Torchbearers for Christ
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
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FAITH CAN CHANGE THINGS

 
It is interesting to notice that the word “trust” occurs no fewer than 76 times in the Old Testament. In the New Testament the word “faith” is used as an equivalent to the Old Testament use of “trust”.   Time can be well spent in looking up some of the rich blessings that God has promised to those who will trust Him. One of my favourite verse is found in Nahum 1:7 where we read, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows them that trust in Him.” What do we understand by the word “trust” in the Old Testament? It means “to have confidence in”, “to be sure about”, “to lean on” and “to depend upon”.   
    
Psalm 62:8 encourages us to “Trust in Him at all times, oh people, God is a refuge for us”. It can be easy for us to trust God when all of our circumstances are favourable, when we feel well and there are no family or financial problems. But as we all know, difficulties do come our way and on these occasions God invites us to “cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you” (Psalm 55.22 NIV). There are lovely words of encouragement in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You”. Complete trust in God at all times brings perfect peace. How precious.
 
I would like us to consider three occasions where people trusted God in the middle of serious problems and their faith sustained them. Let’s start with Job. From former studies we remember how Job experienced some very painful times - the loss of family, health and friends, even to the point of feeling that God had deserted him. But then in the depths of his miseries, he exercised faith that changed his attitude to the point where he said, “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15).  The difficulties remained but faith sustained him.   Here is a very practical example of Psalm 62:8 where were encouraged to trust in God at all times. Note the words “though” and “yet”. In spite of everything that seemed so wrong and unfair, Job exercised faith. What a lesson for us all; to trust in God when we do not understand why things have gone so badly.
 
Now we could look at another “though” and “yet” experience. It is found in Habakkuk 3:17-18 where we read about a farmer who suffered six major losses. It tells us, “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls.” How is he to cope with the loss of things which meant so much to him? His faith in God was the answer and he tells us, “Yet will I rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my salvation.” I heard recently of a farmer here in Australia who had a vast field of rice ready to harvest when a violent storm came suddenly and destroyed the entire crop. One of the men who worked for him was an unbeliever who had contempt for a God who would treat the farmer – a godly man – in such a way. He said sneeringly, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away,” to which the farmer replied, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” 
 
Coming now to the New Testament we have another “though” and “yet” situation where the Lord Jesus said to Mary whose brother Lazarus had died, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” As Christians how thankful we can be that there is a life beyond this one. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” Hallelujah!
     
This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  Since 1983 he has traveled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.