Summary: Keep your faith intact and actually increase, not decrease.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR FAITH INTACT
Every day our faith is attacked. The evil one knows the power of faith and he is constantly attacking us so that we do not experience more power in our lives. Every day we have problems. We experience financial problems, problems at work, in relationships, with our health, with our children. As Jesus said in John “In this life you will have trouble.” There’s a lot of trouble we are facing everyday! So how do you keep your faith intact. Well as always with God there’s good news! I’m going to give you a practical today that you can use to train yourself so that whenever you are hit with some trouble you will be more apt to keep your faith intact and if anything increase in your faith rather than decrease.
I want you to think about a problem you have right now and pay attention to how you feel. Close your eyes and focus on it. As part of the lesson stop and do this. What did you feel? Did you feel discouraged, anxious, scared, stressed. Did you start to feel doubtful as a result of how you feel. Many times we literally feel ourselves sinking in our faith as a result of how we feel. We start panicking and cry out to the Lord for help.
Now take that same problem that you were focused on, think about God and notice how you feel. Seriously do it. Close your eyes and focus on God and your problem. How do you feel now? Did you feel the opposite emotions. Joy, courage etc. You see I did this the other day but not on purpose. I was having a conversation with God and a problem in the ministry surfaced in my mind. I immediately felt discouraged and down in my spirit. Then doubt started creeping in and then in the next moment (because I was talking with God) my mind shifted to Him and I started smiling. At that moment God said to me Steven that’s why you need to see me and not just your problem. So how do you keep your faith intact? What does the bible say?
FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS (See God then your problem)
Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
God tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus. Why? So that you will not lose heart. When we fix our eyes on the problems of this life we begin to lose. And it’s very easy to begin losing everything. We lose courage, we lose joy, we lose faith, we lose trust. We lose, we lose, we lose! What we have a tendency to do is fix our eyes on the problem, then we get upset about the problem or stressed out about the problem and it goes downhill from there. Somewhere down the line after we have sinned God comes back in the picture. No we must fix our eyes on Jesus so that we don’t lose faith. If you are going to face your troubles with faith you must keep your eyes fixed on the author of your faith! Peter learned this letter when he asked Jesus to tell him to come to him on the water.
Mt 14:25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Problem #1 (To them) Jesus was walking on water. They had never done this or seen anybody do it so this scared the living daylights out of them. Fear, panic, doubt took over immediately. Jesus tried to help them take courage by telling them that it was Him and not a ghost. Peter focused on the Lord and had enough courage to ask Jesus if he could come to Him and he did! He actually walked on the water. Something his friends could never say they did. He did it. But,