The Faith Struggle

Are Christians going through challenging times, if they abide in Christ as they should? The Apostle Paul says in Acts 14:22: "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."

What should we do when we go through times when we experience the hardships of following God?

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Sermon Excerpt

"The Christian life is not what you'd call a walk in the park, it has it's challenges. But yet, through it all, we ought to have a peace in our heart as we face these challenges.

There will be times when you'll go through experiences - and we all had - when you don't understand what's going on. And when we look at the experience of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, we certainly see one of these experiences in his life. But remember, he was one with the Father, the Father was ministering through him, and now in his life he was brought to a point where he couldn't bring himself to bear it in his humanness. And he prayed, "Father, I really don't want to do this. It's too hard. If possible, let it be taken from me." Three times he prayed that. That was struggle!"

The Faith Struggle - Sermon Summary

Heb 12:6-11

For continual, unbroken abiding in Christ God may lead you into an experience where this is not easy. At such times important to remember

Christ's Example

Christ's experience in Garden of Gethsemane Through life Christ obeyed His Father implicitly John 1:14

Jesus never turned away from following: Now in the garden The Father understood the struggle Jesus knew He was being led by His Father. In prayer Christ gained the victory over the crisis When we face such times of crisis under God's leading In prayer we will find the strength and courage to move forward in faith

Why is This Happening?

There will be experiences we not understand why

At such times vital we realize We must rest in that fact to maintain His peace. Paul was called to go through many difficulties These experiences made Paul feel: He realized the value in these trials Meaning: God's strength would be manifested in and through him when he realized his utter weakness.

At first these difficulties challenged him Then when saw reason God left them in his life Paul came to realize these "thorns" were opportunities These thorny experiences and trials These difficult situations Romans 8:28 - We must trust this promise

Elijah's Example

Elijah's experience illustrates faith struggle 1 Kings 19:1-3
Important lessons concerning necessity of continuing our close communion with God.

Satan took advantage of Elijah's: He could: Threats of enraged Jezebel undid him - he fled for his life.

In the process of becoming like Christ: When this happens remember: Every time take our sights off Christ

Peter's Experience

Walking on water at Christ's word - Matthew 14:23-31
We may experience fear Another lesson from Elijah's experience Example: consistently don't get enough rest Experience of Job illustrates the faith struggle. Christian life has challenges, difficulties, disappointment, and tragic experiences.

If we learn to rest in Jesus: This is the experience the Lord wants to lead us into.

This kind of faith and resting in Christ If they learned the truth of abiding in Christ: Then:

The Causes

Faith struggles happen in numerous ways:

Conclusion

The important thing: In fact, I believe that the times of greatest struggle in our life are the times we have God's most special care.