Trust in the LORD – Part 1

Sermon delivered on January 21st, 2024
Sunday Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: Proverbs 3:5-10

 

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6: In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7: Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8: It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9: Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

 

Introduction

Life is filled with all kinds of challenges, concerns, and choices. And whenever we face these things in our lives, and we will, the question is, how we are going to handle them? Are we going to respond by doing what we think is best in our own eyes or are we going to seek God and His guidance as to what we ought to do? Responding to challenges, concerns, and choices in life by doing what we think is best in our own eyes is not wise. Our text shows us that the wise response to lifes challenges by putting our trust in the Lord rather than in our own understanding. Thats the main emphasis of our text and thats what I want to address in these two sessions I have with you.

 

We see here in this chapter Solomons concern that his son, live a life of trusting the Lord. The person who lives a life of trusting the Lord will find much treasure in God commands and promises. Solomon, the wisest human being who has ever lived on earth, knew that God is trustworthy and wanted to pass this on to his son. In these verses, we have a father exhorting his son to trust God in at least three areas and then gives incentives to do so. So, today, I come to you like as a father, exhorting you all, to trust the Lord in three specific areas. Three areas that we need to trust the Lord—Trial, Temptations, and Treasure.

 

I - Trust the Lord in Your Trials

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6: In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Here is a call to trust the LORD in our trials. These verses can be applied in many various areas, but I want us to apply this in the trials of life. Whether we are facing deep affliction or making difficult decision, we are called to trust the Lord.

 

God can be trusted in times of suffering and adversity. One verse that we often go to and find comfort and assurance is Romans 8:28, 29, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” God can be trusted in our affliction because He is wise and good and sovereign. Another verse that expresses this truth is Ecclesiastes 3:11, He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

 

God can be trusted not only when we are facing deep affliction but also when we are making difficult decisions. When we are faced with the trial of making difficult decisions in life, we often go to this well-known passage and find help here. When are faced with the trial of making hard decision such as choosing a college major, deciding a career, making a career change, figuring out where to live and settle, renting or buying a house, deciding whom to date, deciding whether to get married or not, deciding whether to have kids or not, etc., we often go to this well-known passage and find help and assurance here.

 

We dont have to fear because God promises to guide us.

Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. 8: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. 9: Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. 10: Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. 11: Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

 

But let me say two things about the command to trust in our trials.

First, we must trust the Lord with all our heart.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Merriam-Webster define the word, trustas reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; to place confidence in; to hope; to commit or place in one's care or keeping.” So, when it comes to trusting the Lord with all our heart, it means having a firm belief and assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, and truth of God.  It is to place our confidence and hope in the Lord. It is to wholly rely upon His wisdom, power, and goodness to help us in every circumstance. Trusting God does not mean to ignore feelings or reality. It is not pretending that everything is OK when it isnt. Trusting God is living a life of belief in and obedience to God even when its difficult.

 

Another way of saying trust in the Lord with all your heart” is “lean not unto thine own understanding.” This warning is not about ignoring intelligence and common sense. God still wants us to think and to use our brain, But He wants our understanding to be informed and shaped by Gods WordProverbs 3:5 warns us not to depend on our own wisdom, understanding, and experience or the wisdom, understanding, and experience of others. Human beings are subject to error. We are all tainted by sin, limited wisdom, impulsive assumptions, and faulty emotions. Proverbs 14:12 reminds us of this: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” God, on the other hand, sees and understands all. This God who is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise, loving, and has good plans to guide, to satisfy, and to establish us (Isaiah 58:11). Therefore, trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.” The LORD is the One we can lean on and trust.

 

Second, we must truth the Lord in all our ways.

Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

The point is similar to verse 5. Here in verse 6, Solomon uses the word acknowledge” rather than trust.” The Hebrew verb yadasignifies to know, to recognize.” To acknowledge the Lord is to know Him. In other words, what Solomon is saying, “In all your ways, know God.” To acknowledge God is to have intimate knowledge and fellowship with Him. This verse is a call to an intimate relationship with God and not just a causal relationship. This means you and I need to acknowledge God in all areas of our life. In our various trials—in whatever ways we are tried—we must pursue the knowledge of God. As someone has well said, “It is not important that we dont know the future, only that we know He knows; It is not important that we dont understand what happens to us, only that we know He does; It is not important that we cant control events, only that we know He does and submit.”

 

But then Solomon says, In all thy ways acknowledge him.” This means pursue the knowledge of God not only in times of crisis or distress. We are not to acknowledge God only on some occasions, but we are to do so in all our ways. Because if you only acknowledge when you are in trouble, you are in trouble.” We are to always pursue the intimate knowledge of God—in good times and bad times. This is how we learn to trust God, and this is how we know that we can trust God. Psalm 9:10 tells us, “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”

 

Now when we trust in the Lord with all our heart, and lean not on our own understanding, and acknowledge Him in all our ways, God promises that He will direct our paths. What a wonderful promise. Here is a promise of God directing my life and your life. When we trust in the Lord with all our heart and acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will direct our paths to fulfill His perfect plan and will.

 

II - Trust the Lord in Your Temptations

In verses 7 and 8, Solomon continues his counsel regarding trusting the Lord and the second area in which he exhorts his son to trust God is in his temptations. Living in this fallen world, we face various temptations that seek to trip us up and get us off the right path. But if we choose rather to trust the Lord and His Word, we will not yield to temptation. How do we trust the Lord in our temptations?

 

1. We must trust the Lord humbly

Proverbs 3:7a Be not wise in thine own eyes …

Another way of saying this is, Do not be impressed with yourself.” The apostle Paul warns the believers in Rome, For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Rom 12:3). But we all tend to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. We tend to see ourselves smarter and wiser than we are. In other words, a person who is wise in his own eyes is proud, which is a sin that God hates the most. God hates pride with a passion. 

Isaiah 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

 

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth (corrupt speech), do I hate.

 

Proverbs 16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

 

Why does God hate pride with a passion? God hates pride with a passion because of what it does to a proud person.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

It is only a matter of time before the prideful person who is wise in his own eyes falls into sin and experiences destruction.

 

If you and I are going to trust the Lord in our temptation and not yield to temptations, we must trust Him humbly. We must rely on Gods wisdom and not our own. And where do we get Gods wisdom?

Proverbs 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2: So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

This implies we need to be in the Word.

Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

 

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

When we humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are not wise in and of ourselves, God enables us to resist temptation.

 

2. We must trust the Lord reverently

Proverbs 3:7b … fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

If we are going to trust the Lord in our temptations, not only must we trust God humbly, but also reverently. We must develop a proper fear of God. The fear of God is a very important principle in Proverbs. It is so important that the Gods Word speaks of it more than 300 times. But what is the fear of the LORD? It is the opposite of being wise in ones own eyes. Humility is having a proper view of oneself, and the fear of God is having a proper view of God. The fear of the LORD is the remedy to pride.

 

Pastor Kevin Kabel puts it this way, The antidote for the poison of pride is the fear of God.  Living in the fear of God is living with a constant consciousness of Gods presence. It is maintaining a constant awareness of God and a reverence for God.  Living in the fear of God is constantly seeing yourself through the eyes of God.  Having a fear of God is having an awareness of and a respect for the way God sees us.”

 

Our text says if we fear the Lord, we will depart from evil. Fear of God and departure from evil are linked together in the Scripture. Proverbs 3:7b … fear the LORD, and depart from evil. In Proverbs 8:13 we read, The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth (corrupt speech), do I hate.” Fear of the Lord causes His people to hate evil, which includes pride, arrogancy, and corrupt speech. If we fear and love God, we will love what He loves and hate what He hates.

 

There is a direct relationship between fear of the Lord and departure from evil.

Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

 

This is how God described Job in Job 1:8, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (avoid, disdain) evil?

 

The fear of the LORD has its rewards: It prolongeth our days,” “is a place of refuge,” and is a fountain of life.” (Proverbs 10:27 and Proverbs 14:26, 27).  As we humbly and reverently trust the Lord in our temptations, we are given a promise. To those who are not wise in their own eyes and who choose to fear the Lord, there is a wonderful promise: It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

 

Brian D. Dykstra writes, “Sin always has its dreadful spiritual effects, but the Bible also speaks of the physical consequences of sin. The adulterer sees his body consumed. The drunkard is slow and unreliable in his work and is red-eyed. David spoke of how his unconfessed sin caused his bones to be old and dry.”

Psalm 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. 4: For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. 5: My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.

 

But when we turn away from the ways of sin can, at times, it bring spiritual and physical healing and health. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

 

Closing Thoughts

There are times we cannot understand why we are going through; what we are going through but still we are called to trust the Lord.

 

As the song goes …

 

All things work for our good

Though sometimes we don't see

How they could

Struggles that break our hearts in two

Sometimes blind us to the truth

 

Our Father knows what's best for us

His ways are not our own

So when your pathway grows dim

And you just don't see Him,

Remember you're never alone

 

God is too wise to be mistaken

God is too good to be unkind

So when you don't understand

When don't see His plan

When you can't trace His hand

Trust His Heart

Trust His Heart.

 

Songwriters: Babbie Y. Mason / Eddie Carswell

Trust His Heart lyrics © Concord Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

 

May we learn to trust the Lord in our trials and our temptations!

 

AMEN!