Summary: There are few things in life that can hurt us so deeply and scar us so permanently as to have our faith shattered by someone we love. But by Gods grace faith can and is restored.
Restoring your faith
John Chapter 21
When was the last time that you had your faith entirely shattered?
Was it in the Detroit Red Wings or the Toronto Maple Leafs?
That’s one kind of faith – the faith of a fan.
What about not getting that promotion or job that someone had promised you?
That’s faith in people who are in a position of influence to hurt or help you.
What about putting faith in your best friend to pick you up in the car pool only to be left waiting for them to arrive?
That’s faith in relationships with others and it can disappoint given your expectations.
But, when was the last time you had your faith entirely shattered?
Well that is a very personal often very hurtful recollection for most of us.
It may have involved a spouse, a child a parent or a sibling and more often than not it was someone very, very dear to you in whom you had placed absolute trust as well.
There are few things in life that can hurt us so deeply and scar us so permanently as to have our faith shattered by someone we love. But by God’s grace – faith can and is restored.
The Bible defines faith this way….1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 KJV
Now that might sound like double talk to some of you: but it is as plain and straight as it could be.
Dr. J. Oswald Sanders of the China Inland Mission put it this way…Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.
Faith is for the believer. You can not have faith in God if you do not first believe in God.
You can find what is to be believed in the pages of the word of God – the Bible. Once you believe it you can easily see it in the here and now as well as trust it for the future and the Great Here After.
The Disciples of Jesus felt their faith had been destroyed by the events of Good Friday.
The arrest and the trials that took place before the Sanhedrin, Pontius Pilot, Herod, and the mob and the order of execution and public humiliation that went with it dragged their faith bloodied and beaten to Golgotha where they saw it extinguished on a Roman cross.
Imagine that you had left everything you had known, your hometown, your job, and your friends and in some cases your family and invested three years of your life promoting a dream and the dreamer only to find you are now living a nightmare.
Your association with Jesus has now made you an enemy of the state and since they killed the leader you realize that you could be next. So you hide along with the other Disciples under lock and key.
Yes what a shattered and tattered faith these men and women must have experienced; that is until Easter Sunday morning when Jesus revealed he had risen from the dead as he had told them and taught them.
That kind of restoration is known to us as the Resurrection and only Jesus can take us from shattered to restored.
But a shattered faith needs reassurance.
The group had only seen Jesus briefly on that Sunday morning and then again once Thomas joined them and put the miracle of Jesus Resurrection to a physical test.
But Jesus disappeared right before their eyes and they were left to wonder what to do next. Jesus told them to go to Galilee and wait for him there and to bring the others.
What have you been doing while you wait for Jesus to restore your faith?
The fishermen in the group decided to try their hand at their old jobs – fishing.
They went night fishing using lamps which by the way is illegal for you and I as the fish are drawn to the light but not in their case.
They spent all night doing what they used to do but had nothing to show for it.
How about you?
Have you tried the old things you used to do as a way of restoring your faith?
What were your results?
Did you go back to church? Good.
Did you get back to reading your Bible? Good.
Did you get back to praying to God? Very good.
So why weren’t the results there? What kept you from having your faith restored?
Maybe like those fishermen Disciples you were on the wrong side of the boat. Maybe you like them had focused all of your attention in one direction a direction that you had chosen.
Only after taking directions from Jesus did they see their fishing prospects change. And how they changed!