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Setbacks in the Walk of Faith

June 1, 2014 by

Bible-and-cup

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”                              ~2 Chronicles 15:7(NIV)

You’ve heard the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again.” But, like much sound advice, we seldom remember it when it can be the most advantageous to us.

As I was out doing my morning walk yesterday, I was thinking about what to consider for this morning’s offering. What came to mind was how difficult our faith walk can be at times in our lives. There is just so much that enters our lives that deters us from the appointed call to walk in faith with our Lord.

I wonder if at those times we don’t find ourselves questioning the reality of our faith. I can’t tell you how many times in my life, since I came to faith, that I seriously questioned the power of that faith. I often asked myself how anyone with the indwelling Spirit of God could do such a thing that I was doing or had done. (Sadly, I think, we often ask ourselves the same question about others.)

Of course, it is not long before I recognize the enemy that has come in to upset the spiritual apple cart, as it were. He loves the very idea that we might question our faith and thus live defeated lives.

Have you ever noticed those times that we’re at a spiritual peak (if I might say it like that) during the day or the week, that events begin to take a left turn in some way? We have those days or weeks, don’t we? Yet, while we may experience these moments of euphoria in our daily walk, we cannot rely on them to get us through. It’s the “grunt work” of the walk that occupies our efforts each day; not to retain salvation, but to please our Heavenly Father.

In our efforts to “work out our salvation in fear and trembling,” Paul meant that we should ever be alert that we conduct our lives in such a way that God is glorified and we are maturing in the faith. Know that we will experience setbacks in the maturing process.

Read chapter 15 of 2 Chronicles (click on highlighted link) and ponder your own walk of faith. Incidentally, the “high places” were the altars of the pagan gods and idol worship. Some of these remain in the believer’s heart and manifest themselves from time to time. These are the ones that should be torn down, but have not been.

“Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. His heart’s desire was to please the Lord.

May that be yours, today.

-Pastor John Roberts

 

Twitter-20x20Tweet this: “May our heart’s desire be to please the Lord.”

 

Heather says: See Amazon’s selection of great reminders that we “walk by faith, not by sight” here, here, and here.

 

Pastor JohnPlease welcome our Sunday morning contributing writer, Pastor John Roberts. John is the pastor of New Hope Fellowship in the great Northwest where he resides with his wife.

 

 

2 Responses to Setbacks in the Walk of Faith

  1. Rick

    For some time now I have been wanting to do a study on the “make every effort” scriptures found in the N.T. I have run across these in many different places over the years and your post prompted me to look at them all. In the sake of space, I will only list the locations and encourage others to take a moment to read them: 2 Pet 1:5, Heb 12:14, Eph 4:3, Rom 14:19, 2 Pet 1:10, and Luke 13:24. When Paul wrote about working out our salvation, you brought to light that his intent was for us to be ever alert and conduct our lives in such a way that God is glorified. I liked that context and if we read all of these “make every effort” passages in that same light, it helps us to see that it is not by our own effort we desire and can do these things. It is by what I have heard explained before as Grace driven effort. We want to do these things because of God’s amazing Grace he has so lovingly shown us. For we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. As Asa’s hearts desire was to please the Lord, may that be the desire of our hearts as well.

    • Heather

      There are two things that stand out to me in this verse. First, when he says “work out your salvation”, that presupposes that you have already obtained salvation, which we know only comes as a result of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We know that it is a gift that no one can work to obtain. These are fundamental truths. The second is the rest of the verse. It goes on to say, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” Clearly, God is doing the work while we are to respond. To me this verse is about attempting to realize the value of the incredible gift we have received, and then living a life that makes every effort to pour out our gratitude, not because we have something to earn, but because we are eternally thankful. Thank you for your thought, Rick, and for your words, Pastor.

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