Summary: 3rd message in the "Pay-off of Perseverance" series.

Series: The Pay-off of Perseverance

Message #3: Faith That Doesn’t Give Up No Matter What – September 16, 2007

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what was promised…my righteous one will live by faith…we are not of those who shrink back… Hebrews 10:36-39

The Big Idea: By following the model of perseverance and faith seen in Abraham, we will see God accomplish his plans and fulfill his promises for our church and our lives.

1. Abraham exhibited faith by walking in God’s direction.

The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you…” So Abram left as the Lord had told him…By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land… Genesis 12:1, 4; Hebrews 11:8-9

Sometimes God asks us to go somewhere he wants us to be, even though we may not have all the answers to our questions or provisions for our needs. However, faith does not require having all the answers to our questions or provisions for our needs before we do what God asks us to do because we trust that where he guides he provides.

Walking in God’s direction can be a difficult step of faith

because he requires leaving the comfort of where we are to fulfill his calling on our lives.

When we go in God’s direction we may not see immediate results.

2. Abraham exhibited faith by weathering the storms.

…so they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there…Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe…By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents… Genesis 12:10; Hebrews 11:9

A famine is a lack of what is needed over a long period of time. In the time between what we do not have to meet our needs and God’s supply of our needs, our faith is tested by our attitude toward God and developed by intimacy with and dependency upon God.

Doing what God asks us to do does not mean there will be no famine or storms to weather.

A person of faith does not become discontent when difficulties come, but is content and trusts God.

People who are content in difficult circumstances, as were Sarah and Abraham, have learned God is their source of contentment, happiness, and satisfaction and have the bigger picture in mind by seeing beyond where they are to what God is doing and what is going to be.

People who live by faith do not show discontentment by complaining when it gets hard but remain faithful to God and trust in the faithfulness of God to work things out and meet their needs

People who are discontent complain, rather than trust God has everything under his control and will work out everything according to his plan. They tend to be negative, pessimistic, and imagine the worst. People who are content do not complain but are positive and optimistic, which comes from trusting in the promises and plan of God.

Which “tent” do I normally live in, discontent or content?

3. Abraham exhibited faith by waiting on God’s timing.

“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you…”…Now Sarai was barren; she had no children…He took him outside and said, “Look at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said, “So shall your offspring be.”…Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children…When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “…I am God-Almighty…I…will greatly increase your numbers.” …God said to him, “You will be the father of many nations. No longer will your name be called Abram; your name will be called Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.”…God said, “…your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you will call him Isaac...” Sarah was passed the age of child-bearing… “Is anything too hard for the Lord …at the appointed time next year…Sarah will have a son.” …Sarah became pregnant…bore a son…at the very time God promised. Genesis 12:2; 11:30; 15:5; 16:1; 17:1-3, 19; 18:11, 14; 21:2

God has an appointed time for his will to be accomplished.

During the time between God’s will being in process and eventually accomplished, God brings about change. Change is a normal part of the process to making progress in fulfilling God’s will. We must be willing to accept change for God’s will to be accomplished.

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