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Strengthening Our Wavering Faith - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
November 9, 2023 12:00 am

Strengthening Our Wavering Faith - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, November 9th.

What if something happens? Will God do what He's promised? If those questions sound familiar, today's podcast turns to Scripture to help strengthen our wavering faith. James Chapter 1. And you'll recall that he's writing here to those who are going through difficulty and hardship and persecution. So, having introduced it in the first verse, he begins the second verse by saying, Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men or women generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for he who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. But let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Now, I want you to get the context of what James is saying here before we come to this matter of wavering faith, because it all fits together.

And so here's what he's saying. As these who were probably responding to him and talking to him about the difficulty and hardship, talking about the trials, he's writing to encourage them. And so he says, Now, count it all joy when you fall into diverse or various temptations and trials.

That doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Why should I get rejoicing over pain and hurt and things I can't change and things I can't alter in my life? Yet that's exactly what he says. And so he says, if you'll notice, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, he says. Now, here's what I want you to do.

He says, I want you to rejoice. Count it a joy when you fall into these testings and trials and temptations. Now, in the King James says temptation, the word really a better word is trials, because the word here means those periods of testing which have a purpose in them. That is, there's an end to them.

And that end is this, that you and I would come through them with our faith being stronger and our heart being purer. So he says it will produce endurance. Endurance is that capacity to hang in there in our terminology, to be steadfast, to be constant no matter what.

What does that take? It takes faith. And that kind of faith, he says, will be tested because all of us are going to face those circumstances in life where we have to learn to endure, to stay in it, to walk through a valley and to remain there until God sees fit to release us from it or to bring us to the end. And so he says, count it all joy.

And what am I to count it all joy about? That I'm going through trials and testings and tribulations and hurting and pain? No, I am to rejoice over the fact that as a result of this, I will learn endurance. I will learn to walk in faith. My heart will be purer and my faith will be stronger.

And all of us can rejoice over stronger faith and a purer heart. When he talks about perfect results, he's talking about the fact that endurance is God's way of equipping us. That is, in making us fit to do the very thing he's created us to do. When he says complete, he means that he will work in our life until you and I are perfectly fitted to do what he's called us to do and to be the persons God wants us to be.

He's not talking about sinless perfection. He's talking about a continuous maturing process that goes on in our life when God is in the process of equipping us and enabling us to accomplish and achieve whatever he's called us for. Now, then he says, but if any of you lacks wisdom. Well, who's been talking about wisdom?

We've been talking about trials and pain and hurt and heartache. He says, but if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it'll be given to him. So now why did he bring up wisdom? Because it takes wisdom beyond human wisdom to face difficulty in hardship and trials in life and persecutions and misunderstandings. It takes wisdom beyond their own. It takes Godly wisdom. And so therefore, when we face these situations and circumstances in life, if we are going to respond properly, we need the wisdom of God to know how to face those situations in our life that are beyond our control and things we can't change and things we can't simply alter.

We need Godly wisdom. And so he says, now, in order to receive the kind of wisdom that will equip you to endure and to come out with a purer heart and stronger faith and God making you the person he wants you to be. He says that kind of faith comes and God, if you will ask him, will give it generously. He says God will give it generously and he won't badger you about it. He says, listen, he gives it generously and without reproach, he won't come back and argue with you about it. That is, he gives it generously. But he says, now watch this, he says, but let that person ask in faith without any doubting, for he says, he who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven by the winds and tossed. He says, don't let that person think or expect that they can receive anything from God. So what does he do?

He creates the atmosphere here. Persecution, difficulty, hardship. The processes that God's in the process of teaching us to endure, purifying our hearts, strengthening our faith. And he says that comes as a result of wisely responding. If I respond to hardship and difficulty in trial by blame and anger and hurt and bitterness and resentment and hostility and caustic attitudes, he says I respond in the wrong way. If I respond properly, I'm going to need the wisdom of God to be able to listen to criticism and take it and accept it and move on. Going to be able to accept difficulty and hardship and look to God and respond in the wise fashion. If I do that, he says, I'll need wisdom. And that comes as a result of asking God. He is generously willing to do it.

If I respond in the right fashion, I'm going to come out a winner. If I don't, I won't. And if I ask with faith, it's like the waves of the sea tossed here and yonder, he says, I won't get anything. And besides that, he says, being a double minded man, unstable in all of our ways now. So he sets the whole pattern here for the issue of the weakness in our faith. That is wavering faith. Now, what in the world is wavering faith? Wavering faith is faith that vacillates, that moves to and fro from yes, I believe he will to I'm not sure he will. I know that he will.

No, I don't think it's going to happen. I thought that's what he meant. I don't believe that's what he meant. I was certain that's what God said. I'm not sure what God says anymore.

I got on my knees and asked him and I knew he was going to do it. And yet somehow I'm not sure. Wave weaving back and forth to and fro. He says, it's like the surf of the sea. The wind blows this way. The surf blows that way. Wind blows this way.

You see the curls. They go that way. It's like a cork tossed in the sea. And for a few moments, it looks like it's going to blow up to the shore.

Next thing you know, it's going out to sea. And so he says wavering faith. Here's what wavering faith is. He says it's doubting God being like the waves of the sea driven by the winds and tossed. Don't expect anything from God if your faith is waving. And he says, besides that, we are double minded and unstable in all of our ways.

Now, what can you and I expect? What are the consequences of wavering faith? That is, if I'm going by my feelings and going by reason and trying to figure all these things out. I don't understand the ways of God.

And so I'm just sort of out there operating by sight, sound and my sensitivity, my feelings. Then what are the consequences? Number one consequence. You're going to miss the blessings of God. Listen to what he says now. But let him ask in faith without any doubting. For the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. Let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. That's pretty strong.

Now, wait a minute. Isn't this a God of love? Isn't this a God who you say loves us unconditionally? Isn't this the one who said asking it should be given you seeking you should find knocking it should be open. What kind of God is this who comes along and says, if you if you have wavering faith, wavering faith.

Now, let me just put a parenthesis here. A person who has just been saved, who knows nothing hardly about anything. It's going to be difficult for them to learn to trust God. And you know what? God is very tender and loving and patient with that.

What does he do? God pushes them quickly because he wants them to learn to trust him. That's one thing I think God moves right on with. That is teaching us to trust him when we first get saved. But now we're talking about trusting him, our faith wavering. And he says, don't expect anything. Why would God say that?

Well, think about this. When I'm wavering in my faith, I'm saying, in fact, the disposition of doubt. Listen, not only does it displease God.

It is a slam against his integrity. He is a God of absolute faithfulness, absolute truthfulness. Listen, he will keep every single promise, answers our prayer. You say, now, wait a minute, just answered prayer business. I prayed some things and believed God for them and he didn't do what I asked. If you and I make a request of God and we know that's the will of the Father and we ask him for it and we believe him for it and expect him to do it, listen, he will do one of two things. He will give you exactly what you ask for or he will give you something better. Not something less, something better. Listen, if he alters the answer other than what I've asked him for, listen, it is always superior to my request.

Always superior to my request. You know what that means? That when you and I come to him and ask him specifically, there is no way to lose as a child of God. Now, he may give you an answer and you think, well, Lord, that's not what I asked for. We must have got our communications a little mixed up. I mean, the signals got crossed. That's not what I asked for. You know what time will show you? Thank God for your wisdom that you knew better than I did exactly what I needed at that point in my life.

So what happens? We miss the blessing. That's the first consequence of waiving faith.

We miss the blessing. He says don't expect it. It's not going to happen because, listen, it's a slam against God. Lord, I know it's what you said, but I don't think you're going to do it. Now, here's how the devil works. Now, the devil would never tell you, tell God you don't believe him.

No. He just says, you know, it's not happening. God's not answering your prayer. Just because it doesn't come when I want it and the way I want it doesn't mean that God isn't working my life and answering prayer.

And so what happens? We miss his blessings. Listen, God isn't asleep at your life.

I don't care what kind of shape you're in. You may be as lost as you can be. God is still at work. You may be one of his children and you're going through difficulty and hardship. God's at work. Things may have been going real, real well for you and all of a sudden the bottom drops down. Has God gone to sleep at your life?

No. He's still at work at your life. And what do we do? If we want to come through it with the best of his blessings, we believe him no matter what we see, what we feel or what we hear. That's the way it happens.

So first of all, we miss the blessings of God. The second thing is this, when a person's wavering in their faith, here's what happens. Little things can blow them off course. The slightest little thing can oftentimes blow them off course. Well, you know, I trusted God and it didn't work.

Oh, listen, if you trusted him at work, just talking to him about it and telling him what you need is that's not enough. He says, ask and it should be given you seek and you shall find. Somebody says, what sort of things you shall ask in prayer, believing, believing you shall receive, not just asking.

And what I want you to see is this. Faith isn't just a feeling. Faith is a definite act of my mind, my will and my spirit. God, I am trusting you. I'm expecting and anticipating you to answer my prayer. Wake up looking for it. Get up in the morning expecting God to be at work, looking for the signs that he's at work.

And when you don't see them, doesn't mean he's not at work. And there's one last thing I think is a consequence. There are probably many, but there's one last thing I'd mention. Not only am I going to miss the blessings of God, not only am I going to be knocked off by many little things that normally would not faze me at all. But I'm going to be miserable. There's not going to be any peace. My peace is going to be, listen, exchange for misery, because how can I live with absolute peace in my life facing the difficulties and hardships? And we all go through them.

You know what? There's not going to be a time in this life when we're not going to be facing something. That's the challenges of life. Listen, if we don't have a faith that is steady, certain, anchored, focused on God, we will weave our way through life and we will miss the best that God has for us.

We'll miss the best. Because He says a double-minded man is unsteady in all of his ways. He's not going to get anything. And I think one of the reasons that so many people do not pray is that they tried it, and here's what they'll say, I tried it and it didn't work. I trusted God, and let me tell you what happened. I'll tell you what happened.

If you really trusted Him, He had something better in mind for you than you asked for if it didn't suit His, fit His will for your life, then what happens? We end up saying, well, God didn't answer my prayer. We get angry at God and frustrated over God. Well, God, you didn't do this, you didn't do that.

We need to back off and say, Lord, surely if you didn't answer my prayer exactly like I asked, you must have had something better. Now, here's the bottom line. Now, watch this. You listen and say, Amen. Listen carefully. The issue is how do I correct this now? I know what's causing it, and I know what the consequences are. How do I correct it?

Here's how I correct it. Real simple. Don't let this one go by you. You're asking God about something and you just, maybe He will, maybe He won't.

I think He will. I'm not sure. Here's what you do. You make a decision.

Here's the decision. I choose to believe that God's trustworthy. I choose to believe that God is faithful. I choose to believe that God will do exactly what He says. I refuse to doubt my God. Now, listen carefully. You have to put this whole sentence in there. I refuse to any longer doubt God.

I didn't mention circumstances. I refuse to doubt God. Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find.

Whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing you shall receive. So be it even as you believe. I refuse to doubt God.

Listen carefully. You don't make a decision to stop doubting your circumstances. You make a decision to stop doubting God.

You make a decision to stop. I'm going to stop believing God. He's who He says He is and will do what He says He'll do. Now, what will help me do that? Getting in His Word and meditating upon His promises.

Because here's what happens. When I meditate upon His promises, God begins. Listen, I begin to osmosis into my thinking. I begin to think the way God thinks.

I begin to feel my mind and my spirit of those things that God has said. All the time I'm doing that, listen. Now, listen carefully. That's why it's not enough to come sit and listen to a sermon.

That's not enough. You need to write it down. You need to take notes. When we open the Bible, read the Scripture when it says, Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find.

That's what it says. You know what happens? Your eyeball hits that, wrenches in your mind, in your spirit. Then God's got something to work with. Fill your mind and your heart with the Word of God. Recall the promise, when Satan hits you with one of these things and you begin to waver, you say, what's the promise of God? I have chosen, I will not doubt the living God. You know what happens? Your wavering back and forth is going to come to a screeching, wonderful halt and listen, the blessings of God are going to begin to flow in your life.

You've got to make a decision. I will no longer doubt the living God who is the sovereign controller of this universe and has every aspect of my life in absolute total control and nothing, listen, nothing is working in or against me that he's not in control of. Let me ask you something. Do you think you have a need that God's unaware of? No.

Did he not say my God shall supply all of your needs according to his riches in glory of Christ Jesus? Yes. Do I believe God's going to meet my needs? Yes.

Well, this particular one, no. My God shall supply how many? All your needs according to what?

His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. So what I have to decide is this. I refuse to doubt God. You know what that means? That means I'm trusting him from this point on. I'm believing him. If I make a decision, focus upon his word, focus upon him, meditate upon his word, affirm continuously, I refuse to doubt the living God. I choose to believe God.

I choose to believe this sovereign God will keep his word every time. Father, how grateful we are that you are so patient. You work so simply. You just move through the most difficult things of our life, loving us, enabling us, securing us, strengthening us. Deliver us, Father, from being double-minded, looking in two directions for the same thing. Let there no longer be civil war but absolute peace in our heart that our trust is in you and you alone in Jesus' name. Amen. Thank you for listening to Strengthening Our Wavering Faith. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-09 03:58:56 / 2023-11-09 04:07:53 / 9

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