Hard Pressed Faith
Feb. 4 2007
(Faith: Matthew 17:20)
- Intro -
God is more interested in teaching than preaching so my goal today is to teach you how to have faith. If you have your bible I’d like you to open it with me to the book of Matthew the 17 chapter. In this story a father comes before Jesus and begs him to cast a demon out of his boy. Jesus states in an almost irritated tone “how much longer shall I be with you?” Then prays for the boy and the demon immediately leaves. Then the disciples come to him and question why they were not able to cast the demon out.
Matthew 17:20 Jesus responds, “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Another amazing thing I learned is that mustard oil can be extracted from the seeds. The mustard seed must first be crushed to get the oil. When we are crushed our faith in God can combined with confession that will change our situation. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Today I will teach you four steps how that faith can be extracted when ‘not if’ those circumstances come.
- Confession -
I am going to talk about me, because I know me better than anyone else, Amen. To expound on this let me teach you that God is not moved by our need, situation, tears ect. He is moved by our faith… One way I know this is from experience, when I was 16 I was involved in a very severe motor vehicle accident, now I am not going into describing all the injuries I received, but I am going to tell you of why I am still here four years later… my parents faith. They realistically hoped against hope as did Abraham, and God gave them there son back (myself) as a result. It would take to much time to describe all of the things they did, but I will tell you the most important they put confession with there faith. The verse they stood on for me was Psalm 118:17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. When the doctors would come up to them for five weeks straight and say your son does not have much chance of living they would look into the doctors eyes with faith and say my son shall not die, but live…
Faith is action directed by God, but it is not going to the store and buying everything that we think we need and justifying it as faith. Faith is action and believing it is done (speaking it into the atmosphere), then rejoicing like it is finished.
- Confidence -
Sometimes our unbelief limits God. But Jesus already completed every thing concerning us on the cross, through His sacrifice we live, and breathe. If we can have unlimited faith that gives God the ability to have unlimited power in our lives.
Like the father believing for his boy can you believe? Can you believe with faith of a mustard seed, even when things are going all wrong can you believe? When nothing in your life looks right, none of the bills are paid the rent or mortgage is due, your wife or husband has just walked out on you, can you believe?
Jesus said to his disciples after a parable, Mark 10:27, “With man it is impossible,
Jesus said to his disciples after a parable, Mark 10:27, “With man it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can get through any situation in your life.
Remember he is limited or unlimited by our faith. God has all the power if we give it to him. If not he will be limited, unable to act, but for those that have faith, they will see their situation change. So we can have confidence that our circumstances will change, if it lines up with the will of God.
Remember he is limited or unlimited by our faith. God has all the power if we give it to him. If not he will be limited, unable to act, but for those that have faith, they will see their situation change. So we can have confidence that our circumstances will change, if it lines up with the will of God.Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible.
Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible. Faith is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable. Faith is idle when circumstances are right, only when they are adverse is one’s faith in God exercised. Faith, like muscle, grows strong and supple with exercise. Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.
—David Lloyd George
- Comprehension -
It is important that when putting action behind our faith that we keep our hope in Jesus and the power of the cross and not our own ability. That we not trust in things,
people, or this world, but that we keep our hearts open to his leading. How are we
sensitive to his leading, I will share with you the only way we are sensitive to his leading:
Daily getting into his word, why? Because we were created in his image. God’s word’s have the ultimate authority, but God in the beginning gave man the authority in his words when combined with faith to change the natural world according to his will. How do we know his will, I will say again daily getting in to his word.
Let me break this down for you, the old testament was made up of law, “The Ten Commandments.” In the new testament Jesus said I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. What he was saying is I don’t have time for all of you to go through everything they (the Israelites) went through so he summed it up in two commandments, “love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself.” If we keep these commandments we will have open hearts to his divine directive.
- Conduct -
We must realize God is all powerful and desires to give good gifts to those that love him and desire to walk according to his will. We must again believe and not doubt because nothing will be given to those that doubt.
Then again we do not want to put limits on our faith, that in essence is putting limits on God. Our prayer must have the sureness that it will come to pass, a verse that speaks of this is I John 5:14-15, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to his will, He hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that have the petitions that we have asked of him.” Having confidence in God lets him know we have the faith to stand no matter the trials or hard times that come our way.
Faith is not believing that God can, but that God will!
Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.
My goal today is through the Holy Spirit’s leading to not just come here and talk well, but to increase your faith walk, to tell you, you have faith inside of you, it just needs to be woken up, it needs to be brought forth. Jesus died on the cross so that through his death our faith would mean something, through his death, we have a strong tower,
fortress when we are week, faith for the unseen, because that is what faith is to have faith
in the unseen, “For to have faith in what is seen is no faith at all, but to have faith in the unseen that is true faith.”
- Conclusion -
Allow God to use the crushing in your life, then and only then can the anointing be extracted and your life be open to His leading. As ministers of the gospel can you be crushed? Because you will… Even when everything in your life is going wrong, nothing is right, you can minister to those who need him because you have been crushed. Let him use the crushing in your life so that he may mold you, remake you into his image, for the glory of his Son.