Summary: Faith is often a present struggle, but the outcome is long term.
Get A Grip! The Frustration of Faith, The Failure of Faith, the Future of Faith Heb. 11:8-40
When you think of faith, what comes to your mind?
The Frustration of Faith 8-12 Faith is not only about victory, but also about the struggle.
Faith goes to uncomfortable places to get a blessing
Sometimes it is easier not knowing where you are going…just go!
Sometimes we will feel out of place - Remember that whatever you live in, it is really only a “tent”
We are in trouble - so were they!
The Facts of Faith 13-16 They died in faith, seen them far off
Faith embraces the promise
We cannot embrace God and embrace the world.
We should remind ourselves that our situation is temporary
We are foreigners - the real problem is that we fit in too easily- we are not that different.
14 Faith confesses the promises Faith makes plain declarations
If God calls things that are not as thought they were, so should we
We need to stop stating the obvious and speak the promise
We really don’t need to repeat what is already a reality (unless we want more of the same)
15 Faith does not regret what could have been, but looks forward to what will be
"You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures." Charles Noble.
Forrest Gump: Life is NOT like a box of chocolates - our choices have a lot to do with what we get. Life is not just a random roll of the dice - God has a plan, a promise, for those who choose to believe.
A football coach gave this advice on how to deal with failures. "When you're about to be run out of town, get out in front and make it look like you're heading a parade." Bits & Pieces, April 30, 1992.
The Future of Faith - 17-22 Faith is beyond today.
Faith puts the future into God’s hands, knowing He has a better plan than we do
We can put our children into God’s hands knowing they are the seed of promise
He brings to live that which appears to be dead
20 We bless our children by faith
21 We live by faith until our dying moment
"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." Corrie Ten Boom.
The Forsaking of Faith 23-29 - Faith makes hard choices
24 The future of faith is to choose to suffer rather than give in to sin because we see something better
27 Moses did not get to the Promised Land, but he could see God, and he made sure the people received the promise
28 When it seems everything is against you, claim the power of the blood of Jesus Christ
The Failure of Faith 30- Most people of great faith experienced great failure.
We see their lives in a microcosm, so we tend to minimize their struggle.
But they subdued kingdoms!!! If you have failed, you are in good company
He who never makes a mistake never makes anything.
The Finality of Faith - 36-40 they just didn’t get it...apart from us!
What is the final answer of faith? What really matters? Riches, wealth, pleasure?
They did not receive the promise
What did they get? A good testimony
Why aren’t their failures mentioned here? Because faith is greater than our failure.
"Failure is an event, never a person." William Brown, Welcome Stress!
Why? So what is the point of faith? Why does their faith matter? Why does ours matter? The present struggle of faith has more to do with what we pass on to those who come after us than what we get now.
Heb 12 - Run with endurance, Remember Jesus…
12:12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. (NLT)
Our faith, our confession, our struggle, has a much to do with what happens after we are gone as it does with our life.
Heb. 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Get A Grip! Faith is not only about what we get in this life, or even in the life to come, but what we pass on to others who follow us. We may not see the promise, but we can see them.
HOLD ON! - when everything seems to be falling apart, hold on! Hold on to God, hold on to prayer, hold on to faith, and help others hold on.
Psalm 2:8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.