O for a Faith Such as This

Text: Psalm 56

 I.         Read the song “O for a Faith That Will Not Shrink” by W. H. Bathhurst (#462)

II.        A faith without fear

            A.        Most of our fears of our own imagination - Psalm 53:5

                        1.         When our dreads are elusive, we make things up, and what we imagine is almost always worse than reality

                        2.         If we just face our fears, we will see that they are not nearly as large as we imagined them to be.

            B.        We fear the wrong thing - Proverbs 29:25

                        1.         Do not fear the physical - Matthew 10:28

                        2.         What can mere man do? - Psalm 56:4

                        3.         The apostles before the Sanhedrin court - Acts 4:5-13

            C.        We fear because our conscience bothers us - Proverbs 28:1

                        1.         But trusting in God’s salvation removes fear - Isaiah 12:2

                        2.         Hereby we know that we are saved - I John 2:3-6; 5:1-5, 18-20

            D.        God has not given us a spirit of fear - II Timothy 1:7

III.       A faith without complaint

            A.        Life is not fair

                        1.         Because to most fairness means everything goes my way

                        2.         The Hebrews lost their faith and complained - Hebrews 3:7-12

                        3.         They turned on their hope of aid - I Corinthians 10:9-10

            B.        We are promised difficulties - Hebrews 12:4-13

                        1.         Read:

Do you fear the force of the wind,
The slash of the rain?
Go face them and fight them,
Be savage again.
Go hungry and cold like the wolf,
Go wade like the crane;
The palms of your hands will thicken,
The skin of your cheek will tan,
You’ll grow ragged and weary and swarthy,
But you’ll walk like a man!

Hamlin Garland

                        2.         Matthew 5:10-12 - Rejoice in persecution

            C.        Accept adversity along with the good - Job 2:10

                        1.         Because always God does what is best for us.

IV.      A faith that shines

            A.        It is when the hour is darkest, when all looks hopeless, that a man’s faith then shines as a beacon - Matthew 5:14-16

                        1.         Walk as children of light - Ephesians 5:8

                        2.         Prove to be children of light - Philippians 2:15-16

            B.        It might not be acknowledged, but it is seen - I Peter 2:12

                        1.         Doing what is right and good - Isaiah 58:7-8

            C.        It draws people to hope - Isaiah 60:1-3

V.        A faith that lasts

            A.        Hated by all, but must endure to the end - Matthew 10:22

            B.        Hold fast - Hebrews 3:6

            C.        Endure under trials - James 1:12

            D.        Paul had fought the fight - II Timothy 4:7

            E.        Will your faith last like this?