe – reverence – worship – Love
-So the Scripture addresses fear all through it, and we see that it’s more a case of what we fear that makes it Godly fear or sinful fear.
Thankfully, the shelves of God’s Word are fully stocked with help for the worrier.
Solution – Trusting God
-These are a million reasons to fear in this broken world.-These chapters of Isaiah and the rest of the Bible give us the
One reason why we shouldn’t fear – God himself is with us.
-He reminds Israel (who are fearing the destruction of the Babylonians) that God remains with them.
-His promises are not void because of Babylon but are true because of them.
-God promised they would come.
-He just finished saying He raised up King Cyrus for this reason.
-And He will bring destruction to Babylon as well because of their sin.
-These things do not void God’s sovereignty (God over us) and God’s providence (God with us) any more than when we get sick or go through a divorce.
-We would all say we trust God, but Life’s circumstances remind us every day of our need for a Savior.
-Everyday gives us new reason to learn a deeper trust.
-God encourages Israel and us today with the solution – it’s not changing our circumstances, the solution is God himself.
1. He is with us.
-It’s not that we can text him or call him or see where he is on facebook, He is with us – He lives inside us in the Holy Spirit.
-If this were not the case, we would have reason for fear.
-But God has desired to live with His people all through the Bible.
-The Prophet goes on in Chapter 42 to talk about the coming Messiah, when God will come to live with us and die for our sins.
-The NT proves God’s desire to live with us.
-And through His death and resurrection, He has made that eternally possible.
-God is with us through all the circumstances of life – that is comforting.
2. He is our God.
-He is not our God in that we have control over Him, like a Genie in a bottle.
-He is our God in the truth that He has chosen us and made us His sons and daughters.
-He is our God.
-We see that all through the Bible in God choosing Abraham and making him His people.-In the NT God has chosen those who trust in Him to be His people and we wait for His return to us.
-He is our God and will be forever.
As Paul states in Romans 8:31 – “If God is for us, who can be against us?
3. He will strengthen us and help us.
-In our weakness, we don’t know what to do or how to do it.
-So we turn to Him and He strengthens us and helps us.
-Paul said in response to his thorn in the flesh, “I delighted in my weakness . . . for when I am weak, them I am strong.”
-In our temptation to decide to think and act as if God doesn’t exist, God will help us as I Cor. 10:13 tells us: “God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
-That temptation is always to distrust Him in the present circumstance, but He helps us to bring Him glory.
-We will always have the strength to choose Him and stand in faith
4. He will uphold us.
-Like a strong father upholding his son or daughter, God upholds us when we are about to fall.-A Strong Father – story of Derek Redmond – 1992 Olympics
-God has already upheld us in going to the cross to pay for our sin.
-And He will uphold us in the every trial and temptation we may face.
-He will help us to stand.
A Different Way To Live – Trust
-This is where our practical Theology comes under the full control of our Biblical Theology.
-Where the knowledge that “God is with us” and “strengthens us”, actually gives us a different way to live.
-Where we begin to live what we believe.
Because of God’s presence and His working in and through us . . . .
Put on humility.
-We can’t control the circumstances and our fear has caused us to attempt to control the outcome.-A humble heart rests in God’s sovereign hand over us and his providential hand with us.
-A humble heart follows God’s ways rather than forge ahead in what I think is best.
-A humble heart is content in God alone and how He uses all the circumstances of life for our good and His glory.
-Whether good or difficult – we trust that God is using them for His greater purpose of growing us and glorifying Himself.
-We are learning to trust through all the circumstances of our live
Put on Self-control
-Since worry and fear are part of the inner person – our thinking, self-control begins there.-We exercise self-control by making sure that our Biblical Theology (knowledge) is informing our practical Theology (thinking and actions).
-Phil. 4 “Whatever is true, noble, right, just”
-“Whatever” = as much as, fullness of what is true, noble, right.
-Those are all character traits of God.
-We are to be thinking on Him as the fullness of those terms.-We know that to be true, but we tend to focus on the stuff of earth in addition to that because we live in this world.
-It takes self-control to harness those thoughts and desires.II Cor. 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God (those can happen in our thinking), and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
–Self-control needs to control self.
-We have to work hard to arrest our thinking before they snowball.
-If we don’t arrest those thoughts, we will end in bitterness – where every thought of my boss will be bad.
-I replace my thinking of how terrible my boss is with thinking that God is good and my boss may be struggling with something in his own life – compassion . . .
Let me conclude with I John 4:18-19
Put on Love I John 4:18-19
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.”
Jay Adams agrees with God’s Word “The enemy of fear is love, the way to put off fear then, is to put on love.”
-John gives us another wonderful solution to our fear problem.
-If we are to become more like Jesus, we will be loving people like Jesus did.
-That is prioritized as our relationship with God, our spouse, kids, family, church, friends, others, all people.
-We are not talking about feelings of love, but I Cor. 13 actions of love.
-And that is not a love we have to drum up on our own, because v. 19 tells us that we love because God first loved us.
-So we just take God’s love given to us and turn it outwards to others.
Together these begin to formulate a different way to live.
We return to Jack.
-He was reading in Matt. 6 as Jesus was addressing worry.
-The solution was the same as in this passage:
“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”
-Trusting in God
-In that, Jack realized that God is with him and will strengthen him for what lies ahead.-Jack was humbled by God’s presence and the truth that God was upholding him.
-Rather than complain, he began to pray for his boss.
-Jack’s boss never shared anything about his life, but about a week after Jack began to pray, his boss mentioned something about his loneliness and struggle of going through a divorce.
-Jack replaced his fear of his boss by beginning to love on his boss.
-He began to do some of the little things that might make his boss look better that he was unwilling to do in the past.
-Nobody noticed the difference but his boss began to treat him better.
-At home, Jack and his wife prayed for her healing, but they also began to pray that God would use her sickness as a testimony to their Doctors.
-A couple appointments later, they were able to share with the Doctor how their faith has been strengthened by the sickness and how God has been sustaining them through it.
-Some folks from their church came over to pray with them and offered to develop a schedule to help with the kids.
-Jack has been encouraged by the accounts of Joseph and Job and began to see that God had grown them through the difficulty.
-They lived life differently because of God’s great love – they trusted.
-Jack didn’t go off to the mission field to live differently, but he was living life differently – learning to trust in His Lord and