Faith to stand the test of time, circumstances, and need is the topic of Paul’s concern for the Corinthian Church.
Help Me Find My Faith
1 Cor. 2:1-5
1. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Faith to stand the test of time, circumstances, and need is the topic of Paul’s concern for the Corinthian Church. The Apostle makes it clear and personal that he is talking about “your faith.” Each of us have been made to possess a measure of faith as the bedrock of who we are in Christ Jesus, and confidence in the promises of God to bring to a conclusion all the things that work for good both now and in our future home with Him in heaven.
But the faith within us and the extremities around us are in constant conflict, affecting our walk with God, and our worship as a believer, in whose mouth praise should continually flow, privately and corporately in the Church. That adversarial scheme of Satan’s devices is his plan to destroy faith and silence our worship!
The influence of our faith upon our spiritual well being is the one determining factor in dealing with life’s most difficult times of hardship, pain and sometimes, we just get stuck! If not addressed and acted upon, a passive, casual spiritual condition results, and can often times lead to a spiritual shutdown.
In today’s message, my prayer is that the Word of God will be preached in power and demonstration, so that your faith to go on with the purpose of God for your life will be revived, refueled, and restored.
I Take Responsibility And Stop Blaming
3. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
5. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
To get going in building a stronger faith, start with yourself and examine yourself to see if there be in you an evil heart of unbelief.
You see, a heart of unbelief will stop you dead in your tracks!
There is only one course of action, ask the Lord to increase your faith while you are cooperating with Him in forgiving those who have hurt you, and caused you so much pain and suffering.
If faith can increase, or decrease, or even die, then we need to keep constant guard on our heart by taking spiritual inventory.
39. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Learn how to bear the responsibility without the blame! You have the power to change the outcome.
The responsible person must take responsibility even if he is not the one who caused the pain. He may be to blame, but you must take the responsibility. Next to God, I’m in charge! Ultimately if you keep blaming, you will never go forward. It’s holding you back!
Are you going to spend the rest of your life blaming? It keeps you tied up!
Don’t just sit still and wait and see how it comes out.
You can determine to get going with the rest of your life.
Sometimes you are to blame also. You married him, you slept with him, you had the baby, you bought the house, etc. So you may have responsibility and some of the blame. Most stuck people I know are playing the blame game, for you are not just blaming somebody else, they are probably blaming you! Nobody is changing things, just blaming.
2 Corinthians 1:24
Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
Death, divorce, loss of job, when these times come, all kinds of animosity and hostility that send you into a state of despair that you just cannot get out of. With all the stress and pressure causes all kinds of emotion to come out in you. All hell breaks loose, and things you thought would never happen are happening.
In the Book of 1 Samuel, David is leading the children of Israel in battle against their persistent enemy the Amelekites. He is winning the battle on the battlefield, but when he gets home, he finds out that his enemies have stolen his families from their campsite. Wives and children have been taken captive, and the heart of the people is destroyed with grief and pain.
David is used to fighting Amelekites, but he now finds himself dealing with a situation that has gotten totally out of hand. In verse four, he is crying and weeping with his people, but in the next verse, they are talking of killing him.
1. And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
2. And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
3. So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
4. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep
5. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
6. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
You see, sometimes when you get in a critical situation, sons and daughters, husbands and wives become hostile. They switch on you! They say and do things that will hurt you and scare you to death. Things you thought would never come out of the mouth of someone you love, suddenly because of their stress and trying to find someone to blame, turn on you! Their animosity will at times cause you to just want to quit. But I’ve come by here today to tell you, you’re not the scapegoat for someone else’s desire to blame.
Listen to me, just like the Word of God can be used to build and feed faith, negative words spoken by tongues set on fire with coals from the pit of hell can wound and injure you to the point that you don’t want to go on! Sometimes you have filter who you talk to, and listen to. Those negative words undermine the power of God that you are going to need to go forward.
You should not let their need to vent, cause you to doubt the promise of God. You don’t have to prove anything to them except that you trust God. You don’t have to fight and make excuses to them. God doesn’t want you to become a punching bag for people who just feel the need to blame somebody! Don’t get stuck! Your success is not measured by what people say about you, and do to you.
II. ENCOURAGE YOURSELF
You must have a strong sense of focus. Stop looking at the things that are seen and start looking at the things not seen.
In reality the answer is not in you and your efforts. The struggle is to believe, and then act upon what you believe. Don’t let other people’s evaluation of you cause you to lose focus.
You’ve got to stop listening to what you are hearing from hysterical people, and focus up what you are hearing from the spirit through the Word. That means you may have to shut up talking and reasoning with all these sources, and just listen to God.
This is really a faith fight.
David was a man who had numerous successes. Those successes caused him to be in the mess he was in. He could see that the things that have been taken from him was still there. It may have been misplaced, but it was still there.
You’ve got to believe that too. You’ve got to believe that God’s blessings upon your life is still there. They aren’t dead, they are just misplaced.
When Peter was stuck, no fish, and toiled all night. Jesus said, Cast the net on the other side. I’m glad God has an answer for all of our problems. It’s just on the other side of the boat.
Between you and the catch of your life is discouragement.
1 Timothy 1:19
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.