The Thrill of Trusting God
Charles F. Stanley
Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:20-51
I. Faith is at the heart of the Christian life. Yet many believers struggle to fully trust the Lord. Faith often begins to wane when adversity strikes or when prayers seem to go unanswered. But the thrilling thing about knowing the Lord Jesus Christ is that our heavenly Father hears us when we pray. Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees (Life Principle #9). He delights in meeting our needs and fulfilling our hearts’ desires according to His will.
II. How did David demonstrate his trust in God?
A. The story of David and Goliath illustrates the importance of trusting the Lord completely—especially when we face overwhelming challenges. The entire Israelite army, as well as the king, was terrified of the Philistine giant.
B. David focused on the spiritual nature of the battle. He declared that victory would come from the Lord (1 Sam. 17:46-47) and then killed the giant with one stone from his slingshot. With their champion defeated, the Philistines quickly lost heart—enabling the Israelites to overtake them and win the battle.
III. What was the key to David’s victory?
A. David had many natural characteristics that made him a good fighter. He was young, strong, and accurate with a sling. He had experience defending his flock against wild animals. But none of those things were the key to his success against the Philistine.
B. David saw the final picture—the giant’s death—before he ever picked up a stone for his slingshot. He knew the Lord would give him victory because Goliath was mocking not just the Israelite army, but also their God.
IV. How can a person be sure he fully trusts God?
A. There are three levels of faith. One says, “I know the Lord can do this.” A second declares, “I know that He will do it—at least for some people.” The highest level of faith says, “It’s as good as done.” God can give us the ability to see something as finished. And if you have misunderstood His will, He’ll gently correct you.
B. At the highest level of faith, you will no longer fret. Worry reveals that you are not fully trusting God. When you rely completely on Him, you will stop pleading with the Lord and begin to thank Him for answering your prayer.
V. What is required for life-changing faith?
A. Purify your heart. Even a small amount of sin—such as bitterness, unforgiveness, or pride—will hinder your fellowship with the Lord.
B. Renew your mind. After your heart is cleansed, you will be able to see when and where God is at work.
C. Make sure your motives are pure. Is your intention righteous or selfish? First, determine what the Father’s will is for your situation; then you will be able to pray with confidence.
D. Focus on the Lord. Often when we approach the Lord in prayer, our concentration isn’t on Him. We dwell on our emotions, the facts, and the opinions of others. All three are enemies to effective faith.
E. Visualize the answer to your prayer. The world has taken the term “visualize” and twisted it. But it can actually be a God-given tool to strengthen your faith. For example, I could visualize being pastor of First Baptist Atlanta long before they called me to lead the congregation.
F. Walk in the light of the finished product. Live as if it’s only a matter of time before your prayer is answered. Your part is to discover God’s will, surrender, and wait on His timing. When you walk in this level of faith, you will have an awesome sense of peace and contentment (Phil. 4:6-7).
VI. Conclusion: Have you grown accustomed to a life filled with doubt and unbelief? My prayer is that you will learn to trust God completely. The secret to victorious faith is to dwell on the Father’s ability to handle your problems. Confess your sins, focus on the Lord, and completely surrender to His will. Then live as if your request has been granted. You will never be the same again.