Summary: Every one of us is going to face something in our life that will shake our faith to its foundation. We are currently in the business of building up our faith to its greatest strength.
Every one of us is going to face something in our life that will shake our faith to its foundation. (loss, doubt, disappointment, betrayal, discouragement). We are currently in the business of building up our faith to its greatest strength as we prepare for the day we need it most. Would your faith today sustain you through a significant trial?
Apostle Paul is concerned about / anxious about the faith of the Thessalonians. He wants to be sure that they're strong enough to face what is coming. He sends Timothy to strengthen and encourage. He wants them to have an unshakable faith for two circumstances:
1. Unshakable During Persecution (2-4)
None of us knows how we would respond to persecution; none persecuted. We may have been uncomfortable, embarrassed, ridiculed. If being uncomfortable, embarrassed, ridiculed, brought about a weakness in our faith, just think what persecution could bring to our faith. We need two things to help us remain unshaken:
Encouragement. We need to be encouraged and strengthened currently for what we may face in the future. (deeply rooted in the word, prayer, and to be a people focused on the spiritual realities of life.)
Expectation. Expect to face challenges to your faith.
We cannot neglect the spiritual emphasis of life and expect to be strong when times of persecution come.
We are to build an unshakable faith for persecution …
2. Unshakable During Temptation (5)
Temptation strikes everybody…drawing us away from the path of discipleship. Here Satan is called the tempter. The only other place in the NT is in Matthew 4:3. ... Which is the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. We should be aware that Satan desires to turn us away from our faith. He has been tempting humans for centuries, he is an ancient foe and very aware of the most effective means of destroying the faith of humans.
2 Corinthians 2:11 For we are not ignorant of his schemes.
We can all think of Christians who have fallen away, even Christian leaders … our adversary is capable of unleashing terrible attacks.
We are to build an unshakable faith for persecution and temptation. But we are not alone in our fight for an unshakable faith.
3. Unshakable Faith Built By God (12-13)
Vs 12 - May the Lord cause you to increase and overflow
Faith, like sight is nothing apart from God. You might as well shut your eyes and look inside, and see whether you have sight as to look inside to discover whether you have faith.—Hannah Whitall Smith
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us. He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.
When we allow God to build our faith we will be growing in …
Love for one another (12) - the hallmark of Christianity according to Jesus.
Holiness (13) - our connection to God (next two chapters talk about how)
May he make your hearts blameless in holiness before God. In the end what’s going to make our faith unshakable is the working of God in our lives - great news!
1. We know this is a lifetime effort because this chapter ends with yet another reminder … this will be completed “at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. Amen”
2. To be Unshakable your faith does not have to be…
Perfect - but moving towards maturity
Knowledgable - but moving towards knowing
Doubtless - but moving toward trust
Self-Sufficient - but always depending more on Christ
3. Would your faith today sustain you through a significant trial?
4. Isaiah 28:16 Therefore the Lord God said: “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable.