Faith

 

The following sermon notes are from guest speakers Leah Carle and Jennifer Self.


Faith & PERSEVERANCE
by Leah Carle

PERSEVERANCE, a Characteristic of Faith

What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 NLT, Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”


Faith is belief in something bigger, greater, beyond us.  A deep down belief that can’t be shaken.

So What does it mean, what does it take, to be a woman, a person, of faith?  

Superhero abilities?    Never shaken? Always in prayer?    Never a doubt? The one standing on knifes-edge, with all the uncertainties, yet full of hope and moving forward?

It can be the one standing on knifes-edge alright, but maybe not always filled with hope, have doubts, even unbelief, shaking in their boots and sometimes just unable to move at all.  

To me, it’s one who recognizes their inability but doesn’t get paralyzed by it or the fear that surrounds it...instead they surrender it, persevere in spite of it, and the fear becomes paralyzed.

It’s a step by step, strength to strength, kind of life

PSALM 84:6-7a (AMPC), “6 Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca) they make it a place of springs; the early rain also fills (the pools) with blessings.  7a They go from strength to strength (increasing in victorious power);”


Examples of women in the Bible who, many times, didn’t seem to be women of great faith, in their actions or life circumstances.

Sarah -  disappointments and doubt because everything seemed dead.

Rebekah - she showed favoritism with her boys and taught her son Jacob to deceive his brother and his father

Leah - she faced rejection, she didn’t quite make the cut

Ruth - she was a foreigner that didn’t really fit in with the Israelites, she married in. Had no understanding of God

Rahab - she was a prostitute in Jericho and she hid the Israelites spies, had no knowledge of working with God

Mary - she was an unknown young girl who became an unwed mother.   Didn’t know how to navigate through that


Do you know who these women are?  They are some of the moms in the lineage of Jesus, whom God chose to display who He was and to bring forth His Son, Jesus.

The one thing they all had in common was their inabilities, or unqualifiedness yet they had perseverance to not quit, in spite of them


PERSEVERANCE
is a characteristic of Faith.  

It is a steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, discouragement

It’s not giving up, it’s persistence and tenacity, the effort required to do something and keep doing it til the end even if it’s hard

(Other words for perseverance – moxie, endurance, grit, determination, tenacity, persistence, drive, spunk, steadfastness)

Comes from Latin Word perseverantia meaning to abide by something strictly.  

That no matter what you see, hear, or feel something deep inside won’t let you quit, You know there is a God who has a plan, who sees the bigger picture even if you’re not sure you believe there’s a bigger picture .  You only see through telescopic lens and He has a wide angle, a panoramic view actually. And you trust Him to lead you in that.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 NLT, “May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”


A natural example of what perseverance can look like...

Mt. Katahdin climb – My first time to do so, I didn’t fully know what it entailed or would take.  Climbed all the way up to Baxter’s Peak, had a good lunch, felt on top of the world!



Bryan and Leah Carle on Baxter's Peak at Mount Katahdin

Bryan and Leah Carle on Baxter's Peak at Mount Katahdin

I was full of faith that I can do anything and even though that was hard, it wasn’t so bad...

That was before I was literally on the trail, Knife Edge, and it definitely wasn’t what I had envisioned when I first started out on it.  


Knife Edge at Mount Katahdin

Knife Edge at Mount Katahdin

Looking down from Knife Edge

Looking down from Knife Edge

Knife Edge trail can be what life feels like many times, no matter what season of life you’re in.  

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.
— Newt Gingrich

Not even halfway through I was done, it was more than I thought I could handle. It wasn’t a hike anymore – it was extreme mountain climbing, and I sure wasn’t full of hope or faith.

Perseverance looks like continuing on, what were my options?  Stay on the mountain and let a helicopter come save me? I thought about it.  But it’s step after step, knowing there is a way out and off the mountain and I will make it, in spite of my inabilities and unqualifiedness.  

Perseverance is surrendering your urge to control the situation, letting it go.

Perseverance is asking for help – they carried my backpack, pushed and pulled me up and over, let me walk on their back, literally.  Told me I could do it.

But even with the help,  I had to, from somewhere deep inside, have the faith that I could move forward, I could do what I set out to do, what I’ve been equipped to do, that many people have walked this before me and made it.  

Perseverance is a characteristic of Faith!

No matter what you feel inside, 😫 😟 😃 😭 😱 😊 🙄 💀 you won’t quit.

These emotions don’t disqualify you from being a person of faith.

That ‘walk of faith’ cost us though.  We had to pay for extra night at hotel. I lost two toenails from that journey.  And it definitely took way longer than the allotted time. Had a few anxiety moments that paralyzed me, and I was faced with some things about myself.  But I did it!

Leah at the top of Mount Katahdin

Leah at the top of Mount Katahdin

I climbed Mt. Katahdin and crossed Knife Edge and came down the mountain!  Perseverance/Faith helps you accomplish things that seem impossible.

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*** Perseverance though isn’t all about being this great person of faith.  It’s perseverance to know Him in such a way that nothing, nothing from the outside, nothing from the inside can shake you, stop you, or shut up your faith in Him, your trust in Him and the Perseverance in knowing His intense, immense love for you, as His child. ***

Psalm 27:4 (AMPC), “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and insistently require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord (in His Presence) all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty (the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness) of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.”

Philippians 3:8a (AMPC), “Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him (of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly).”


Faith & TRUST
By Jennifer Self

HEBREWS 11:6 NKJV - Without Faith it is impossible to please God...

ROMANS 12:3  - God has given to each person a measure of faith

Faith Grows by...

  • Hearing - ROMANS 10:17

  • Believing - ROMANS 10:9-10 

  • Praying - JUDE v.20 

  • Acting - JAMES 2:16 - Faith without works is dead! 

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NLT, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long”

FAITH:

  • Confidence or trust in a person or thing

  • Belief that is not based on proof


2 CORINTHIANS 5:7 says…We walk by FAITH not by sight!!

FAITH:

  • Confidence or trust in a person or thing

  • Belief that is not based on proof

  • Trust


JAMES 2:16 - Faith without WORKS is dead! 


F - Full

A - Assurance

I - In

T - Trusting

H - Him


PROVERBS 3:5-6 NASB, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”

PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 NKJV, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

I PETER 5:7 NKJV, “casting all your care (anxiety) upon Him, for He cares for you.”

PROVERBS 16:3 NKJV, “Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established.”

I KINGS 17:8-12 NKJV, “Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 

I KINGS 17:13-14 NKJV, “And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it FIRST, and bring it to ME; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’ “

I KINGS 17:15-16 NKJV, “So she went away and DID according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.”


Benefits of faith:

  • Pleases God (Hebrews 11:6)

  • Builds you up (Jude 20)

  • Encourages others (Romans 1:12)

  • Obtain a good testimony (Hebrews 11:2)

  • Produces endurance (James 1:3)

  • Endurance, character and hope (Romans 5:4)

  • Results in praise, glory and honor (1 Peter 1)

God sees faith! 

F - Full

A - Assurance

I - In

T - Trusting

H - Him

 
Aubrie Powell