Sermon Title: Trust Changes Everything
Text: 2 Kings 18:1-18
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Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?)
This idea permeates Scripture: the basis of our relationship with God—at least on our part—is learning to trust him completely and unreservedly. Most of us struggle at times with doubt, anxiety, fear, and uncertainty: anxiety over a health problem, struggles with relationships, difficulties in child-rearing, doubts about the future of our country, etc. Plus, we don’t obey God as fully or consistently as we should. Sometimes (often?) we make choices based on what WE think is best rather than trusting that God’s way is best.
Why is that? Why do we have fear and anxiety? Why do we disobey? Maybe the answer is this—we don’t really trust God . . . we don’t trust that he’ll work things out, that he’ll keep his word and do what is best for us.
The sermon Sunday was an exploration of the principle of trust throughout Scripture. The sermon used Hezekiah as an example of someone who learned to trust God, and we discussed the aspects of biblical faith (trust). Trust changes everything, embracing every aspect of our being: intellect (our thoughts), volition (our desires), emotion (our feelings), and practice (our actions).
We also used several Bible stories to show how this thread runs throughout Scripture: What was the real question being asked in these stories? Adam and Eve? Israel’s response to the twelve scouts who were sent into Canaan? Peter as he walked on water? The real question God was asking was, “Are you going to trust me or not?”
As we learn to trust God it changes us completely. It reduces anxiety and fear and helps us obey more consistently . . . In short, it helps us live the lives God created us to live.
How do I live out the implications of this passage? (Discussion starters to help with applying the sermon to our lives)
- How do you define biblical faith? Is there a difference between faith and trust? If so, what?
- Hypothetical: two followers of Jesus receive the same terminal diagnosis. One responds with utter despair and struggles to function in any meaningful sense. The other is also disheartened by the news, but maintains an optimistic and hopeful spirit. How might each person’s trust in God have led to the particular response?
- How is biblical faith stronger than merely agreeing with the truthfulness of certain facts or historical events? For example, could someone say “I believe in Jesus” without having biblical faith?
- The sermon included four aspects of us that are involved/changed by the act of trusting God: intellect (what we think), volition (what we want), emotion (what we feel), and practice (what we do). Discuss how trust relates to each of these.
- Why does God in the Bible so often tell people to do something without giving them other relevant information (how it’s going to work out, why he’s asking them to do this, etc.)? (Examples: He told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of a certain tree but didn’t tell them why, he told Noah to build a huge boat on dry land, he asked Israel to march around the city of Jericho, he told Israel that he would give them the land of Canaan, . . .)
- Discuss the question at the end of the sermon: how would it change your life if you completely trusted God? How would it affect how you handle your finances/investments, how you handle bad news, how you respond to good news, how you treat your spouse/kids, how you work at your job, etc.?
- How does trusting God (or not) affect your obedience to him, particularly in those areas that you might not fully understand why he wants you to do (or not do) a certain thing? What specific examples can you think of?
- Can you think of someone you know (or have known) who trusts God in a way that you wish you could? What has enabled her or him to trust like that?