The Trust Factor
September 9, 2019

Building Lasting Values

“The Trust Factor”

{Listen to the audio at https://mega.nz/#!HQ8HQSiA!BtI7iq0eee8l6zTpgyeZOOP7Cyy-ms9qbBMjg1ecg_U }

In our series on building lasting values, we’re looking to develop those standards and values by which we are to live our lives by in order to build up the House of God within us. Last week we looked at accepting responsibility for our lives. Now we need to ask, “Who are we going to trust?” 

There’s a dramatic declineoftrustin our society: nobody trusts anybody, and we wonder, “What’s the truth.” We’ve become skeptical of everything and everybody, and there’s a high price to pay for such low trust. 

Customers don’t trust businesses, employees don’t trust their bosses, and nobody trusts the government. And that shouldn’t come as a surprise, because in politics, telling the truth gets politicians in trouble. 

In a survey they discovered that the least trusted professions are telemarketers, used car salesmen, and at the bottom is politicians. 

But overall, what’s really behind this decline in trust is when we hear all these bogus claims and promises over and over again, but they never come about. They aren’t true. The answer is what we talked about at the beginning of our series, and that is Truth Decay. Our society doesn’t value truth. Instead it values convenience and pragmatism, or, is it easy and does it work, and it really doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. 

Think about these two words, truth and trust. Did you know that there is only one letter difference between them, which to me means that you only trust those who tell the truth? The only problem is that we are human beings who make some pretty dumb mistakes, and say some pretty dumb things, and being honest isn’t part of our sinful makeup. 

But, still, when God made us, He wired us in such a way that we have the capacity and the desire to trust someone or something, and since we are all sinful and liars by nature, we need someone who is greater than ourselves to trust, which fits into God’s original design, and that is in our need to trust in and have a relationship with Him. 

And here’s the kicker, if we don’t learn to trust God, then we’ll end up creating something else to trust in. It may be a diploma on the wall, or money in the bank, a spouse or child. It may be a career, a goal, or any number of things, but we will create something to place our trust in. It’s built into our operating system.

The Bible calls it creating an idol. Whenever we trust a person or a thing more than God, they become an idol in our lives. Now the second Commandment in God’s Big Ten, that is, the Ten Commandments, is “don’t make for yourself an idol,” and that’s because it isn’t healthy. 

“Watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol.” (Deuteronomy 4:15b-16a NIV)

Another version says, “For your own good don’t sin by making an idol in any form.” 


Today I’d like to look at three basic questions when it comes to the issue of developing trust.

  • What happens when we trust something or someone more than God? 
  • Why does it seem so difficult to trust God? 
  • Why we need to trust God? 

What Happens When We Trust Something More Than God?

Actually, two negative effects happen. 

1. We’ll Become Disappointed

Anytime we expect other’s to meet a need that only God can meet, we’re going to end up disappointed. Even if what we choose to trust is a good thing, like family and friends, we’ll end up disappointed, because they don’t have the power to fully fulfill our needs.

We say stuff like, “If I could just find Mr. or Mrs. Right, then I will be fulfilled,” or “If I could just get this job,” or “If I could just make X amount of money, then I’d feel significant.” But what we’re doing is creating idols. 

To those who create idols, the prophet Jeremiah said, “Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them.” (Jeremiah 10:14 NIV)

Jeremiah is saying that those who make and put their trust in idols will be disappointed, because there is no real life within them. 

When we look at natives in remote locations who carve wooden idols and bow down to them, we think, “How primitive.” Yet, we do it all the time. We carve out for ourselves careers, relationships, and money market funds only to end up bowing down to them. 

And so, if we don’t trust God, then we’ll create something else to take God’s place. And it’s pretty amazing what we end up putting our trust in. We spend billions of dollars every year on all these psychic hot lines, horoscopes, and palm reading mumbo-jumbo, while hanging crystals around our necks and off our rearview mirrors. But none of these help, and in the end we’ll be disappointed. 

The prophet Isaiah gives us this assessment. 

“The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He is trusting something that can give him no help at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, ‘Is this thing, this idol that I’m holding in my hand, a lie.’” (Isaiah 44:20 NLT)

When we trust in anything other than God, then ultimately we’re going to be disappointed. 

2. We’ll Become Dominated

“You know that when you were still pagans you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.” (1 Corinthians 12:2 NLT)

To be led astray and swept along is to be controlled by whatever is doing the leading. Whatever is first in our lives is our god, and it has control over our lives. Whatever we value most will eventually control us. It could be alcohol or drugs, money or power, a relationship, or even a child. The best thing we can do is to put Jesus Christ, first, because He’s the only one who will tell us the truth and set us upon the right path. 

In speaking about those who create idols, the psalmist says, “Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.” (Psalm 115:8 NIV)

Basically, whatever we value most is what we’re going to be in life. So if money is the most important thing, then we’re going to be materialistic. If we value pleasure, then we’ll be a person whose whole way of life is spent in the pursuit of happiness. But if we value a relationship with Jesus Christ as the most important thing, then we’ll become a Christian. 

And so, whatever we put as that top value will shape us, and if it’s not God, then it’s going to warp us. 

So it’s important to ask, “Do we exist for God, or does God exist for us?” Our answer will determine our values. If we say, “God exists for us,” then we don’t have God; instead we have an idol. We’ve created an idol that serves us. 

Now, this is nothing new. Humanity has been doing this from the beginning. When God created humanity He said, “Let us make man in our image.” Today, however, we do the opposite, we create God in our image. We make Him the way we want so that we can do our own thing. 

But like I said, this isn’t anything new. It was actually the first temptation when Satan told Eve, “Hey, if you eat of the tree of good and evil then you’ll be just like God”(Genesis 2:17). And so they ate, and they became their own gods determining for themselves what was right and wrong for their own lives. And since that time we’ve been either acting like our own gods, or creating a god that allows us to be whatever we want.

The idea that God is anything we want Him to be is one of the most popular ideas in our society. It is where all expressions of God are equally valid and true. It’s where we can believe anything we want about God and it’s okay. 

The only problem is that someone forgot to tell God. 

In His word, God tells us just who He is. And if we value the truth, we need to get to know the God of the Bible, and since the Bible has yet to be proven false, I’d like to quote it about God. 

“He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV)

It also says that God is true, and every person is a liar (Romans 3:4). 

Several weeks ago I listed our four philosophies as to why our society is in a moral decline. They were individualism, secularism, relativism, and political correctness. Today, I want to introduce you to another destructive philosophy that has caused a lot of confusion about God. It’s called “Syncretism.” Syncretism is combining a bunch of ideas from many different philosophies and religions in order to form another philosophy or religion. 

People take a little bit of what the Bible says, those parts that they like, and they add a pinch of Eastern thought, a tablespoon of Buddhism, and a cup of science fiction, and out pops a new age cult. 

But there’s nothing new in new age cults. They’ve simply took lies from the past and renamed them. Eventually this leads to our destruction as we lose our identity and stop being what God has made and called us to be. 

This leads us into our second question, Why Does It Seem So Difficultto Trust God?

Now, the reason we end up trusting all this other stuff instead of God is because…

We Don’t Know God

We simply don’t trust someone we don’t know. If a stranger calls and says they have this great deal that will yield 25% on our investment, we’re not going to give them a dime, because we don’t know anything about them. 

Therefore, if we don’t know God and what He is like, or if we have all these wrong ideas about Him, then we’re not going to trust Him either. So, when God says, “Sex is to be reserved for marriage,” we’re going to say, “It’smy life, and if I want to have sex with whomever, and whenever I want, that’s my business.” 

On the other hand, if we truly know God, and if He really matters to us, then we’ll know the truth in that we really matter to Him, and that He has our best interest at heart. Therefore, we won’t have any problem following what He says about sex, finances, or whatever. 

Look at what King David said.

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:10 NKJV)

God’s word is true, and His word is His owner’s manual for our lives. He is the one who created us, and therefore He knows more about us than we know about ourselves. And through His word He helps us avoid the problems and pain that comes with life. 

Unfortunately, most people spend more time in front of the computer and television and they do reading God’s word. Therefore, they end up getting their ideas about God from what is call, “Talk show Theology.” Is it any wonder why our society is so messed up when it comes to understanding about who God is? 

Who are we going to believe, Oprah, Ellen De Generes, or the Bible? That’s a real quandary for a lot of people, including Christians. Are we going to believe what Oprah says about God, or what the Bible says? 

If we don’t know the truth about God, then we can’t trust God. And if we can’t trust God then we can’t have a real relationship with Him, because all relationships are built upon trust and truth. 

This then leads me to our last question: Why Should We Trust God?Let me give four reasons

1. Because God Tells the Truth

God is truth. He is the essence of truth, and the nature of things that are true. 

“So God has given us both His promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.” (Hebrews 6:18 NLT)

The writer of Hebrews is saying that we can completely trust what God says. When people ask, “Is there anything that God cannot do,” we can honestly say, “He cannot lie.” Because, if God lied, then God is not God. God cannot deny His own nature, which is the essence of truth. 

Because God is truth, we can trust Him. Jesus said that is exactly who He is, that is, “the truth.” He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). In this upside down, inside out, wrong side up world, a world that no longer values truth, who are we going to trust? 

The Apostle Paul said, “Though everyone else in the world is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say, ‘He will be proved right in what he says.’” (Romans 3:4 NLT)

And so if God says to do something in the Bible, we better follow it, because it is true. Now, it may not be popular or easy, but God knows a whole lot more than we do as to what’s best for our lives, and that’s because He is truth, and therefore, He tells the truth. 

2. Because God Loves Us

We were created as an act of God’s love. God created us so that we can have a loving relationship with Him. Now, the greatest expression of God’s love for us is found in Jesus Christ. God came down from heaven to become one of us, to take upon Himself a human form to show us God’s love in real time as He took our place and died the death we deserve upon the cross. That’s how much God loves us. 

If we truly want to know what God is like, then we need to take a good long look at Jesus Christ. He is not only the picture of God, but He is God as the Apostle Paul said, “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). If Jesus is then the truth and tells us nothing but the truth, then shouldn’t we check it out? Our eternal life depends upon it. 

Please understand that God loves us so much that we don’t have to be afraid of Judgment Day, because we have placed our trust in Jesus Christ. 

3. Because God Is In Control

God created the universe and is working His purpose and plan, and moving this world to a climax where Jesus Christ is going to come back to this earth and redeem it. Further, God will work everything in our lives for His purpose, and toward this climax. 

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV)

Now, this doesn’t say that everything is good or that God causes everything. God doesn’t cause evil or what is evil. We do that with Satan’s help. God has given us the freedom to choose, and sometimes we make some really dumb choices. That’s the price of freedom. 

But God’s word says that in the end He will cause it to work together for good. And while people like to quote this verse for their lives, it doesn’t apply to everyone. Instead, it is only for those who “love God and are the called according to His purpose.”

If we know God, if we trust Him with our lives, and if we are in that loving relationship with Jesus Christ, then we don’t need to worry about the scary headlines we read, and that’s because we know that God is ultimately in control. 

And while we live in a society that is going to hell in a hand basket, and a society that is in a moral free fall, we don’t need to worry, because God has got it under His control and is working it all out toward His ultimate good, and to His ultimate end. 

But this doesn’t give us the license to continue doing things we know are wrong. God never takes away our freedom to choose, but when we make a choice to do something wrong then we are no longer free, because we are not free from the consequences from our choices. 

God is in control, so it is a good thing to trust God, because He will have the last say. 

4. Because God Will Help

“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.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)

God knows what is best for our lives, therefore His promise is that when we trust Him completely and know Him thoroughly, and when we stop leaning on our own, or the world’s, understanding about what is right and wrong, then God will direct our way through this life and into the next. 

Now, is that a good reason to trust God or what? 

Conclusion

How will we know whether we’re trusting God? We’ll know by how quickly we obey what He tells us. This is the evidence of trust. 

The Lord said through the prophet Hosea, “By making idols for themselves … they have brought about their own destruction” (Hosea 8:4). 

This is an accurate picture of our society today. We are destroying ourselves though the idols we’ve created. Our society has systematically replaced God as it’s center and we’re paying the price, from crime to stressed out masses. 

Unfortunately, many people have never taken that step to trust God completely even though they say they are Christians. They still have their own views of God that don’t jive with what the Bible says. Therefore, they have made for themselves idols and continue to live a lie. 

When everyone around Jarius, a leader from the local synagogue, was telling him what they thought to be true, that his daughter was dead, Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me” (Mark 5:36). 

Today, let’s put aside our fear and trust Jesus Christ totally and completely, not only with our lives, but with the lives of our family and friends. 

God loves us and tells us the truth, and while it may not be popular, or while we may not understand it all, or while it may be hard to hear nor easy to follow, will we trust that He knows what’s best? That’s what’s called belief, and that is what it means to be a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. 

So, begin that journey of trust today, and begin to follow Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.









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