Summary: Part 9 focuses on steps we can take to reestablish our faith should it become shipwrecked.
We Walk By Faith Part 9
Shipwrecked Faith Part 2
Last week I shared with you what it meant to have shipwrecked faith. In part one of this conclusion of my faith series, I shared with you that our faith can become shipwrecked when we walk away from the one true source of our faith: God and His word. It is God and His word that will sustain us during the worse circumstances imaginable if we trust and allow Him to. This morning I will close out this series by focusing on how we can maintain our faith or get it back on track if it had become shipwrecked. Let me say up front that I have had times in my life where my faith was not only shipwrecked, but it had run so far aground that the water could not reach it. It was grounded so far on shore that you could a mile from the water on the beach before you ever saw it. During the darkest days of my life, there was God. I would not be standing before you today had I not found my way back to my source. If you have had problems and began to believe that God was not working on your behalf something has caused your faith to shift. In my message last week I gave you the example of the chip in your windshield that if left alone will eventually become a crack. This morning we will approach this as if the chip has become a crack.
I. The Slow Deterioration Of Faith
As a quick review, I want to remind you that anyone who has suffered shipwrecked faith understands that it was a gradual process. The faith did not become shipwrecked overnight. As with a ship in the natural, when it is wrecked, pieces do not float away from it immediately. First there is damage to the ship in the initial wreckage and then as the waves continue to beat upon the ship more and more pieces break off. Last week I gave you the example of how we have lost faith in friends and family members. First we hear the rumors or witness something that causes our faith to be shaken. As times goes on, we begin to witness other things that seem to pile on and add more evidence that our faith is in the wrong person. The wreck started when we first began to doubt. The breakage started when we accepted the first pangs of doubt and began to entertain other evidence that the doubt was justified. Before we knew it not only was the doubt proven to be true, but we were left wondering why we ever trusted the person to begin with.
When we were talking about this during Bible study we talked about Job. I briefly mentioned Job in my message last week. Here is something I want you to consider about the story of Job. Satan is mentioned in the first two chapters of Job. In both instances he appeared before God trying to gain more freedom to attack Job. We know that in both requests God allowed him to have access to Job. (Remember, Satan had stated that God had a hedge of protection around Job and he would only have known that if he had tried to get to Job before.) To prove a point, God allowed Satan to get beyond the hedge. After the first two attacks on Job we do not hear anymore of Satan coming into God’s presence concerning Job because Job had withstood him. When we read the rest of the book we do not read anything else about Satan. Does that mean that he gave up? Absolutely not! Satan did not give up, but he changed his tactics. Satan began to use Job’s wife and friends to beat him down, to get him to acknowledge that he had done something to bring this on himself. I share this with you so that you understand that our enemy is a real one and he will use whatever resources he has available to shipwreck our faith. If we understand this, then we are in a better position to be ready to stand when the attacks come and we are open and ready to receive direction from God pertaining to our responses to the attacks.
Our faith does not become shipwrecked overnight in most cases. What oftentimes happen is that we experience a shaking of our faith that we never fully recover from. Something bad happens to us spiritually and we set ourselves on guard from that day forward to ensure that it could not happen to us again. Maybe we stepped out in faith in doing something for God and it did not work out just right and we decided never again will we do that. Maybe we believed God for something important and it did not work out, so we stopped believing and took the stance that “whatever will be will be.” Whatever the case our faith experienced a slow decline because we did not fight to recover from the attack. That being said, let’s look at a few steps we can do to begin recovering and rebuilding our faith after a wreck.