As I was praying regarding the message for this week at Church Without Limits I really felt an assignment to bring encouragement to people to stand strong – I sense that a lot of us have been going through some battles/challenges and are growing a little weary. (Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend by the way!)
A. There are many here today who need a word of encouragement from the LORD. You are facing:
- Financial Challenges
- Family Challenges
- Future Challenges
- Freedom Challenges
- Faithfulness Challenges
B. 1 Corinthians 16:13 – Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong
- Prophetic Encouragement: Stand Fast in the Faith, Be Brave, Be Strong
- You will not find a verse that promises that we will not have problems when we follow Jesus
- God would never tell us to stand fast in the faith, to be brave to be strong if it was outside of our ability
- The very fact that He tells us to do it actually infuses us with His ability to do so
C. 2 Timothy 2:3 – You must therefore endure hardship as a good soldier
- The context for 2 Timothy was it was an intense time of persecution for the church (read the book straight through with that in light)
- We see that we are going to encounter hardship
- We are not to be mastered by hardship but we are to attack it as a GOOD soldier
- A soldier is prepared for hardship, equipped for hardship and overcomes hardship
D. Prov 24:10 – if you faint in the day of adversity how small is your strength
- There is a challenge in this verse: anyone can stand strong when everything is going their way… but a man/woman of God stands when things are not going well.
E. Jeremiah 12:5 – if you have run with the footmen and they have wearied you how will you contend with horses…
- You are called to ‘contend with horses’
- God has placed tremendous purpose on you and on this house – revival and reformation
- Right now we are in training though… and if we cannot learn to stand strong in these moments we will never be ready for what is to come.
- When it gets hard we cannot quit… there is too much at stake!
F. Hebrews 12:1-3 – …Run with endurance looking unto Jesus…
- The context for the book of Hebrews again is believers who are facing incredible hardship.
- You have a race to run – and it is not just any race but it has eternal significance
- There is a picture here of the saints that have gone before and they are watching and cheering for you
- We need to run with endurance!!!
- We need to lay aside every weight
- We need to lay aside sin that easily ensnares us
- We need to look unto Jesus
- Looking unto Jesus is the key in this – “looking unto him” is the catalyst for laying aside every weight and sin
- What does looking unto Jesus really mean? We have been learning that He is the Word… the foundation is looking to the “Living Word”
G. Proverbs 24:10 (Round 2)
- Our strength isn’t small because we do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13)
- Psalm 18:2 - The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
- Psalm 27:1 - The LORD is my light and my salvation;Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
- He is our strength… the foundational way to connect with him is through the Word
- When you are filled with the Word you are filled with Him and you are strong!
H. Matthew 4:1-4 – And He answered and said “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
- What happens when you don’t eat? You become weak! The same thing happens when you don’t ‘eat’ the Word. When you do eat the word though you become strong.
- Notice how Jesus dealt with the attacks of the enemy… he spoke the Word!
- If you wait until the pressure/attacks come to try and get in the Word and have the Word in you it will be too late.
- Ex: hitting the weights when the thief breaks into your house… too late
- Question: what comes out of your mouth when you face a challenge/trial
I. Matthew 14:22-32 – Peter walks on the water
- God is raising us up as a house filled with people who do the impossible… it is time to walk on water!
- Peter walked on the water because of the one word of Jesus – “come”
- When he took his eyes off Jesus it was then he began to sink… many of us may feel like we are sinking today but that is because we have taken our eyes of Jesus Christ/the Living Word.
- The answer? Get our eyes back on him!
J. Isaiah 59:16-21
Scriptures for Further Study:
- Hebrews 6:9-20
- Isaiah 50:7
- Psalms 1
- Joshua 1
- Isaiah 40:27-31
- Ephesians 6:10-18