Summary: Keeping and holding on to your faith in God

Hold on to your faith

1Co 16:13 ¶ Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

This message has been going over and over in my head the last few days.

I’ve been thinking that 2011 hasn’t been a good year so for many of us, and we are only in the month of May.

January 18th my precious wife left me behind and she went on to be with the Lord.

Some of you have lost your homes due to the flood.

Some of you worked feverously trying to keep your houses out of the floodwaters.

Recently we lost from our presence a dear old saint of God who went on to be with the Lord.

Besides all of this on our local level, we have heard of tornados, storms, and floods that have ravaged other areas of the country.

And sometimes, we wonder where God is in the midst of all this.

Does He really know what we are going through?

Does He even care that we are hurting?

And sometimes we may even question our faith and have thoughts about whether there really is a God!

If you will be patient with me a moment, I remember very clearly the morning Kathy drew her last breath.

I recall the shock I felt, even though I thought I was prepared.

I remember leaning over her lifeless body and weeping my heart out.

In the days that followed I began to question God.

God why did you not answer my prayer? Why did you not heal her.

Someone mistakenly said, “Oh but God did heal her!”

Who which I reply, no He is not heal her. He took her from me!

I needed her. I loved her. I adored her.

I buried her body in a grave in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Cabot, Arkansas. I can take you to the spot. She wasn’t healed!!

In the following days after the funeral, I questioned God almost on a daily basis.

Why? Why? I began to have doubtful thoughts about my faith.

I would think of scriptures concerning healing, and wonder if that was really true. I would think about the verse where God is no respecter of persons. “But God I asked you to heal Kathy over and over again, and my prayer was not answered.”

Night after night I laid in my bed and begged God to take me right then and there. I would say, “Let me die! I don’t want to live! And then when I would wake up the next morning, I would again be disappointed that I did not die.

And then wonder again, There must not be a God. If there is a God why don’t He take me. Why don’t He allow me to be with my wife in heaven, if there really is a heaven?

You see, Satan was trying to destroy my faith!

He was taking the circumstances that surrounded me, catching me in the weakest point of my life, and pointing to my unanswered prayers and saying, Where is your faith now?

Where is your God now? You have preached healing for years. You have stood upon the Bible for years.

Now God has let you down!!!

And you know what? I started believing it!!

Many of you do not understand what I am talking about.

Some of you may think I must be a weak, puny Christian.

Some may even think I have backslidden.

But until you walk in my shoes, until you walk in the shoes of those who are hurting, you cannot comprehend nor can you understand.

I think of Job a lot, especially lately. He was a man of integrity and walked upright before God.

Yet when he lost everything He had, including his own children, he was so distraught he cursed the day he was born.

Through it all, he said thou God slay me yet will I trust Him.

Job says, “I don’t know, I don’t understand, I can’t figure this out, I cannot comprehend why this is happening to me.”

But I will trust Him! I will trust Him! I will trust Him!

A few days ago some of our people here in this church were facing circumstances beyond their control.

Some of us thought we had it in control, thought we had it covered, thought everything would be okay, but to our dismay we did not have control of the forces of nature.

Some of you lost that which was dear to you. You worked hard for that home, you had a comfortable home, you saved and bought beautiful things for your homes, but we found that we could only do so much.

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