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Summary: This is a sermon to help build faith. 1. God does not get shook up by your STORMS. 2. God is bigger than your CIRCUMSTANCES. 3. Walking in faith builds FAITH.

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Quality Characteristics – Faith

Today I want us to begin by reading our focal passage. This is a story that took place with Jesus and His disciples on the Sea of Galilee. It is found in Matthew chapter eight. Follow along with me as I read:

“Now when He (Jesus) got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" Matthew 8:23-27 (NKJV)

Today I want us to look at one of the most important quality characteristics that a Christian can have, and that is – faith. We, just like the disciples must decide each day if we are going to walk by faith or if we are going to walk by fear. Are we going to let circumstances run and rule our lives or are we going to have enough to faith believe that God is greater than our circumstances. Each day you and I must decide if we are going to live by faith or live in fear. Each day we need to look at what has control our lives – fear or faith. Are we going to live by faith – or are we going to live by fear? Here is a fact:

God wants you to live by FAITH.

In fact the Bible tells us:

“No one can please God without faith.” Hebrews 11:6 (GW)

Paul said it this way:

“We walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

God wants us to walk by faith. In fact God expects His children to live by faith. He does not want His children to be controlled by the circumstances that you find yourself in. God does not want you to be controlled by fear. He wants you to live with the reality that – God is in control – no matter what the circumstances are. You see – circumstances will change. Situations will come and go. But God does not change because of the situations you find yourself in.

Folks, I know that God is leading each of you to something special. It is something that does not look easy and will be filled with obstacles. Circumstances may change from day to day. Sometimes there will be situations that will test your faith. It will take great faith on your part to accomplish what God has in store for you. But God has empowered you so that you can live by faith. Here is what the Bible says in Second Timothy:

“God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (YLT)

The only way you will be able to maximize your potential in Christ is to live a life of faith. Folks, here is another fact:

Life is the testing ground for your FAITH.

Let’s read our focal passage again.

“Now when He (Jesus) got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" Matthew 8:23-27 (NKJV)

Folks – let me ask you a question. How many of you have had bad stuff happen to you? Go ahead and raise your hand for a minute. You who have your hand raised look around for a minute. How many people here today have had bad stuff happen to them? Everybody! That’s because bad stuff happens to everyone. It is a part of life. Life is a collection of good stuff and bad stuff – that’s what life is. Sometimes there is more bad stuff than there is good stuff – sometimes there is more good than there is bad. I like it when the good outweighs the bad – don’t you? But the truth is - bad situations will happen to everyone.

A bad situation happened in the story we just read. Jesus and His disciples are out on the Sea of Galilee – and a storm arises. Just like all problems in life – it is unpredicted. It is unplanned. It is unexpected. But it happens. And this is just not your average storm. This is a really bad storm. This is a life threatening storm. This is a storm that had seasoned sailors – fishermen – shaking in their boots. This is the type of storm that had the disciples fearing for their lives.

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