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Scripture Reading: Luke 22:31-34
1. Sin and its temptation deceives us, lurking (in our minds) to entice us and slay our souls (1 Pet. 5:8).
2. Luke 22:31-34 (32)–Fail: “cease,” to be absent, to die; “to disappoint, prove undependable to; to have a state or process cease” (Logos).
3. Peter’s faith faltered, but it did not fail (cease); It was not overwhelmed.
4. Jesus is our relief during times of trial that challenge our faith, 1 Jno. 2:1-2.
I. FAITH FALTERS WHEN OUR FOCUS IS MISPLACED.
A. In the Past: “Remember the good old days” Eccl. 7:10.
1. Good old days not always so good, cf. 1 Tim. 1:13.
2. Remember the past sins in order to repent, Rev. 2:5.
3. Remember how you received and heard...and repent, Rev. 3:2-3.
B. Focus on the Future, not the Past, Phil. 3:12-14.
1. Staying in our past sins and failings immobilizes us in doubt, fear and failure.
2. The past, even though bad, may seem comfortable (because it is familiar), but it is spiritually debilitating, Heb. 5:11, 14; 6:11-12.
3. We must change our focus from self to salvation, from sin to soberness, from darkness to light, from the flesh to the Savior, Rom. 13:11-14.
II. FAITH FALTERS WHEN FAITH IS WEAK.
A. When We Begin to Doubt the Presence and Power of God: “Where is your God?” Psa. 42:1-3
1. Listen to the faithless friend or the skeptical spouse, cf. Job 2:9-10.
2. Constancy of the Lord’s availability assures deliverance, Psa. 6:1-3.
a. When we commit sin, let us pick ourselves up and, in faith, look to the Lord for His mercy and forgiveness, 1 Jno. 1:9.
b. Then, let us press onward, Lk. 22:32.
B. Let Us Use God’s Ways for Strengthening Our Personal Faith.
1. Increase the use of God’s word in your life, Heb. 5:13-14.
2. Set spiritual priorities, Matt. 6:31-34.
3. Replace fear with confidence of God’s care, Mk. 4:37-41.
4. Replace depression and doubt and anxiety with hope in God and with contented prayers that recall God’s promises, Psa. 42:5-8, 9-11; Phil. 4:6-7; Heb. 13:5-6.
III. FAITH FALTERS WHEN WE NEGLECT PRESENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND FUTURE ACCOUNTABILITY.
A. The Present Gives Us Opportunities We Must Not Neglect.
1. Opportunity + Ability = Responsibility, Matt. 25:14-18.
a. Now is the time to labor for the Lord, Jno. 9:4.
b. Opportunities to do good, Gal. 6:10.
c. Opportunities to grow in our faith, 2 Pet. 1:5-8.
2. Opportunities to improve as a spouse (1 Pet. 3:7), as a parent (Eph. 6:3-4), as a Christian (Rom. 12:1-2).
B. Future Accountability Motivates Us to be Diligent in Faith, Matt. 25:19-21, 23, 26; 2 Tim. 2:15.
1. Confidence in the promise of God strengthens our faith, cf. Abraham, Rom. 4:19-22.
2. If your faith falters, all is not lost! Turn back to God so that your faith does not fail (cease), Isa. 55:6-7.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: September 15, 2016