“I am so weak that I can hardly write, I cannot read my Bible, I cannot even pray, I can only lie still in God’s arms like a little child, and trust.” Hudson Taylor
When was the last time you were at a point in your life when you felt completely surrounded by problems and you wanted to quit, when you said “this is hopeless – I give up – my life is over.”
Maybe someone came along and tried to encourage you like I am trying to do today, and you said, “You want me to be happy, to lift up my soul and praise the name of God – why, I can’t even lift up my head. You don’t know my problems – health, financial, you don’t know what my husband has done to me, my wife/kids/relatives/job/other people at church have done to me – you don’t know what God Himself has done to me.”
Ever been there? Have you ever been really discouraged and depressed, feeling like all is lost, the end has come, hope is gone, the devil has won? Have you ever been disillusioned, maybe even with God, Jesus, the Bible, faith, church, yourself? Have things in life ever reached below bottom for you – total burnout, destroyed, failure? I have seen people who were disillusioned, no joy, no hope, no reason to go on – not suicidal, just empty. The devil contributes when he says “you are nothing, your plans are nothing, God doesn’t care about you. You don’t count. Why don’t you just quit, hang it up, walk out the door, give up, throw in the towel.”
We lose loved ones, we lose jobs. Some have physical problems. Others are lonely and depressed. We struggle, strain and stress, we experience all kinds of troubles. Who can we turn to when we are down, who is trustworthy? Is Jesus trustworthy? Can He be trusted to be in charge of our lives? Does Jesus care about what happens to me? That’s the ultimate question.
In our text, Jesus teaches us that the solution to our troubled hearts is trust, and He gives us three things we can trust in to help us through the fire.
I. Trust in Me
John 14:1 – “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” NKJV
To trust God completely is one of the hardest things to do. We don’t trust that easily for many reasons. There are times when we don’t doubt, but there are many times when we do. There are times when we feel so close to God, then there are times when God seems so far away.
On these days the tough questions come – “How much can I trust you, God?” “How can I know you will be there for me?” “Why should I trust you, Jesus?”
Jesus answered these questions on that final night He spent with His disciples. He knew that the battle for their faith would grow more difficult when He was no longer with them in the flesh. So instead of ignoring the issue, Jesus put those questions on the table. He invited them and us to ask again “Can I trust in Jesus?”
The Bible is full of verses teaching us that we can trust God completely:
Psalm 9:10 – “Those who know your name trust in you, for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You.” NLT
Psalm 40:4 – “Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust…” NKJV
Psalm 56:3-4: “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” NLT
Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” NKJV
Jeremiah 17:7-8: “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” NLT
Those who put their trust in God are never disappointed, are never forsaken, are never abandoned, and are never left out in the cold, because God keeps His eye on all those who trust in Him – “His eyes are on the sparrow and I know He watches me!”
We may face trials during our walk with God, our circumstances may seem hopeless, but we are never without hope!
II. Trust in My promises
John 14:2-3: “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” NKJV
God gave many promises both in the Old and the New Testaments. He promised Noah that He would never again destroy the world by water, and He hasn’t. He promised Abraham a son, and He got one.
He promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and they are. He also promised Abraham that through his offspring all the nations of the world would be blessed, and He sent Jesus to save our souls.
Jesus promised that He is coming to take us back to His house where we will live forever. What a wonderful promise! He is saying, “I’m not just going to show you the way, or tell you the way, or write out the instructions on how to get there. I’m going to come and take you by the hand and lead you to My Father’s house, and it will be your home, too. You’ll be part of the family – then you’ll be home where you belong!”
Most of us is already there. Our name is written there. Our citizenship is there. Our God is there. Our Savior is there. Our inheritance is there. We are almost home! So don’t become discouraged or fainthearted. Soon it will all be fulfilled, and we will be in our Father’s house – that’s a promise you can trust from a God Who cannot lie!
III. Trust in Who I am
John 14:4-6: “And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” NKJV
There is nothing petty in this statement. Jesus strides onto the stage of history and proclaims Himself to be the only way to heaven. With this statement, Jesus was saying that He was God! This claim angers people like no other. It’s been called arrogant and narrow-minded and bigoted and snobbish. The reason is because it strikes at the very core of the great New Age myth about religion: “It doesn’t matter what you believe or do – all paths lead to God!”
Does it really matter what we believe about Jesus? It does if you want to go to heaven:
John 8:24 – “That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.” NLT
Matthew 22:41-42: “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” NKJV
Your answer to this question will determine how you live your life now and where you will spend eternity.
The Bible is full of hundreds of stories where God proved that He could be trusted with our lives, our problems, the salvation of our soul (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the apostles, etc). Jesus fed thousands to prove that we can trust Him to meet our needs, so we don’t need to fret and fuss about it.
He tells us that if we will put Him first in all things, He will provide these things to us – Matthew 6:33 – “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” NLT
He saved the apostles from a stormy sea to prove to us that He is in control of this world and that we can trust Him with our lives, we don’t have to live in fear.
He died on the cross to prove once and for all that God loves us and that we can trust Him to save our souls!
Over the last 2000 years, Jesus has proven Himself trustworthy in the lives of untold millions. In sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, He has been faithful.
So do you have burdens that you think you cannot bear? Are you troubled? Are you worried or anxious? Do you feel empty inside?
Do you feel lonely? Do you feel lost? Confused? Then come running to Jesus. Jesus wants you to come to Him.
Matthew 11:28-30: “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” NLT
Jesus wants you to understand that He has never let you down; He never will let you down.
“Trust me – I can take care of you.” God
Psalm 62:8 – “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” NKJV
In the history of the world, no one has been able to claim what Jesus claimed and was able to back it up with the power of God, the Scriptures, and reliable eye witnesses. His life can only be explained one way. He really is the Almighty God, The Great I AM, Immovable Rock, Omnipotent, Powerful, Awesome Lord, Victorious Warrior, Commanding King of Kings, Mighty Conqueror and Lord of Lords who will reign forever and ever!
Acts 4:12 – “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” NLT