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Trusting Jesus No Matter What - Building a Strong Foundation of Faith, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
October 3, 2023 6:00 am

Trusting Jesus No Matter What - Building a Strong Foundation of Faith, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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October 3, 2023 6:00 am

Anxiety, hopelessness, and fear are on the rise all across the world. And that surge has led many to say, “God, how can I make it through this?” In this program, Chip has some encouragement for us as he begins his series, Trusting Jesus No Matter What: How to Build an Unshakeable Faith. Learn how we can deepen our relationship and dependency on God to weather any storm we will face.

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I don't know about you, but it sure seems like we're living in a day where people are more anxious, they feel more hopeless, they're paralyzed by fear, and they're asking, God, how do I make it through this? Well, this brand new series is going to teach you and teach me how to build an unshakable faith. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. And as he just teased, today we're going to learn how to deepen our relationship and dependency on God as we begin a new series, Trusting Jesus No Matter What. In the next handful of programs, we'll study the characteristics of Christ highlighted throughout the New Testament epistles and grasp why understanding who Jesus really is strengthens the roots of our faith. But before we get going, to help you get the most out of this series, let me encourage you to download Chip's message notes. Now they contain his outline, scripture references, and much more.

You can get them by visiting the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org app listeners tap fill in notes. Okay, let's join Chip now as he kicks off this series with his talk, Building a Strong Foundation of Faith. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever been so disturbed that you can't sleep? I don't mean one of those little ones like circumstance or relationship. I mean deeply disturbed over a period of time. For me, it's been about the last four or five years, times where I wake up in the middle of the night and not because I had an issue in my marriage or a problem with my health. I mean the kind where you've watched the news, you've seen what's happened in the world for four or five years, and something inside says it's fundamentally wrong.

We're missing something. And I've gotten before God and I've talked with the Lord and said, I don't know what to do. Like you, I imagine I'm trying to get rid of the confusion and there's some things that are so negative and so disheartening and there's some other things that are so positive and so hopeful. And so here's what I want you to know. The genesis of this series has grown out of that journey. And at the heart of it is a deep concern for the church, God's people, for our health, for our wholeness, and to be very, very honest, for the testimony of Jesus.

And it's also grown out of glimmers of things that I have a privilege to see. It's not just the negative things that we see from the pandemic or the disintegration of the family or all the fears about technology and AI and invasion and all the kind of things that you hear. It even goes beyond some of the division that breaks my heart inside the church of how we've dealt with racial issues and political issues and masks and vaccines and all the rest.

When I step back, here's what I can tell you. We have an immature church. We have a church that cares more about our consumer needs and our world and whether the church is open or closed or whether the pastor does X or whether he does Y. And now we post on things and we attack one another. I've literally been in rooms where friends of 20 years don't talk to each other now, both believers.

I've been in rooms where father and son or mother and daughter won't talk and can't agree because of how they voted or how they see the world. Those things are so deeply disturbing when we think of who Jesus is and why he came and what our mission is. And by contrast, I've had glimpses of seeing God work like never before.

Just before the pandemic, I think I'd been to China for, I think, seven different times. I found myself seeing people risk their life for the gospel and have a faith that when I rubbed up against it, it was like, oh God, could I get more of that? I found myself with one of my colleagues on the island of Malta with Arab believers from all around the world interviewing a man from Syria who shared the story of a 17-year-old as ISIS was coming into their village who told his mother, I will not hide. I will not pretend that I am a Muslim so I won't be killed. Remember the words of Jesus. He's 17 years old, a fairly new Christian. If I deny him before a man, he will deny me before his father.

And ISIS came and he was killed in front of his mother and his sister. I've had seasons and times with young pastors here in America, guys that are on fire. At a conference we called Ripple where I invited leaders from all around America and about 13 different countries and I saw a vibrancy and power and grace and seeing things God's doing and I don't understand revivals and when and how God works, but there is a bubbling up. We have this collision, a culture that is crushing the message of Jesus Christ. We have God raising up people and the Spirit moving and then we have, I think, an issue in the church that if not addressed, it'll be tragic. You see, because I've met with pastors all across the nation and literally all across the world, what they realize is something's wrong. What do we do?

And here's what I want to tell you. The answer is not a spiritual band-aid. The answer is not a couple new programs.

The answer is not a political answer, a social answer, a cultural answer, a media answer. The root of the issue goes far deeper. We need faith. We need a robust, powerful, unwavering faith that the early church had that turned the world upside down. We need a faith like that 17-year-old who said, I can't deny Jesus. We need a faith. We need a generation both old and new, people that have been in the pews and people that have just come to Christ to say, I will trust Jesus.

Are you ready? No matter what. No matter what.

No matter the cost. And what I would suggest is this, is the Jesus that most Christians believe in, especially here in America, is not a Jesus that you can give your all to. The view of Jesus that we have, the way that we have repackaged him, the plastic Jesus that we've turned into, how will he meet my needs? Will he make me happy?

Can I have the right relationships? The Jesus that we put our hands on our hips and get mad at because my life isn't working the way I want it to and I prayed a prayer or I gave some money or I followed the formula like this pastor or teacher or someone said. The Jesus that we find celebrity pastors or whole denominations and sexual scandals, it's time for us to get to know and to see more clearly than ever before a Jesus that we can trust, a Jesus that will build a faith in our lives and in our relationships where we say to him, no matter what, no matter what changes, no matter the cost, I will trust you. I will walk by faith and that raises I think one of the most important issues of our day. How do you build an unshakable faith? How do you build a faith that when no matter what comes at you, you stand firm? What is it that people have had from the prophets to the apostles to all through church history to today where God is moving where they trust Jesus? What do they understand?

How did they see life? That's what I want to talk about and so I want to invite you on a journey to discover what is biblical faith and what is it not? Why it's so important and how to develop that unshakable faith, faith in the resurrected Christ who has the power, who's given you his spirit that no matter what you face relationally, circumstance, the future, he will give you all that you need to walk through it, to endure it, to be transformed by it and then be changed in such a way that your life with all your imperfections and all of mine empowered by the Holy Spirit is a faith that's contagious, that gives love and gives light and nothing is above our relationship with Jesus.

No political party, no ethnicity, no cultural perspective. Nothing is above the Lord Jesus Christ and following him. That's the kind of faith that changes the world. That's the kind of faith in the rearview mirror that changed the world. It's the kind of faith that I have seen, that I have caught and that I want to pass on to you. Let me give you three reasons why there's nothing more important than developing and building an unshakable faith except love. If you would read all through Scripture from beginning to end and you just said, wait a second, what's the most important thing in Scripture? Is it morality?

Is it keeping rules? Is it being religious? Is it how often you go to church? I mean, just reading through the Scriptures, what matters most? Now abide faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love. The Apostle Paul would tell us that the only way to access that kind of supernatural love is by faith.

You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We'll get back to our series, Trusting Jesus No Matter What, in just a minute. But first, if this teaching has ministered to you, consider becoming a monthly partner. Your regular financial support goes a long way to help us encourage pastors, create resources and share Jesus with today's youth. Visit livingontheedge.org today to learn how to support us. Well, with that, here again is Chip. So here's what I want you to get.

Just lean back for just a minute and follow with me. I want you to grasp how important faith is. It's why the most important question that you can ask any day of any situation or any relationship is this. What does it look like to trust God in this relationship? Or what does it look like to trust God in this circumstance? What does it look like to trust God in this opportunity?

Because here's the deal. Theologically, faith is how we enter into the new life, right? God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever would believe, believe faith, right, believe in Him, would have eternal life. We've learned that we're saved by grace through faith in Ephesians chapter 2.

The apostle Paul would tell us what? Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God, Romans chapter 5. Or later in the same book, if you believe, if you trust in your heart and profess with your mouth, you will be saved. You see, faith is so critical. It's at the absolute core of how we come into a relationship with Jesus. But it's beyond that.

It's also how you grow. The apostle would say in Colossians 2, 7, just as you receive the Lord, right, by faith now, so walk in Him. In fact, in 2 Peter chapter 1, he tells us something that our faith does.

Follow along with me. It says, His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. How? Through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these, He has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them, you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world by lust.

You see what I'm saying? You enter the relationship with God through Christ by faith. You grow in your relationship with Christ and are transformed as you appropriate promises where you get to know who He is and as we get glimpses of who Jesus really is, we're transformed from the inside out. First John would tell us, we don't know what we will be like, but this is what we know when we see Him will be like Him. And that process is happening now, but it happens by faith.

And here's my burden. I just want you to think of this. I don't think this has become the source and the goal and the focus of many Christian's lives. I think somehow morality took over, right? You're a parent and I don't want my child or my daughter or my son to get into drugs or to get hooked on alcohol or become sexually active or get in with the wrong crowd.

And so I want them to go to the youth group and I want them to be a good person. And I think we have watered down the revolutionary, the God who came and took on human flesh to start a revolution and to fulfill a mission. And we've watered it down to a self-help Jesus who will make my life work out. And let's just be a little bit nicer than other people and go to our little religious activities once or twice a month, tip our hat that we believe these things and try to be just a little bit more moral. And that kind of Christianity has about seven out of 10 of our young people leaving the faith because it's not compelling. It's not supernatural.

It's really consumeristic. We need a new faith. We need the kind of faith that transforms us, that leads to us transforming our world because people see Jesus in us, in our fallenness, in our brokenness.

Yes, without perfection for sure. But I want you to know that theologically faith is at the core of coming to know Christ. Faith is the means and way by which we become more and more like Christ and grow. And then finally faith goes beyond that. It's a means by which Jesus actually works in our life to reveal himself to us.

The intimacy of our relationship isn't about a list of activities or duties or trying hard. The access by which your connection with Jesus is won by faith. It's when you trust him.

It's when you believe what he says. So theologically faith is the most important thing apart from love. And practically you can't experience Christ apart from exercising biblical faith.

I have a number of verses that I've memorized over the years. And as I was reviewing for this and praying about what to share with you, I realized that at the most practical level it was Jesus who said, this is the work of God that people believe. And so practically what he wants more than anything else is for you and me to trust him, to have biblical faith. I was thinking back that that passage I memorized as a young Christian where it talks about trusting the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own understandings. And all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct or give guidance to your path. See, it's by trusting Christ that we get direction. In Isaiah 26 there's a little passage that talks about God will keep that person in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on him because he trusts in him. What I want you to know is your experience, your Christian experience of God the Father manifesting his life in you through the Holy Spirit, Jesus' personality and power, the conduit is faith. It's trusting him. And just a word to some of us that are a little bit older, if you're a parent, if you're a grandparent, if you're a serious Christian, it's not just theologically or practically that faith is so vital and crucial, important and at the center of the bull's eye of what we need to understand and live out.

You're leaving a legacy, all of us are, for our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, our friends, the people we go to church with. You see at the end of the day, far more than your morality, although that's what comes out of a vital faith, they'll catch your faith. Do you believe God?

Do you take risk? Do they see God working in your life? Are there things happening in your life and my life that aren't explainable by you're a nice person, right? You read the Bible now and then.

You're trying to be good. The kind of faith we're talking about is transformational and your kids will see it. It's real. It's authentic.

It's powerful. When you rub up against people that have a robust, vital, living faith, you catch it. It inspires you and those that will come behind you, it's the legacy of faith. In fact, the scripture says that we should imitate the faith of those who've come before us. And the apostle Paul would say to a group of people who begin to lose their way, he told them, you know, you came to know Jesus and you trusted him by faith, Galatians 5. He said then some false teachers came and pretty soon you went back to following Jewish rules and circumcision and all the rest. And then he makes this absolutely amazing comment in verse 6 of Galatians 5.

He says, circumcision is nothing and lack of circumcision is nothing. The only thing, think of this the apostle, the only thing that really counts is faith being demonstrated or working itself out in love. And so I think it's time now to talk about, so what is biblical faith?

I mean, what's it really look like? And before we do, I'd like to suggest we talk about what it's not. See, I think when I meet with Christians and I talk with people, we think it's trying harder and doing more. That's faith. Or it's a feeling. You know, God, I think he wants me to take this step of faith that I've got to get this feeling somehow inside of me and when I get this feeling or it's an emotion. You know, I just, when I have this powerful experience, when I quote feel close to God or have this emotional connection, or maybe it's biblical faith is those special people, they have these experiences with God and, you know, in some special event, maybe it's a second or third or fourth or 15th work of the Holy Spirit and it's sort of the secret of how to get it, but there's certain people that have it or faith is this, you know, like the few, the proud, the Marines, God doesn't expect all of us to be that way, but there's just this special group of people that they have this extra faith and they kind of live out these New Testament kind of lives. And I would suggest that none of those things are true and faith isn't talking yourself into something or positive thinking about faith and faith is not, as one recent sort of cult book came out, it's not a secret that if you just say it or believe it and keep speaking it out loud, you can speak things into existence. No, biblical faith is believing in the character and the promises of God to the point of acting on them whereby your obedience is the evidence that you actually believe, that you actually trust him. Biblical faith is focused on the person of Jesus, the promises that he's made and biblical faith is this is what you have said and because of who you are and because of this specific promise that I'm holding onto, I'm willing to step out and take a risk. I'm willing to do what I cannot see.

I'm willing to obey you even though I'm very, very much afraid. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message, Building a Strong Foundation of Faith from our series, Trusting Jesus No Matter What. Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about.

In many cities around the world, there are buildings specifically engineered to withstand severe disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. In this new 10-part series, Chip plays off that idea by helping us build an unshakable faith that can endure any challenge. Learn why the strength of our faith has nothing to do with our determination but in getting an accurate view of God. Discover through various New Testament verses why we can completely trust in Jesus no matter what comes our way.

You're not going to want to miss a part of this series. Well, I'm joined in studio now by Chip, and Chip, today you called the 21st century church immature for its response to this turbulent culture. Talk a little more about what you meant by that and why this series will help all of us be Christians who really live like Christians.

Well, Dave, I wasn't trying to be negative, but I was really trying to help us step back and say, wait a second. Yes, I mean, in the last hundred years, we haven't seen anything like that. So anxiety and fear, even some of the conflict and the petty arguments about secondary things. I mean, some of that you would think, yeah, that's natural. We're human. But the fact of the matter is the church has been the anchor of cultures.

It's been the truth. The people of God have been the ones who have blazed the trail, who have risked their life during all kind of things and pandemics in the past. And I just realized as I prayed and thought about, Lord, what do you want to say to your church? I feel like we have developed over time a pretty flimsy faith, a sort of comfortable faith, a sort of, I love Jesus and make my life work out. And then when the bottom fell out of our circumstances, I think a lot of people are really wondering, what does it really mean to trust God? I hear a lot of things that tell me that people's faith isn't very strong and it's not very deep and God loves us too much.

He wants to help us too much. In fact, Jesus would say the number one priority that he has for our life is that we trust him. And this whole series is about trusting Jesus no matter what. And I'm meeting more and more people that they have some, no matter what, they've been through cancer. They've lost loved ones. You know, businesses have gone down the drain, challenges in relationships like never before.

What does it look like? How do we help people trust Jesus? Not just some emotional feeling, but to have your life built on the rock and on the truth, on the reality of the risen son of God who is with you and takes you through things and sustains you, helps you persevere, delivers you through things, out of things.

And that's what this whole series is about. I want to help people really grasp what I talk about here is the Jesus of the Epistles. I think somehow over time, we all have that picture of the, you know, Jesus Meek and Mild and some of the picture books when we were little kids. When you study the Jesus of the Epistles, and that's what this series is, it builds a strong, deep foundation for a faith that can withstand anything and everything that comes at us. Thanks, Chip. And because of how fundamental this teaching is for every believer, let me encourage you to get your family or a few friends together and listen to this series through the Chip Ingram app or by going to livingontheedge.org. Let's learn how to build an unshakable faith together.

Well, with all that said, here again is Chip to share a few final words. As we wrap up today, I understand for many of you, your heart of hearts, you're saying, Lord, I believe, but help me in my unbelief. And I want you to know that Jesus will. But faith is not emotions. Faith is rooted. My very last words are in the character of God and the promises of God.

Here's the application. I want you to go to your Bible. I want you to open to the book of John. And I just want you to start reading today.

You can do a chapter, you can do two chapters, you read as much as you want. But I want you to get in the Bible today. And I want you to begin reading the book of John was written that you might believe.

You don't have to read the whole book, just read some today. Take that step and pray, Lord, help my unbelief. And as we go on this journey together, I'm going to tell you this, as Jesus gets more and more clear, you see him for who he really is. What's going to happen is your faith is going to grow.

See you next time. Thanks Chip. And as we close, would you pray for those feeling challenged to respond to Chip's encouragement right now? There's always a spiritual battle when we feel prompted to draw near to God.

Thanks for taking a minute to do that. And if there's a way we can pray for you, let us know. Call 888-333-6003 or email chip at livingontheedge.org. We'd love to hear from you. Join us next time as Chip continues his new series, Trusting Jesus No Matter What. Until then, I'm Dave Drouie, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-03 05:25:08 / 2023-10-03 05:35:00 / 10

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