sermon: Faith versus Doubtful Things
There are three strategies of shoring up faith against doubt or disbelief in preparation for inevitable persecution: 1.) Romans 6:12-16 warns us not to allow our carnal human nature to make us a slave of sin. 2.) I Corinthians 6:12 teaches us that, just because an activity be lawful, it may not be beneficial to spiritual growth; we never have license to sin. 3.) Philippians 4:8 encourages us to stay focused on what is pure, true, of good report, and just, exercising our discernment to determine what fits those categories. Matthew 14, which narrates Christ's feeding of the 5,000, His walking on the water, and finally Peter's request to join Him, describes the incremental development of faith in the disciples, suggesting that we, like Peter, will only grow strong in faith when we keep our mind on Jesus Christ. Faith falters when our attention moves to ourselves. God periodically allows storms into our lives to test our faith. Like Jonah, we are driven back to God when there is nowhere else to turn. As God saved the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 for their faithfulness, He will also reward His called-out ones for their faithfulness amid overwhelming turbulence.
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