Where Is Your Faith?

April 9, 2005 Luke 8:

 

Introduction:
                 Then He asked  them,   “Where is your faith?”


1.  As we study questions that deserve answers from man’s perspective, it is also necessary to study question’s that deserve answers from God’s perspective.  
2.  In Luke chapter 8 we find our faithful disciples launching out to cross the Sea of Galilee. 
- So far they’ve been hanging out with Jesus, watching the miracles, listening to what he says, and observing His power. 
- They’ve been soaking it all in without the least bit of threat to their own well being. 
>  Yes, they believe that he is Messiah, but how deep that belief goes has not been tested.
> Suddenly they find themselves in a situation where they no longer have the luxury of slipping into the crowd if things get out of control, or going back to their occupations if food and money start to run low. 
> They no longer have the luxury to declare themselves self-reliant and independent. 
>  They are 12 men in a boat that’s on the verge of sinking, and for the first time, being with Jesus might cost them something; in this case, their lives. 
3.  Their faith is now being tested – they are going to be asking themselves some questions
 Do they really believe he is the messiah?
- Maybe He’s just a great prophet and they’re all destined to sink to the bottom of the sea. 
 Does he really have the kind of power to save us from an unearthly storm? 
- Maybe he doesn’t have that kind of power. 
 What if this is all just a hoax and we’re all going to die out here for following this crazy man?
- These men were not super saints; they were men just like you and me.
-  I’m guessing that when that storm hit, they were having many of the same thoughts and doubts that we have when the storms of life hit us. 
4.  Ironically they found themselves having to wake up Jesus to let him know of their doubt. “Master, Master, we are perishing!” 
Note: In Mark 4:38, Mark actually records that they asked a question:  “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” – NOT a good question to ask the One who came to die for your sin!
- And after he was finished rebuking the wind and the sea, he rebuked the disciples.  “Then he asked them, ‘Where is your faith?’”
- let’s begin our study by considering . . .


  I.  What is faith?


Input: How would most people answer that question? [various answers]
- How does God’s word answer it? – Hebrews 11:1-3, and v. 6 [Read]
A.  Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
faith = assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
- it’s not blind hope – but confident assurance (Example: Sitting down in a chair)
- Paul defines faith in Roman 4:18-22 [Note v. 22 ‘being fully persuaded . . . “]
• Romans 4:18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE." 19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22 Therefore IT WAS also CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
B.  Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
- it’s not that faith is illogical – it makes perfect sense to have faith in an omnipotent God who is also omniscient, omnipresent, etc.!
- it’s not that material evidence doesn’t point toward the existence of God [we’ll hear that as part of our series on the Questions that Deserve an Answer]
Q: Where were the disciples placing their faith?
-the boat, their skill (fishermen), the wind – SOUND FAMILIAR??
Input: In what are people today putting their faith?
[various answers – jobs, material possessions, governments, even people!]
Point:  We all place our faith in something – the issue is: In what (or in whom) are you placing your faith?
- Our faith is affected by several views – and an honest answer to Jesus’ question would be:.


II.  My faith is affected by my view of God!


A.  Is God Omniscient? (Infinite knowledge)
- and how do you know this is true?
 God is never surprised by our circumstances (Psalm 139 READ)
- The fact that Jesus, knowing the storm that was to come, chose to get some much needed rest highlights the fact that he was in complete control of the situation.
 God is never unprepared to help
-  God did not abandon the Israelites (Ex.13:21)
-  Jesus didn’t wake up and pitch in by bailing out water, or grabbing an ore.  He knew the disciples where at their wits end. 
-  He simply and supernaturally spoke and the wind and waters were calmed instantly. 
 God knows your life backward and forward (Psalm 139) – Review – esp. the first few verses along with v. 23-24!)
-  Jesus knew they would make it safely to the other side.  He had a plan and purpose for those men, and he has a plan and purpose for you. 
B.  Is God Omnipotent? (Infinite Power) – Psalm 47 and 147 [READ)
- do you really believe God can do whatever He wants to do . . . because He has the power to do so?
- the answer to our question this morning is this:  Lord, I don’t answer believe that you a powerful enough to really DO something about my problem OR even if you know about it, and can do something, do you love me enough to do something (usually what I want to be done!).
- the question: Where is your faith? – deserves an answer!
- you faith is a reflection of what
C.  Will God keep His promises to you?
• Titus 1:2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.
Input – What are some of His promises?
 God will never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5)
 God takes care of the flowers.  How much more will he take care of you  (Matt. 6:28-33
 Great commission promise “To the end of the earth”  (Matt. 28:20)


III.  Faith is affected by your view of Self


A.  Are you ever really self-reliant?
- Can you solve your own problems?
-  If you’ve ever been in a life threatening situation where you are completely out of control, you may have caught just a glimpse of not being self-reliant? 
-  The only truly self-reliant being is God. 
-  Humans were created to exist in a delicate environment. 
> Even when humans survive what we consider extreme environments here on earth, we still find we are reliant upon the basic necessities like water, food, air, gravity. 
>  The list goes on and on. 
> Not to mention the fact that at the very essence of the “material” world, atoms made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons should be flying apart. 
Point:  We’re not self-reliant at all.   
B.  Are you a finite being?
- We are finite in every sense of the word. 
Our minds are finite, our bodies are finite, our imagination, and ability to comprehend is finite. 
Point: Sometimes the answer to the Q: Where is you faith?  -- the answer is: It’s in my abilities, my mind, my ideas, my thoughts –it’s all about me!


IV.  Faith is affected by your view of Trials


A.  Source of trials
Input: Where do trials come from?
Answer:  trials are of God (not temptation to sin – James 1:13-17)
> Trials are tests – to reveal the genuineness of our faith (1 Peter 1) – but God never tempts us to SIN – that comes from the world, the flesh, and the devil
Example:  Consider Job – we’ll be studying a question God asked in Job 38 – [Homework:  Read Job 38 to the end of the book!]  What a convicting question – and, yes, it DESERVES an answer!
B.  Understand the purpose of the trials. (Romans 8:28-29)
1.  See beyond the trial
-  The disciples in the boat could not see past this trial (the storm, the water, waves, possible death!
-  Jesus was asleep – to the disciples, God seemed far away.  He certainly didn’t seem as if he was in the boat with them.
-  We know, and can see that God could not have been more a part of their situation. 
- He could not have been closer, or more intimately involved than He was out on that sea, yet the disciples couldn’t see it because of the apparent danger they faced. 
2.  Don’t try to play God
- God may choose to heal or not heal an illness.
- God may choose or not choose to allow you to get out of debt quickly. 
- God may choose or not choose to increase the pressure. 
- Don’t try to bargain with God and promise loyalty if he grants your wish to have the pressure removed.
- Understand that if the pressure remains (the trial) God will bear you up under it. (I Corinthians 10:13)
Sometimes He calms the storms with a whispered "Peace...be still."
He can settle any sea, but it doesn't mean He will.
Sometimes He holds us close and lets the wind and waves go wild.
Sometimes He calms the storm,
Other times He calms His child.
~Scott Krippayne (taken from "Sometimes He calms the Storm")


VI.  Living out your Faith


Input: Examples of those in the Bible that lived out their faith?
Hebrews 11 – Faith Hall of Fame
A.  Implications to us today?
B.  Final thoughts on Luke 8
1.  When we live in doubt, we are fearful.
2.  When we walk by faith we have courage and hope because of the One who our faith is resting.
Will I believe you when you say
Your hand will guide my every way?;
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day?

Will I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see well
Because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me ?

Help me to win my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years;
With the one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do.
Jeremy Camp (I Will Walk By Faith)



ABF Study Guide
Questions (God Asks) That Deserve an Answer
Where Is Your Faith? Luke 8

Introduction:


  I.  What is faith?
Input: How would most people answer that question?


A.  __________ __________ in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

faith = assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

cf.  Roman 4:18-22
B.  Belief that does not rest on __________ __________ or __________ __________.
Q: Where were the disciples placing their faith?


Input: In what are people today putting their faith?

II.  My faith is affected by my __________ of _______!
A.  Is God Omniscient? (___________ _____________)
 God is never __________ by our circumstances (Psalm 139)

 God is never __________ to help

 God knows your life __________ and __________ (Psalm 139)

B.  Is God Omnipotent? (____________________) – Psalm 47 and 147


C.  Will God __________ His _____________ to you?
Input:  What are some of His promises?


III.  Faith is affected by your view of Self
A.  Are you ever really ________-_____________?

B.  Are you a __________- __________?

IV.  Faith is affected by your view of Trials
A.  ___________ of trials
Input: Where do trials come from?

Example:  Consider Job

B.  Understand the _____________ of the trials. (Romans 8:28-29)
1.  See ___________ the trial

2.  Don’t try to _________ _________-

VI.  Living out your Faith
Input: Examples of those in the Bible that lived out their faith?


A.  Implications to us today?


B.  Final thoughts on Luke 8
1.  When we live in ___________, we are ___________.
2.  When we walk by faith we have __________ and __________ because of the One who our faith is resting.


Questions (God Asks) That Deserve an Answer
Where Is Your Faith? Luke 8
Introduction:
I.  What is faith?
Input: How would most people answer that question?
A.  Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
faith = assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Cf.  Roman 4:18-22
B.  Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
Q: Where were the disciples placing their faith?
Input: In what are people today putting their faith?
II.  My faith is affected by my view of God!
A.  Is God Omniscient? (Infinite knowledge)
 God is never surprised by our circumstances (Psalm 139 READ)
 God is never unprepared to help
God knows your life backward and forward (Psalm 139)
B.  Is God Omnipotent? (Infinite Power) – Psalm 47 and 147
C.  Will God keep His promises to you?
• Titus 1:2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.
Input:  What are some of His promises?
 God will never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5)
 God takes care of the flowers.  How much more will he take care of you  (Matt. 6:28-33
 Great commission promise “To the end of the earth”  (Matt. 28:20)
III.  Faith is affected by your view of Self
A.  Are you ever really self-reliant?
B.  Are you a finite being?
IV.  Faith is affected by your view of Trials
A.  Source of trials
Input: Where do trials come from?
Example:  Consider Job
B.  Understand the purpose of the trials. (Romans 8:28-29)
1.  See beyond the trial
2.  Don’t try to play God
VI.  Living out your Faith
Input: Examples of those in the Bible that lived out their faith?
Hebrews 11 – Faith Hall of Fame
A.  Implications to us today?
B.  Final thoughts on Luke 8
1.  When we live in doubt, we are fearful.
2.  When we walk by faith we have courage and hope because of the One who our faith is resting.