We put our trust in many things…our jobs, our spouses, our home, our family, our friends, our wisdom, our talents. But it’s only when we put our trust in God that we’ll see true success. Explore with me how things will change for you when you renew your trust in God. (Recorded October 18, 1998)
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“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”
This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Hi! Welcome to the Ranch!
I’m glad you are joining us tonight. Tonight we are going to talk about whom do we put our trust in. Is it God whom we really trust?
Sometimes we think we are trusting in God but really we are trusting in ourselves. We are trusting in our finances. We are trusting in our spouse. We are trusting in our children. We are trusting in our parents, our family, our pastor, or our church. We trust in a lot of things and it’s good to put your trust in other people, but there are people who will fail you. There are things that will fail you. There are technologies that will fail you. Many times we just run across things that simply break down, simply fail us.
Tonight, I want to talk about One whom you can put your trust in, who will never fail you. Who will never leave you, never forsake you. That is the name of the Lord our God.
Tonight, I just want to address that with you. I just want to speak to that topic. So I pray that tonight will be a blessing to you and it will be a blessing to me and my wife as well as we broadcast this message live from the Ranch.
Take a moment just to look on your screen at the message notes. There’s a special section on the page that you clicked on to get here that says “message notes”. And you can pull that up on your screen and you will be able to read along with me the passage we are going to look at tonight, Jeremiah 17. If you will pull up those message notes and on your Real Video player you can click on that and tell it in the preferences that it will always be on top. So if you choose always on top you’ll be able to see me in one corner and read the message notes in the background. You’ll be able to watch me as you follow along with the message. Why don’t you take a few moments to sit before the Lord, read through Jeremiah 17 and just ask God to open your heart to anything He has to say to you tonight.
Can God speak to us through His word about things that are going on in our lives right now? Through this Bible can God really speak to us about things that were not even invented when the Bible was written? Can God speak to us about the Internet through words written over 3,000 years ago even though the Internet has only been in existence for less than 10 years?
Well, He did to me this week. I was sitting down with my Bible and I was getting ready to work on my Web site when I was having some technical difficulties. I said, “God I really don’t want to spend time reading the book that I’m currently reading.” I was reading the book of Job and I was on chapter 8 and I really wanted to work on my web site so I could get some things working on it, rather then read the Bible. But I just decided, no, I’m going to sit down and read the Bible and maybe God will speak something to me anyway. Here is what I read in chapter 8 of Job:
“Such is the destiny of all who forget God, so perishes the hope of the Godless. What he trusts in is fragile, what he relies on is a spider’s web. He leans on his web but it gives way. He clings to it but it does not hold.”
Here I was having trouble with my web site and God says, “Eric, you are leaning on your web and it is giving way. You are clinging to it but it won’t hold.” And I said, “Wow! God, You have done it again. You have spoken to me about the web that was not even created back then.” I know that is not what Job was talking about when he initially had these words on the page. But God, through His infinite wisdom spoke to me about something that was going on personally in my life. That is the kind of God we serve. That is why I believe HE IS ALIVE, HE IS ACTIVE, and HE IS WORKING in people’s lives today.
So I sat there and I said, “Okay God, what do I need to do?” Right in the same passage God showed me what to do. He said, “You are trusting in what is fragile, you are relying on something that will give way. Do not forget me, because that is the destiny of all those who forget God.” I have not forgotten God. Yet, God is reminding me that we need to renew our faith in Him. We need to renew putting our trust in Him. We think we are trusting in God, and doing what God has called us to do. Yet constantly we need to come back before God and say, “God, I am putting my faith in You again. I am not trusting in this technology. I am not trusting in even the things that you have called me to do. I am trusting in You alone. And You will bring it about.”
You know what, I went back to work on my technical problems and some got fixed and some did not. But I have the confidence that God was with it, God was with me, and God was going to work me through these problems over the next few days and weeks. And that is exactly what God has been doing.
So, I just want to encourage you in two things. One is that God still speaks through the Bible. Pick it up, read it everyday. Stay in His words because that is where you will find life. God gives us words of life here. Secondly, renew your hope in the Lord. Renew your trust in the Lord. Are you trusting in God or are you trusting in your strength, your wisdom, your talent?
I was reminded of this again Sunday morning, last week, when I preached at a church here in town. We tried to broadcast it live on the Internet. It worked for about half of the message. I was just to the point where I said, “We are about ready to broadcast this live on the Internet,” when I looked over and saw the computer screen had gone down. Our connection to the Internet dropped, and for the rest of the service we were not connected to the Internet. I could have been very frustrated about what happened there. But I just said, “No, I am going to keep on preaching and we are going to let these words go forth.” And at the end of the service about half a dozen people in that room accepted Jesus Christ and prayed to receive Him as their Lord and Savior.
What it taught me was that even though I am relying on technology and the technology fails, God does not. Even when everything around us seems to be falling apart, God is not. Even when the web that we are clinging to does not hold, God still holds on to us. He still remains faithful to us. In fact He remains solid as a rock.
Tonight I want to pray with you, at the end of the night, that you would put your trust back in God whatever your situation, whatever you’re going through. Those things that are on your mind, those things that are bothering you that are keeping you down. I want to pray about those tonight, that you would be able to put your trust back on God for those things as well. I think that God will really bless you through this.
Look with me at the passage in Jeremiah. Here’s the promise that God gives us. This is in Jeremiah chapter 17 starting in verse 5. There’s both a promise and a warning here. If you trust in man or trust in yourself certain things will happen to you. But if you trust in God other things will happen to you that are great and unimaginable. This is what the Lord says in verse 5:
Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wasteland. He will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert in the salt land where no one lives.
But in verse 7 He says:
But blessed is the man who trusts in Him, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes, its leaves are always green. It has no worries in the year of drought and it never fails to bear fruit.
Wow! That is a great promise. If we trust in the Lord:
We will not dry up
We will not be weary
We will not fear
We will not have worries in the year of drought
We will not fail to bear fruit.
Even though there is a drought around us. Even though prosperity is not falling all around us. Even though there are reasons to worry. God has promised that if we put our trust in Him we will continue to bear fruit. We will not fear and we will not worry. That is a great promise and one that I am taking to heart this week. I want to pray that you will as well.
There is another passage listed on your screen. You can read that later. Psalm 1 and I think that will encourage you as well in trusting in God.
I want to close this short message with something that I found the other day, actually it was awhile ago. I found this dollar bill that was probably from about 1910. I looked at this dollar bill and there was something drastically missing on the dollar bill and I was very surprised. And do you know what was not on that dollar bill back in 1910?
These words: In God We Trust.
They weren’t on it, and I thought that those words were on it since the beginning of time. I thought they were always on the American dollar bill. I found out that they were only added later in the 40’s or 50’s. When we had come out of a war and people said, “We need to continue to put our trust in God. We need to renew our trust in God.” They put it on the money, put it on all the denominations and all the coins and bills. And it is still on there today. Here, I thought it was something that was on there a long time ago. But even though it was not on there, I have been thinking about how God has called every generation to put their trust in Him.
We can not rely on trust from long ago, we can not rely on something from two hundred years ago, or 2,000 years ago or from even twenty years ago. God calls us to renew our trust in Him everyday, every week, every generation. And so that is what I want to pray.
I want to sing a song with you tonight, a worship song that we can just worship the Lord. I also want to ask you to consider putting your trust in God tonight. Now this may be something that you have done several times before, but for some of you it may be absolutely new. You have never once put your trust in God. You have been trusting in your own strength, you have been trusting in your parents, and you have been trusting in something else to get you through. But you realize that you are bankrupt, you realize that there is absolutely no way you will be able to make it without putting your trust in God. Well, I want to pray with you especially tonight and just ask that God would show you that He is faithful. God will show you that He is alive. And as you put your trust in Him, He will be faithful to that. He will prove to you that He’s rock solid.
So would you consider that tonight? It just requires three simple things.
1. You have to repent of any sins that you have done. Say, God I am totally sorry for that.
2. You have to believe in Jesus Christ. That is the one He sent to die for your sins. The penalty for sin is death. If you do not believe in Jesus then you have got to pay the penalty and that will cost you your life one-day. But, Jesus said that if you believe in Him, you would not perish, but have everlasting life. So two is believe in Christ, the one that God sent to save you from your sins.
3. To receive that free gift of life. You just have to say “I am open God, I receive it.” And God will pour into you a new life that will well up inside you, God says like a spring of water flowing out.
And so I want to pray with that in mind as well tonight.
So wherever you are tonight, if you trust Christ for the first time or whether you are putting your trust back in Him for a particular situation, we are going through to pray in just a minute.
Why don’t you just worship the Lord with me for a minute here?
There is a great song I want to read to you before we pray. This is the song:
“We Trust In The Lord.”
Some trust in power.
Some trust in banks.
Some trust in armies, missiles and tanks.
Some trust in people while God is ignored,
But we trust in the name of the Lord.
Yes, we trust in the Lord.
Some trust their feelings what they can touch.
Some trust computer, software and such.
Some trust attention, being adored.
But we trust in the name of the Lord.
Yes, we trust in the name of the Lord.
Some trust in fashion.
Some trust in looks.
Some trust in teachers, classes and books.
Some trust in freedom, in cutting the cord.
But we trust in the name of the Lord.
Yes, we trust in the name of the Lord.
I want to pray with you right now. And I just know that God answers these prayers because He promises that when we ask, we shall receive. So let us pray right now that we would renew our trust in the Lord.
Lord, I thank you for those watching live right now and those watching later, months later, days later and even years later or even 20 years later. Someone may watch and decide that it is time to put their trust in the Lord. God I pray for them as well. God I pray for me and my wife here in this room tonight that we would renew our trust in the Lord as well. Thank you Lord that you speak to us through your words written 2,000 and 3,000 years ago. Thank you God that you are worthy of our trust and that you are solid as a rock.
God, right now for the thing that we are facing, that thing we are in right now God. We just put our trust in you. We do not trust in technology, we do not trust in people, we do not trust in things, we do not trust our feelings. God we trust in You. We trust in You God. God, we just would transfer our trust from ourselves to You. We transfer our trust in those to You. God even the things that you have called us to do, God we can not do it without You. There is no way we can do it without you.
God, for those who are just now for the first time believing in You, the first time putting their trust in You. I pray a special prayer Lord that they would repent of their sins, telling you they are sorry. Believe in Your Son, and receive Him as their Lord and Savior. God, I pray right now that you would make that transaction that would boost them from here to heaven, Lord. They would have eternal life and that they would know deep in their soul that they have eternal life. God I thank You for this time tonight.
God, I just want to pray a little longer; that You would renew in our hearts that You are trustworthy, that You would lift that burden off of us Lord. You say that You will take our burdens. And Your burden is light, Your burden is easy. You exchange our heavy burden for Your light one God. I just pray right now that that transaction would occur as well. As we put our trust in You for these things that are weighing heavy on us God, You would lighten our spirits, lighten our hearts, that You would lift us up God. We would be able to feel that God is in our hearts and in our lives. We would experience that. We would walk in that and that we would find peace and rest and joy in that.
For you, those are watching right now, I just pray for you and I just speak blessing on you and I ask God to come into your life and to just give you that supernatural peace that passes all understanding. That blessing Lord and that you would be like Jeremiah described that tree that is planted by the water. That you would be a tree that draws its roots from the water, draws its strength from that water, that source of living water. That these people would be prosperous, they would be blessed, and they would not worry or fear that they would continue to trust in You. And they would continue to bear fruit. I pray this all in the strong name of Jesus!
Have a great night! Thanks for coming to the Ranch and I pray that you will join me next week for this message live from the Ranch. God bless you.