The Ladies Home Journal asked, "In whom do you trust?" Responses were:
Walter Cronkite 40% of the
Pope John Paul 26%
Billy Graham 6%
── Ladies Home Journal (Sept, 1981).
※ When God puts a period, do not change it to a question mark. ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
One day, while my son Zac and I were out in the country, climbing around in some cliffs, I heard a voice from above me yell, "Hey Dad! Catch me!" I turned around to see Zac joyfully jumping off a rock straight at me. He had jumped and them yelled "Hey Dad!" I became an instant circus act, catching him. We both fell to the ground. For a moment after I caught him I could hardly talk.
When I found my voice again I gasped in exasperation: "Zac! Can you give me one good reason why you did that???"
He responded with remarkable calmness: "Sure...because you're my Dad." His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy. He could live life to the hilt because I could be trusted. Isn't this even more true for a Christian?
Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, pp. 46-47.
"Duties are ours, events are God's; When our faith goes to meddle with events, and to hold account upon God's Providence, and beginneth to say, 'How wilt Thou do this or that?' we lose ground; we have nothing to do there; it is our part to let the Almighty exercise His own office, and steer His own helm; there is nothing left for us, but to see how we may be approved of Him, and how we roll the weight of our weak souls upon Him who is God omnipotent, and when we thus essay miscarrieth, it shall be neither our sin nor our cross."
Samuel Rutherford, quoted in Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, Ruth Bell Graham, 1991, Focus on the Family Publishing, p. 106.
There is no situation I can get into that God cannot get me out. Some years ago when I was learning to fly, my instructor told me to put the plane into a steep and extended dive. I was totally unprepared for what was about to happen. After a brief time the engine stalled, and the plane began to plunge out-of-control. It soon became evident that the instructor was not going to help me at all. After a few seconds, which seemed like eternity, my mind began to function again. I quickly corrected the situation.
Immediately I turned to the instructor and began to vent my fearful frustrations on him. He very calmly said to me, "There is no position you can get this airplane into that I cannot get you out of. If you want to learn to fly, go up there and do it again." At that moment God seemed to be saying to me, "Remember this. As you serve Me, there is no situation you can get yourself into that I cannot get you out of. If you trust me, you will be all right." That lesson has been proven true in my ministry many times over the years.
James Brown, Evangeline Baptist Church, Wildsville, LA, in Discoveries, Fall, 1991, Vol. 2, No. 4.
Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee,
Trust Him when thy strength is small,
Trust Him when to simply trust Him
Seems the hardest thing of all.
Trust Him, He is ever faithful,
Trust Him, for his will is best,
Trust Him, for the heart of Jesus
Is the only place of rest.
David, a 2-year old with leukemia, was taken by him mother, Deborah, to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, to see Dr. John Truman who specializes in treating children with cancer and various blood diseases. Dr. Truman's prognosis was devastating: "He has a 50-50 chance." The countless clinic visits, the blood tests, the intravenous drugs, the fear and pain--the mother's ordeal can be almost as bad as the child's because she must stand by, unable to bear the pain herself. David never cried in the waiting room, and although his friends in the clinic had to hurt him and stick needles in him, he hustled in ahead of him mother with a smile, sure of the welcome he always got.
When he was three, David had to have a spinal tap--a painful procedure at any age. It was explained to him that, because he was sick, Dr. Truman had to do something to make him better. "If it hurts, remember it's because he loves you," Deborah said. The procedure was horrendous. It took three nurses to hold David still, while he yelled and sobbed and struggled. When it was almost over, the tiny boy, soaked in sweat and tears, looked up at the doctor and gasped, "Thank you, Dr. Tooman, for my hurting."
Monica Dickens, Miracles of Courage, 1985.
A television program preceding the 1988 Winter Olympics featured blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing, impossible as that sounds. Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught on the flats how to make right and left turns. When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where their sighted partners skied beside them shouting, "Left!" and "Right!" As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skiers' word. It was either complete trust or catastrophe.
What a vivid picture of the Christian life! In this world, we are in reality blind about what course to take. We must rely solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted--God Himself. His Word gives us the direction we need to finish the course.
Robert W. Sutton.
Years ago, Monroe Parker was traveling through South Alabama on one of those hot, sultry Alabama days. He stopped at a watermelon stand, picked out a watermelon, and asked the proprietor how much it cost. "It's $1.10," he replied. Parker dug into his pocket, found only a bill and said, "All I have is a dollar."
"That's ok," the proprietor said, "I'll trust you for it."
"Well, that's mighty nice of you," Parker responded, and picking up the watermelon, started to leave.
"Hey, where are you going?" the man behind the counter demanded.
"I'm going outside to eat my watermelon." "But you forgot to give me the dollar!"
"You said you would trust me for it," Parker called back.
"Yeah, but I meant I would trust you for the dime!"
"Mack," Parker replied, "You were't going to trust me at all. You were just going to take a ten-cent gamble on my integrity!"
Uncle Oscar was apprehensive about his first airplane ride. His friends, eager to hear how it went, asked if he enjoyed the flight. "Well," commented Uncle Oscar, "it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, but I'll tell you this. I never did put all my weight down!"
A man who lived on Long Island was able one day to satisfy a lifelong ambition by purchasing for himself a very fine barometer. When the instrument arrived at his home, he was extremely disappointed to find that the indicating needle appeared to be stuck, pointing to the sector marked "HURRICANE." After shaking the barometer very vigorously several times, its new owner sat down and wrote a scorching letter to the store from which he had purchased the instrument. The following morning on the way to his office in New York, he mailed the letter.
That evening he returned to Long Island to find not only the barometer missing, but his house also. The barometer's needle had been right--there was a hurricane!
E. Schuyler English.
One problem I remember was a time when our son Bob broke our trust and lied to his mother and me. He was still young, dating Linda, his wife-to-be, and was only allowed to see her on certain nights. Well, one night he wanted to see her without permission and told us he was at his friend's house. When we found out the truth, there was a real scene between us. He had violated our trust; it was like a crack in a fine cup that marred its appearance.
In the confrontation, I smashed a fine English tea cup on the floor and told Bob that to restore our trust would be like gluing that cup back together again. He said, "I don't know if I can do that." And I said, "Well, that's how hard it is to build confidence and trust again." The outcome was that Bob spent literally weeks carefully gluing the pieces together until he finished. He learned a very important lesson.
Dr. Rovert H. Schuller, Homemade, Jan 1985.
There is an old story of a father who took his young son out and stood him on the railing of the back porch. He then went down, stood on the lawn, and encouraged the little fellow to jump into his arms. "I'll catch you," the father said confidently. After a lot of coaxing, the little boy finally made the leap. When he did, the father stepped back and let the child fall to the ground. He then picked his son up, dusted him off, and dried his tears.
"Let that be a lesson," he said sternly. "Don't ever trust anyone."
Bernie May, Learning to Trust, Multnomah Press, 1985, p. 4.
EVERY “THOUGH” HAS ITS “ YET.”
Ⅰ. Confidence in God. “ Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job.13:15).
Ⅱ. Confidence in His power. “ Though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:26).
Ⅲ. Confidence in His care. “ Although the fig tree shall not blossom……yet I will rejoice in the Lord” (Hab.3:17,18).
Ⅳ. Confidence in His Word. “ Although my house be not so with God, yet He hath made with me an everlasting covenant” (11. Sam. 23:5).
Ⅴ. Confidence in His purpose. “ Although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary” ( Ezekiel 11:16).
Ⅵ. Confidence in service. “ Though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers” (1.Cor.4:15).
Ⅶ. Confidence in His renewing. “ Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (11.Cov4:16).
Ⅷ. Confidence in the Lord. Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more” (11. Cor.5:16).
Ⅸ. Confidence in ministry. “ Though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge” (11. Cor.11:6).
Ⅹ. Confidence in His Resurrection. “ Though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God” (11. Cor.13:4).
Ⅺ. Confidence in His example. Though He were the Son, yet learned He obedience” (Heb.5:8,M.).
Ⅻ. Confidence in self. “ Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee” (Matt.26:35).
── F.E. Marsh《Five Hundred Bible Readings》
Living By Faith
1. An important aspect of being a Christian involves the element of
a. The gospel to which a person responds in becoming a Christian is
called "the faith" - Ju 3
b. Those who obeyed the gospel have been "faithful to the Lord"
- Ac 16:15; Co 1:2
c. Christians are called referred to as "the household of faith"
- Ga 6:10
2. Indeed, "faith" is the underlying principle of all the Christian's
a. It is fundamental to our salvation in Christ - Ro 1:16-17
b. It is central to the life we now live in Christ - Ga 2:20;
2 Co 5:7
3. Yet the nature of faith and its importance in the life of
a. Are often misunderstood
b. Are often neglected
[As we continue to examine "The Significance Of Being A Christian", we
therefore wish to emphasize that it means "Living By Faith"! What that
entails may be clearer as we first define...]
I. THE MEANING OF FAITH
A. INVOLVES THE IDEA OF BELIEF...
1. The certainty or conviction that one has in some truth or
2. E.g., believing in things concerning Jesus and His kingdom
- Ac 8:12
3. Such faith, or conviction, comes from the Word of God - Ro 10:
17; cf. Jn 20:30-31
B. INVOLVES THE IDEA OF CONFIDENCE...
1. The willingness to place one's trust and reliance on someone
2. E.g., placing our trust in God, that He is reliable - Ro 4:3,
3. We are to have similar trust in God - 1 Pe 4:19
C. INVOLVES THE IDEA OF FIDELITY...
1. That one is loyal, committed, and can be trusted
2. E.g., a faithful steward is one who is reliable - 1 Co 4:2
3. Our faithfulness (commitment, trustworthiness) is to last even
to the point of death - Re 2:10,13
[A faithful Christian, then, is one who believes in the Word of God, he
has confidence in the Person of God, and is himself loyal and
trustworthy in the service of God. Now let's take a look at what can
be said about...]
II. THE LIFE OF FAITH
A. INVOLVES CONFESSING OUR FAITH...
1. I.e., acknowledging our belief in Jesus Christ before others
2. Something we must do as a condition of salvation - Ro 10:9,10
3. Something we do throughout our lives - Mt 10:32,33; 1 Jn 4:15
-- The life of faith is never ashamed to admit that one believes
in Jesus Christ
B. INVOLVES LIVING BY FAITH...
1. I.e., conducting one's life with trust in Jesus Christ - Ga 2:
2. Trusting in the works of Jesus, not our own; that His death
was truly for our sins - 1 Co 15:1-3; Ti 3:5-7
3. Trusting in the words of Jesus, and living accordingly - e.g.,
Mt 6:33,34; Lk 6:46-48
-- The life of faith is one that seeks to live in harmony with
the teaching of Jesus
C. INVOLVES BENEFITING BY FAITH...
1. I.e., enjoying the blessings that come from a life of faith
2. Such as joy and peace, hope and power - Ro 15:13
3. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we can receive such
blessings - Ep 3:12; Ph 4:6-7,13
-- The life of faith does not go unrewarded in this life, even
though its primary concern is the life to come
D. INVOLVES MAINTAINING OUR FAITH...
1. I.e., remaining steadfast in the faith we have in Christ
2. There is a need to stand fast, for faith can turn into
unbelief - 1 Co 15:1-2; He 3:12-19; 4:1-2,11
3. To maintain faith, we must add to it other things such as
virtue, knowledge, self-control, etc. - 2 Pe 1:5-11; 3:17-18
1. A Christian is one who should take his faith very seriously...
a. It is essential to salvation (both being saved and remaining
b. It is essential to life (to receive blessings now, and in the
life to come)
2. Are you "Living By Faith"?
a. Do you believe what has been revealed about Jesus Christ?
b. Do you have confidence in Him, that He can deliver on what He
c. Are you a trustworthy disciple of Jesus, someone He can count on
to be faithful?
Unless we can answer in the affirmative to such questions, we have yet
to appreciate that "The Significance Of Being A Christian" includes
"Living By Faith"!