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Soar Like Eagles: The Gospel of John #17 Words of Comfort – “Don’t Stop Trusting in Me!” John 14:1

19 Jun

John 14:1 – Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me.

The immediate effect of our Lord’s words to His disciples was confusion and sadness. I would like to suggest that this was exactly what our Lord intended them to produce—for the moment.

Suppose the disciples really did grasp what Jesus was about to do. Suppose, for example, that the disciples understood that Judas was about to betray our Lord and to hand Him over to the Jewish authorities, so that they could carry out a mock trial and crucify the Son of God on the cross of Calvary.

I think I know what Peter would have done—he would have used his sword on Judas, rather than the high priest’s slave. I believe the disciples would have attempted to prevent what was about to happen, had they known what that was.

But the confusion our Lord’s words produced threw them off balance. The result was that when Jesus was arrested, they fled. They did not die trying to defend the Savior, and in part this was because they were utterly confused by what was happening. Jesus’ words were not intended to produce instant “relief,” but eternal joy.

The confusion and sadness that the Upper Room Discourse created in the disciples enabled Jesus to die just as He knew He must, just as it had been planned, purposed, and promised long before. The disciples were surely not “in control” at this point in time, but, as always, the Master was.

Do You Trust me?
Faith is a living well-founded confidence in the grace of God, so perfectly certain that it would die a thousand times rather than surrender its conviction.

Such confidence and personal knowledge of divine grace makes its possessor joyful, bold, and full of warm affection toward God and all created things — all of which the Holy Spirit works in faith.

Hence, such a man becomes without constraint willing and eager to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer all manner of ills, in order to please and glorify God, who has shown toward him such grace.

We have trusted many people and many things:
Personal nature: We often trust our families, we have trusted our friends.
Public nature: We have trusted our transportation services, We trusted our national security services, We trusted our military services.

What do all of these things have in common? Sometimes they fail our trust.

 God wants US to trust Him
Moses trusted God to deliver the Israelites at the Red Sea. Joseph trusted God while he languished in the Pharaoh’s prison. David trusted God for a victory when he was facing down Goliath. Jonah trusted God to answer his prayer in the belly of the fish. Peter and John trusted God as they stood before the Sanhedrin and gave their defense of the Christian faith.

What does it mean to trust?
Webster: Basic dependence on someone or something, Belief that something will happen or someone will act is a prescribed way

Trust is found in our unswerving belief that the God of Heaven will indeed work on our behalf to bring His perfect will for our lives into being.

Far too often in life we become completely focused on the trials and difficulties of life and we lose our focus on Christ.

When Peter walked on the water with Jesus he was doing well until he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the waves. The same is true of us today. God can get us through the most impossible situations but we must keep our focus and trust on Him. How can we ever expect to find help and healing when we are still focused on our difficulties and not our deliverance

Jesus was calling the disciples to trust God through any and every circumstance of life. He was  about to be crucified and they would be scattered. Jesus was telling them to trust even when they did not understand because God was still at work

If I were to ask you individually, most of you would very quickly say that you trust God but there are times when trust is not so simple. Trusting God means we believe in that which we cannot see and sometimes may not understand

Trusting God is literally against our human nature. Trusting God means that we have to admit that we are not in control of our lives

We need to place our trust in something or someone and we do it every day. We trust our cars to get us to our destination. We trust our employers to deliver paychecks. We trust our doctors top heals our illnesses. How much more should we trust God?
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.

Exodus 14:31 (NIV)
31  And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Exodus 19:9 (NIV)
9  The LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.

2 Kings 17:14 (NIV)
14  But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the LORD their God.

Psalm 9:10 (NIV)
10  Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 13:5 (NIV)
5  But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Psalm 25:2 (NIV)
2  in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.

Psalm 31:14 (NIV)
14  But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

Psalm 37:3 (NIV)
3  Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Disasters strike and tragedies happen in our lives. Life can indeed be hard. Life can be uncertain. Life is beyond our control. In times like this, life is beyond our understanding. We are left with raw emotions and tough questions. Answers are beyond us as we grapple with the question of why.

God asks the question: Do you trust me?
Nothing and I mean nothing that we go through in life is beyond God. The truth is that we can and must rely on God in every situation in life. Times that just don’t make any sense in human terms; we need to trust in God. The more senseless life becomes the greater our need to trust in God.

The writer of Proverbs states it simply and clearly that God wants your full and complete trust. Trust God with all of your heart. We must hold nothing back and surrender to Him all that we are, all that we have, all that we may become because without the presence and guidance of God we will go nowhere.

God asks the question: Do you trust me?
God wants you to trust even when you don’t understand. When life just doesn’t make sense. God wants us to follow Him when the future seems uncertain. It is only when we completely trust God that He to give us the power of His direction and the power of His presence.

Psalm 9:9-10 (ESV) The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust n you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 40:4 (NIV)
4  Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

Psalm 52:8 (NIV)
8  But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

Psalm 56:3 (NIV)
3  When I am afraid, I will trust in you.

Psalm 56:4 (NIV)
4  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

Psalm 56:11 (NIV)
11  in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psalm 62:8 (NIV)
8  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah

Psalm 91:2 (NIV)
2  I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 118:8 (NIV)
8  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.

When we feel weak, God is our strength. When we are pressured by life, God is our relief. When we need security, God is our refuge. The full resources of God are at our disposal when we place our trust in Him

God asks the question: Do you trust me?
If you do not place your trust in God, there is no access to His power, His mercy or His love. When trials arise and we go through difficulty; it is then that we must place our trust in God. Without trust in God there is no comfort, no peace, no strength and no relief.

Once my hands were always trying; Trying hard to do my best;
Now my heart is sweetly trusting, And my soul is all at rest.
Once my brain was always planning, And my heart, with cares oppressed;
Now I trust the Lord to lead me, And my life is all at rest.
Once my life was full of effort, Now ’tis full of joy and zest;
Since I took His yoke upon me, Jesus gives to me His rest.  — A.B. Simpson

God has made a promise that He will never forsake those who seek Him. The promise that God made so long ago is still valid today because God has never broken a promise yet. He is true and faithful to His people.

Our treasure is love from the God who created love. Our treasure is grace and peace from the God of all comfort. Our treasure is security from the God who never changes. Our treasure is protection and provision from the God who is all powerful. Our treasure is acceptance from the God who knows everything. Our treasure is eternity from the God who sacrificed His own Son that we could gain it. God is asking only one question this morning, do you trust me?

Thomas is determined to follow Jesus wherever he goes. In fact, earlier he urged the other Apostles to join Jesus as he returned to Judea even if it meant dying with him (John 11:16).

But he can’t follow Jesus if he doesn’t know where he is going or the way he is going to get there. So when Jesus declares that the Apostles know the way, Thomas feels obligated to correct him.

Where are we going to go to “find” God? He is an omnipresent Spirit. There is no certain place that one can travel to increase the odds of encountering him. However, God will manifest himself more visibly in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:3).

Even now Jesus is returning to the throne room where God’s “manifestation” is surrounded by angels and elders (Rev 4-5).

While Jesus can “travel” there now, the rest of us will have to wait. But we will, indeed, find ourselves standing before that throne, turned judgment seat. Getting there is not the problem; it is where we stand when we get there that is in question.

The way to the Father is not a road but a relationship. Only through Jesus will we be able to stand before the Father on that day. Once Jesus has explained to Thomas his unity with the Father, and demonstrated it through his resurrection and ascension, there will be no more question for Thomas.

Nahum 1:7 (NIV)
7  The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,

Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:28 (ESV) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

 

 
 

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