Scriptures: Psalm 62:5-12;
Prayer: Help us father to trust in you all the time. Help us father for we know not to trust in money, or power or in our righteousness. Help us father to trust you for the spiritual and material blessings that we need to live. Let our hearts be inclined to coming to you all the time no matter the situation. Help us father to come to you in boldness and in the assurance that you are merciful knowing that you never turn away those who come to come to you. Thank you father for the guaranteed access to you because of the blood of your son, Jesus Christ. Thank you father for being our refuge at all times in Jesus name we have prayed. Amen
The title of the message this morning is “Can God Trust You?” In these trying times let’s all decide to give God our very best and to accomplish this task it requires a lot of trust. This morning I want to share with you what needs to be in place in order for real trust to be established. As I share the drivers for building trust, I want to contrast our ability to trust God with His ability to trust us. But, before I do that, let me share with you the definition of the word “driver” so that when you hear me use it this morning you understand the context. For the purposes of this message, driver is defined as “something that provides motivation to act.” In other words, it is the strong force that brings about something, something like change for example.
Psalm 62 actually captures the three drivers of building trust. Let’s begin reading at verse eight. It reads, “8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. 9 Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.10 Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them. 11 Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this:that power belongs to God, 12and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord. For you repay to all according to their work.
Hidden in these verses we find what is necessary for trust to be established: benevolence, ability and integrity. David encourages the people to put their trust in God at all times without wavering. Why? Because God is a benevolent God who has the ability to do whatever He wills. This is the opposite of us. In verse nine David says that men of low degree cannot be trusted to help. This is because they do not have the ability to help even though they may be willing. He also says that we should not put our trust in rich men (men of high degree.) Although a rich man can help, they promise much but actually do very little. They will cause us to be hopeful but in the end mock us. David said that both were lighter than a vapor for they disappoint men who put their trust in them. He does not stop here; he goes on to say that we should not trust in oppression, robbery or riches. Riches obtained illegally will not help us and God will not look favorably on the oppressors and or the riches obtained through robbery. He finishes by saying we should trust in God at all times and that God will reward everyone according to their work because both power and mercy belong to God.
So, what does it really mean to trust someone; to put your trust in someone? Trust is actually one of the essential ingredients in any high-value relationship. Although trust may seem like an abstract quality, it is actually a concrete condition that we can consciously develop through our behavior. Modern dictionaries define trust as a reliance on, or confidence in, one’s strength, integrity and ability. Keep in mind that trust is actually both a noun and a verb. It is something we have and something we do. As a noun, trust refers to a condition that can exist in a relationship between people. As a verb, trust is an act of placing our confidence and reliance in another person. Trust is always absence when we feel suspicious about someone’s integrity, ability, intentions or commitment. Consider the fact you can spend years of earning someone’s trust through many, many examples, and lose it all in one instance if you were found to be untrustworthy.
Trust promotes truth so it is impossible to really trust in someone who lies. Maybe this is why the Bible speaks frequently about liars and the impact they have on lives.
If you think about someone that you do not trust chances are your reasons will fall within one of these four areas that I just mentioned. Liars cannot be trusted fully because a person never knows when a lie or a truth is being told. Trust is influenced in relationships by our behaviors; in other words, trust develops or does not develop based on how we act. Trust is a subjective condition that is influenced by how we act. Mark Twain said, “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” Our behavior matters when it comes to people trusting us and proving beyond all doubt if in fact God is able to trust us. Also, of note is that the quality of trust in a relationship, at any given point, is in the eye of the beholder. How trustworthy we are is determined by those evaluating us and not by our own personal opinion of ourselves. I can think I am trustworthy because I know my intentions. However, those evaluating me see my actions, not my intentions, and when my intentions and my actions are not in alignment doubt exists about whether or not I can be trusted. Again, trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair. When we make a commitment, we build hope. When we keep it, we build trust! One final word on trust before we continue; Warren Buffet said “Trust is like the air we breathe. When it is present, nobody really notices. But when it is absent, everybody notices.” Keep this in mind as you consider if you are trustworthy by men or by God (and just in case you are wondering, if you can’t be trusted by men, you definitely cannot be trusted by God.) So, let’s examine the three drivers for building trust. Remember, a driver is a strong force that brings about change.
In Psalms 62, David said we cannot put our trust in men of high degree (rich men) because they lie. Rich men, while they may promise much, they actually deliver little? A rich man, in general, does not care about the poor or those beneath him therefore it would be hard to put trust in him. This is an example of the first driver for building trust: benevolence. Benevolence is defined as showing kindness or goodwill; performing charitable acts and not seeking to make a profit (to get something in return.) Remember when we make a commitment, we build hope. Rich men can make the commitment and thus build hope within us, but they may not follow through because they do not care. This is not God! God genuinely cares about us and likewise we should reciprocate. Consider what Jesus said in Matthew 6:28-33:
“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil, nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” In these verses Jesus makes it clear that God will take care of everything that we need if we just focus on Him. He was establishing that God is all knowing and therefore knows what things we have need of. Not only does He know we have need of such things, He can be trusted to provide those things that we need. We can trust God explicitly, but can He trust us the same way we trust Him?
Consider this verse from Matthew 22:35-40 “One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Jesus said that God cares about us and therefore He knows everything that we need and will provide it. Now He speaks to our responsibility to God. When He was asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus’ answer was about love; our love for God and our love for our neighbor (for mankind.) So, the question that I have for us this morning is “Can God trust us to love Him and to love our neighbor?” This is not something that can be taken lightly because Jesus said very clearly in John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” The first driver for building trust is benevolence. The foundation for benevolence is love. Someone who does not try to keep Jesus’ commandments cannot love Him. So, think about whether or not God can trust us to love Him through our actions of keeping His commandments which includes our being benevolent to our neighbor? If that answer is “no” then today we need to start! Let’s examine the second driver for building trust, ability.
In Psalm 62 David said that we should not put our trust in a man of low degree. A man of low degree, although he may have the sincerest desire to do something, will not have the ability to do it. The second driver for building trust is ability. Ability is defined as a tendency to do something successfully or well. Does God have the ability to do what we trust Him to do? Absolutely!!! Do we have the ability to do what God has commanded us to do? Absolutely we have the ability, but do we really have the desire? In Proverbs 3:5-6 Solomon said: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Do we believe that God is able to make our paths straight? Do we believe that He will guide us if we put our trust in Him? If the answer is yes, then we believe that God has the “ability” to do exactly what His word says. Therefore, we will begin, continue and end every work, purpose and plan with God! Self-sufficiency and self-confidence have been the ruin of mankind ever since the fall and it is still ruining mankind today. Man’s sin has been to live independently and without God in his world, but when we truly trust Him, He becomes the center focus of our world. God can be trusted because He has the ability to perform all that He desires. Now, what about us - what ability do we have?
1 John 5:1-5 reads
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” John is saying again that our love for God is demonstrated by our willingness to live by His commandments which are not burdensome. Then He says whoever is born of God, all of us, overcomes the world! What ability do we have? We have the ability as children of God to overcome this world. It’s not about our flesh; it’s all about our faith! When you believe in Christ, your faith enables you to overcome the world!!! When you start believing you can, you will, by faith!!! So, if we have the ability to overcome the world and the sin therein, can God trust us to do it? Can we be counted on to walk in the victory of His Son’s death and resurrection?
Are we so trustworthy that we can be counted on to make the right decision at the right moment, in the worst possible circumstance? We have the ability, but do we have the desire? The second driver for building trust is our ability to do what we are supposed to do. There is no doubt that God has the ability and desire to fulfill everything that He has said that He will do. As His children, we have the ability to do what we are supposed to do because He gave it to us through His Son so it’s not about ability, it is purely about desire. Can God trust us to do right and make the right decision without excuses? The last driver for building trust is integrity. Our integrity defines us more so than our abilities.
Integrity is the third driver for the development of trust. People must have a set of values that they live by which people can identify with. If someone says one thing on one day and something different the next, their integrity will always be a question. Integrity is defined as possession of firm principles. It is the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards without wavering. In other words, your values do not shift with the circumstances surrounding you. Scriptures tells us clearly that God has values, and His values are the foundation for ours as His children.
Consider what is captured in Hebrews chapter 6:16-18
“For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.” Have you ever tried to convince someone that you were telling the truth by using language like “I swear…” or “I promise you….”? Why is it so important that we convince people that we are being truthful? It goes back to our integrity. Having integrity in all things are crucial to building trust. Our integrity cannot ebb and flow depending on the situation. Either we stand for something or we do not! Hebrews 6 states that God cannot lie. Because God cannot lie He does not have an integrity problem. Everything that He has said He will do, He does! It’s not an issue for Him – HE DOES NOT LIE!!! If He has told you that He is going to do something in your life you can
take it to the bank! Now can God have that same type of trust in us?
First John 4:20 says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen how can he love God whom he has not seen?” How can we love God whom we have not seen and yet hate our brothers or sisters whom we see every day? Now I am not talking about the brothers or sisters we like; I am talking about those that make our stomachs churn every time we see them. You know the ones. The ones who have talked about us as they tried to ruin our reputations, the ones who lie or spread hatred. Still not sure who I am talking about? You know those people we talk about behind their backs. The stories we tell others about how they can’t be trusted because of what they did to us. These are the very “brothers and sisters” that John was talking about. John said if we don’t love them we are lying about our love for God. Now if we are lying about our love for God then we have an integrity issue! If we have an integrity issue, we cannot be trusted!!!
We talk a lot about trusting God and why we can trust in Him. We absolutely can trust in God and we should. All of the drivers are present in our relationship with God. God is a benevolent God. He takes care of us because He wants to, not because He wants us to do something for Him. He loves us because He is love and that is why He expects us to be benevolent to others. We received love from Him, so He expects us to share that love with the world. The second driver is ability. No one doubts God’s ability to do whatever He has determined He will do. God is all powerful and no one can stop Him from doing what He desires to do! God’s ability to perform is unquestionable. Finally, God has the utmost integrity. He does not lie because He cannot lie. Benevolence, ability and integrity when demonstrated consistently will build trust.
God is trustworthy, but are we? Do we demonstrate benevolence towards our fellow men and women? If we cannot care for our neighbor without expecting anything in return, we are not trustworthy! Do we have the ability? Can you do what you are promising to do? Can you do what you’re telling God you’re willing to do? Are your words worth something? If we have the ability and we do not perform it’s because we did not have the desire. Remember, things only happen when ability and desire are aligned. Finally, there is integrity. Does your action line up with your words? When you speak, do you stand by your words? When you tell someone you’re going to do something, no matter how small that something is do you do it? If you cannot keep the smallest of your commitment, you will definitely not keep the larger ones.
Can God trust you? Benevolence, ability and integrity are required for trust to be established. Each one of these must be evident in everything you do, every single day. If you fail in any one of these three, you will prove yourself to be untrustworthy. Remember, trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair. Many of us may be trying to repair some trust that was lost or damaged; I am asking you this morning to search your life. Regardless of your past, how are you living today? If you were not trustworthy yesterday, let today be the first day that God will be able to fully, completely trust you. He is waiting for your commitment.
‒ Pastor Pam