Senin, 03 September 2012

How to Have Unwavering Faith

Scripture: "We must continue to hold firmly to our declaration of faith. The One who made the promise is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

Question:

What do all of these have in common?
  • surviving a hungry den of lions
  • having children after being barren for decades
  • receiving sight after a lifetime of blindness
  • winning huge battles with impossible odds…

Answer:

One word: Faith. But not just any kind of faith: the kind that doesn't turn back. I personally know how easy it is to have faith one day, but when faced with an obstacle, to change your mind. But the faith that God is looking for is the kind that doesn't turn back. James 1:6-7 says, "When you ask for something, don't have any doubts. A person who has doubts is like a wave that is blown by the wind and tossed by the sea. A person who has doubts shouldn't expect to receive anything from the Lord." That's pretty straight-forward. It's like you are heading out on the ocean to a promised destination. You may (and probably will!) encounter storms, but what will you do when that happens? Turn back and stop believing? Faith only has 1 direction-and that's forward. Watch this video to see a demonstration:

When the Storm Rages...

Sometimes storms strike and it feels impossible to go forward. That's when you drop anchor. The anchor is Jesus Christ. "We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of Him, so He endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought Him. Then He received the highest position in heaven, the one next to the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2 I want you to picture that you are in a boat, going to your Promised Land. Say it's healing. So you're going along, having believed and prayed for God to heal you, and suddenly, your symptoms get worse. You start to think, "Maybe God isn't going to heal me after all. Maybe He doesn't even care. Maybe He wants me to be sick forever." These are the wind and the waves, and they can be very strong. But by dropping anchor, you can withstand them. You say to yourself, "I know my God is for me. He sent His Son Jesus to die for me. And no matter what happens in this life, He will never leave me, never forsake me, and He will raise me to life on the Last Day."

What Happens When You Turn Back

When you turn back in your faith (believing the lies that God doesn't care or can't help you), something really bad happens. It feels better for the moment, because you are getting out of the storm zone (the Devil doesn't want you to believe and get your promise!), but you are actually getting further from your promise. It's like if I ordered something online to be delivered to my home, but decide to move somewhere else because it's taking too long. When the package comes, it has no one to receive it! Back to Sender it goes. God doesn't want you to miss your blessing, but He needs you to hold tight until the right time comes to give it to you. God says in Isaiah 7:9, "Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm." Watch a demonstration here:

What's Happening in the Meantime

Why does God make us wait? It can be the most frustrating thing. Joseph must've thought so when he spent years in slavery, then more years in prison, waiting for his dreams of leadership to be realized. But the Bible says something very important was happening in those years: "Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph's character." Psalm 105:19 Joseph's character was being hammered out in those years of extreme hardship. Imagine if, as a child, you were promised the car of your dreams. But then your dad delays giving it to you. Is he mean? No! He wants you to not crash and to enjoy the gift when you are able and ready. God has amazing things for you, but He wants you to be ready to enjoy and use them responsibly.

What To Do if You're Doubting

Faith has two positions: Going forward or standing firm. So what if you're doubting right now? I want you to be encouraged by Peter, one of Jesus' best friends. Peter and his friends were in a boat when they saw Jesus walking on water! Peter was very adventurous and started to walk out on the water towards Jesus. What faith! But then, he started doubting and immediately began to sink. Maybe you feel like that. But Peter called out to Jesus, "Lord, save me!" and Jesus reached out and caught him. There is hope for you if you are wavering right now in your faith. Maybe you have even taken some steps back from believing, but you can call out to Jesus, right now, and He will save you. The Bible promises, "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13

Respond Now

I read your comments every week, and they touch my heart so much; I can only imagine how they touch God's. Tell Him below in the Comments if you are sinking in your faith and need to reach out to Jesus. Just like with Peter, Jesus will scoop you up and rescue you. There is an amazing land of promise on the other side of the ocean you are traveling. The most important final destination is Heaven with Jesus, and Jesus will carry you to the other side as you hold fast to your faith in Him. I love you and here is my prayer for you:
Lord Jesus, I pray You would help the person reading this to cling to You, in the good times and the bad. I ask that You would help them receive the amazing promises You have for them while they are on this Earth, and the ultimate final promise of eternal life with You in Heaven. Will You show each of us who You really are and how present You are with us? Thank You for hearing, Jesus. Amen.

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