Trust God

Original Date: 
Sunday, July 22, 2012

“When Life doesn’t make sense, Trust in God”.
We are in a Sermon Series called “When Life Doesn’t Make Sense.”
We have been walking through the book of Habakkuk. In fact, let me start with the intro that started the sermon series. Which is A quick recap of the where we have been in the book of Habakkuk.
The Book starts off with Habakkuk asking some very hard questions. He says, “God, where are you? It’s getting pretty rough down here. Aren’t you going to do something?” Then God answers by saying, “Trust me Habakkuk. I’ve got a plan. I’ve got this.” But then, Habakkuk takes a look at God’s plan and he says: “God, I’m not sure I like your plan all that much.” And God answers by saying, “Trust me Habakkuk. I’ve got a plan, I know what I’m doing.” And then, comes chapter 3, Habakkuk says: “I’m not completely sure what’s going on. But I’m going to trust God.”
That is where we are at today. “When it Doesn’t make sense, Trust God”
Habakkuk 3:1&2, 16-19
1A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet.
2 LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.
16I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
I would like to Repeat and Highlight verse 18 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
That’s pretty much the whole book, and that’s pretty much the point of the book as well.
Even when we aren’t sure what is going on, we can trust God. That’s the message of the Habakkuk, that is the message of this sermon today.
When Life Doesn’t Make Sense: Trust God!!
There it is, there is the sermon, we can pray and all head home.
If we could apply this one simple, yet profound truth in our Life, “when Life doesn’t make sense, Trust God.”
But let’s take a little survey and inventory of us. How many of us have had seasons of life where we have asked God to show up, to step in and change something just like Habakkuk? And God was:
Inattentive
Uncooperative
Late
I got these three words from an Andy Stanley sermon that I was watching a few weeks ago, as I was looking at preaching this Last sermon on Habakkuk.
Has there ever been that time for you in your life. Where God has been God is Inattentive, uncooperative and Late.
So let’s be honest, Raise your hand if you have ever felt that.
You see that. And here you have always felt you were the only one.
That it was Just YOU!!!!
We feel I am the only one; We feel God works in everyone else’s life but forgets me at times.
Worse yet Preachers, people like me who make it sound so simple and easy. You want God more in your Life: Start….
Going to church more, Pray harder, read scripture more.
The reason God is not showing up is you need to Get Rid of Sin in your life.
Or the Best saying, If you would only HAVE MORE FAITH!!
It is working out for everyone else. Something must be wrong with you.
I want to show that all of us have felt this way where God is Inattentive, uncooperative and Late.
The other thing that makes it difficult is the people around us.
Have you ever been around people that Life just works out for them?
They have a job, their kids behave, they get to go to the college they wanted too. They have health insurance, they always have money to do anything they want to, and everything seems to work out for them.
And it makes you mad because they are not even Good People, I go to church, I serve others, I tithe a portion of your money to the church, and yet God seems to be Inattentive, Uncooperative, or Late with me.
Or what about you’re Christian Friends? They say stupid things like this.
You know I was going to the mall in Sioux Falls the other day, and man was the parking lot packed, there was no room in the parking lot and I just prayed to God that I would find a good spot. And shazam! I was driving up the row and the closest spot to the entrance of the mall a car was pulling out to let me park. And God answered my prayer. He even cares about the little things.
And your thought is Really, Really, would you please be quiet!!! Would you please just not talk to me, I am drowning here.
I lost my Job, My Marriage is in trouble and not doing well, My kids are making bad choices, I went to my doctor and he said I have a medical thing going on and might need surgery or live with this for the rest of my life.
Really you want to tell me about how God provided a parking spot for you.
That is what you are thankful for.
Maybe you don’t even want to go back to church, you’re sick of sitting in a small group with these people. You have been asking for a major thing that is going on in your life and asking for God to show up with an answer and you have NO PROGRESS. Where is God for me you ask? When will He help Me?

If you’re sitting here you probably Know the answer, but it’s not Easy, and sometimes we don’t have all the answers, But you know it is Difficult to live a life with No Faith, and It’s difficult to live a life with No Hope. But you just can’t keep going on if God is not there.
The question that keeps swirling around in your head is? If God is Silent or Absent and God is not answering my prayer, there may not even be a God who cares about me out there at all.
If God chooses to be silent maybe God is absent and their Goes our Faith. We hear others talk about God showing up but what about us. If God chooses to be silent our Confidence weakens and there goes our Hope.
I know God loved Habakkuk and many people in the Bible and they had some of the exact feelings we have today. And yet Habakkuk had Confidence that He could walk through the difficult times in life and that God was still with Him.
But this is no simple answer that life will be better. Today’s sermon will not fix or solve or heal your marriage problems you are having, it won’t help you get a job tomorrow, it won’t help your kids make better friend choices or faith choices for God.
It won’t do any of that.
But it will give us a truth to stand on.
We cannot walk through difficult times in Life and associate these times with the Character of who God is or that He is not in control.
Let us take a look at a New Testament person who had the same questions in his life. John the Baptist (a Cousin of Jesus himself), the one who was sent to proclaim the coming of the Messiah.
Matthew 3:3
3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
" Matthew 3:5-6
5People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
This is the man. John was the one who was leading the way for Jesus. His whole life mission was to “Prepare the way for the Lord”
But listen to this. John is in Prison right now. He is going through the tough spot of His life. He is locked up and not seeing all the miracles all the teachings that Jesus is doing. And so he starts to wonder.
Matthew 11:2-3 (NIV)
2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples

Hey I got a message for you to give to Jesus. Ok we can do this. We will get him the message.
3 to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
Imagine the look on the Disciples faces. As they gasp with surprise. What???
Whoa wait a minute! Do you really want us to ask Him this? You where the one who told us about Jesus, John do you really want us to ask him this question?
We will probably be a bother and interrupt something important. This question seems silly and unexplainable.
John says, I just need you to ask Him for me!!
You see Good and Bad Situations impact our Relationship with God. When things are going great we say I have never been this close to God before. And as soon as something goes bad or not our way, bam we start to question and their Goes our Faith in God.
You have Changed God in your life because your circumstances and life has changed. But God did not change, He is still the same God.
This next statement might hurt a little. Because it shows our selfishness.
I lose FAITH when God is inattentive to my needs or my happiness, Not yours.
When something Bad happens to you ==I Pray
When something Bad Happens to Me===I Doubt
Isn’t that so true for us?
When you go through tough times I don’t lose my faith.
In Fact, My faith can even become stronger as I pray and seek wisdom to share with you.
But when Seasons of life are difficult of me, I shrink down to me along, my world, and that I can no longer see the big Picture.

Back in our story, John the Baptist begins to doubt. You hear this in his question that he sends back to Jesus.
"Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
Jesus does not even answer his question directly.
Matthew 11:4-5 (NIV)
4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see:
5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
John could no longer see what was happening outside his prison walls.
So often we to are surrounded by our circumstances (Our prison Walls, our struggles) that we no longer see past or through them.
Matthew 11:6 (NIV)
6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."
Another version is “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me!”
Matthew 11:6 (ICB)
6 The person who does not lose faith because of me is blessed."
Disciples where confused, you mean you know He is struggling, you know He is not doing Good? Why don’t you do something?
Why would Jesus say this to John, does he not like him or care about him?
Jesus Responds
Matthew 11:11 (NIV)
11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Tell Him to Hang in there, Tell Him I love Him, Tell Him to Keep The Faith!
Our personal Circumstances do not necessarily coincide with how God feels about you.
John the Baptist was in prison, the Cousin of Jesus, the one who had the Message of the Messiah is coming to Repent and Be Baptized was surrounded by the walls of His Prison cell, and he is asking the question we ask ourselves.
Is God Really Inattentive, Uncooperative, or is He really just Late?
And Jesus Answer is: Trust Me

I want to give us this morning two practical ways we can do personally when Life Does not make sense???
Look Back and Remember
Did you notice how Habakkuk started his prayer off? I have heard… of your deeds, O LORD. If you’re having trouble in holding on to the Faith look back and remember what God has done in your life thus far. Look back into the past, call to mind all the things God has done for you. Recite them over and over again, don’t even limit yourself just to the things God did since you were born.
Take a look at the Bible. Biblical writers looked back and often recalled were God’s Mighty Saving acts, moments in History were God intervened and showed up in big ways to redeem or deliver His people.
Look outside our Prison Walls (Our Circumstances).
Habakkuk says next Renew them in our Day, in our time make them known. Habakkuk felt the Prison Walls around them. So He is says, What about us Lord? Do the same things for us that you have done for others in the past? It is almost like he feels, Salvation History is all well and good, but how about a contemporary miracle or two? I want to see you save us right here and right now?
We cry out in our prayer and say “Lord I just want to experience your presence in my life for myself right now, Please do your work in me, even though it may hurt sometimes and then we need to be willing to do whatever is His Plan.
We have all asked God to work according to our plans; to prove that He is real when we are finding it hard to believe, or maybe to perform a miracle to help us escape a painful ordeal. But Trusting God Fully means coming to the point where I can ask God to work out HIS plan for my life, in whatever that may entail and turn it all over to Him.

Personal Story of My Life,
Most of you know I did not start out being a youth pastor.
Started off Hog Famer, Went to School for this, Really Enjoyed this, Thought my whole life this is what I would be and do.
Prices Dropped caused to lose money
Diseases Hit (Lost 250) Baby pigs
Feed Prices went high
Prayed “Why Lord, this is what I want to do in Life”
My Dad tried to Commit Suicide
Went to Sioux Falls for Family Counseling
Lady Grabbed me put me against the wall and said, “Jay you better do what God has called you to do or you will be here in a few weeks.”
I now had to run both farms. But I could not tell my Dad I was going to quit.
Everyone else around me kept telling me to be a youth pastor. I was a great sponsor at First Ref. Orange city and loved it. In fact every Thursday night I would be at youth group, went on all the trips and loved it.
I just could not disappoint my Dad, or Give up on my Dream. The Day I would quit farming would be the day I would have a Loan at the bank to pay off would be around 120,000 thousand dollars. My Dad would have to bail me out.
I wondered why God seemed to be silent. Shantel kept saying we should just move to Arizona, I said Pigs die in Arizona what will I do for work. She said youth pastor.
The Next day at Counseling session I told my Dad I was done Hog Farming but had no clue of what or how I would go into youth ministry.
I started working at Phillips 66, 3 people stopped that day and told me to find Pastor Keith Krebs who was at the Northwestern College for our Denominational mtg. no idea where he was living at the time.
I thought it was weird, I went and asked for Him, they would not tell me his room, Guy behind me in line tells me room 320, I walk up he is not there, turn around and he is walking down hallway, I stop him tell him 3 people told me to talk with Him. I told him my story and he turns and said would you consider moving to Arizona. I about fell of my chair.
Heading home after that the song by Steven Curtis Chapman came on Radio, “Will you Answer the Call”
We flew down there and on the way back will never forget turning to Shantel and saying well we know we need to go down to Arizona. And we both said what about the 120,000 thousand dollars we will know owe. I looked at her and said this is the part “We need to Trust God, even when it does not make sense.”
I started off making $15,000 a year at the church, we were not supposed to according to the loan have this paid off till I was forty which is this year. Shantel and I walked into the Northwestern State Bank in Orange City at age 30 and handed them our last payment. Sending sometimes $1000 dollars a month. No Banker, Accountant or us can figure out how we were able to do that. I could only Trust God.

God is Unchangeable. God was Real than, just like he is real now, He has not changed.
As Humans we get caught up in our life when it takes a turn and we wonder why God does not show up. WE get blinded by our circumstances of the Prison walls that keep on pushing in.
Even as we look at the John the Baptist story we see it did not ever turn out with great Joy. John was beheaded in prison. And a little time after that Jesus was Taken to the Cross and Crucified.
And yet 2,000 years later we are still looking back at the story of John the Baptist and Jesus going to the cross it seems at the time God was Inattentive, Uncooperative, and a little Late.
Yet when we look at the whole story of His Perfect plan for Salvation for Us. After our storm of life settles We See the Hand of God all over this as His Perfect plan.
So We can walk through the wilderness,
We can go through the dry times,
We can live through hard times of Seasons of life,
Where God seems to be Inattentive, Uncooperative, and Late.
Through these times We Need to TRUST God who is Unchangeable, even though life can be.
“When fields produce no food, and there are no sheep in his pen and no cattle in the stalls.” When Cancer comes, when questions of tragedies in our town are unanswerable, when shootings of innocent people at a movie theater cannot be explained, and life’s trials that are in all of our lives.
Habakkuk words are the words we need to hold onto
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior. Amen
God is Paying attention to you!!!! He may be silent, He may be quiet, He may not answer in your time, but He is never absent, He is never distracted, and He is never, never Late.