Faithlife Sermons

Faith that Anchors Me in the Storms of Life

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Series Faith that Works
James 2:18 NLT
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

Faith that doesn’t work is useless

So far, we have learned how to have a faith that isn’t defeated by problems… problems test our faith; develop our endurance; grow our character… rejoice in our problems; Ask God for Wisdom; Trust God to help us; Remember and rest upon God’s promises.
We have also learned how our faith can make tough choices easier. When we put our faith in God, he gives us wisdom (God first, Apply WOG, Surround self with Godly people); He frees us from doubts; he acts on our behalf; He uses my mistakes
Over the last 2 weeks, we have learned that God will build our faith to replace our bad habits with good habits.
Today, I want to look at a faith that anchors us when we feel unstable and tossed about… due to all the changes that are happening. It may seem that everything is coming unglued at one time… Pandemic… economy … jobs… riots… crazy ideas like socialism in America… relational storms… bad choices … Whether you know it or not, you and the rest of the world are in a storm and storms can create instability in your life.
So how do you anchor your life in a way that gives you stability when these storms come… and they have and will continue to come.
Anchors
Matthew 7:24–27 NIV
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
There are 2 ways to live. You can build your life on the sand… have a great time… do whatever… live with whomever… but that life comes crashing down. You can build your life on the rock, and you will stand.
Jesus talked about three external forces that impact your house. Torrential rains… winds like Hurricanes and tornados that blow things down, and rising flood waters that submerge everything. Rains attack your roof… they come down from the top. The winds attack the side of your house. And the floods attack the foundation of your house.
There are three kinds of forces attacking you right now and trying to tear your life up and ruin your relationships.
The culture we live in.
The changes we live with.
The Crisis we live through. We are in a crisis right now with the pandemic, lawlessness and the acceptance of it by the media.
The only way to make it through these storms is to be attached or anchored to something that’s rock in our lives… something that doesn’t change. That one thing is God and His Word. The WOG never changes. If it was true 4,000 years ago, it’s still true. If it was true 100 years ago, it’s true to day.
Hebrews 6:19 NIV
19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
That’s the kind of anchor we need… firm and secure when everything is going crazy.
Psalm 119:81 The Living Bible
81 I faint for your salvation; but I expect your help, for you have promised it.
Notice, hope is not based on your efforts, but on God’s promise. It’s not based on what I think or even believe, it’s based on God’s promises in His Word.

How do We Anchor Our Lives to the Rock of God’s Word?

1. Faith anchors me when I Treat God’s Word as a gift from God to me

God gives us HIS Word.
Isaiah 59:21 NLT
21 “And this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!
James adds to this…
James 1:17–18 NIV
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
heavenly lights - sun, moon, stars… they cause shadows that move but God doesn’t change.
You are his firstfruits… you are the most important creation of God. He created you in His image.

Five Aspects of the Word of God

5 aspects of WOG from this passage.

1. God’s Word is good

It’s a good gift. It’s also good because it’s beneficial to us. It guides us and anchors us. If we follow what it says, things go better for us.

2. God’s Word is perfect

This means it’s infallible. There is no error in it. You can rely on it to be true and guide you the right way.
Perfect is also exactly what you need. It’s amazing how often, GW comes to mind just when I need it in a situation.

3. God’s Word is true

God’s word is true. That means that anything that contradicts the WOG is not true.

4. God’s Word is unchanging

The Bible says God never changes, and so His word never changes. Earthly gifts wear out and die. GW doesn’t.
God doesn’t change his mind about you… he is reliable because he doesn’t change.

5. God’s Word is life-giving

God gave birth to us… or gave us life through his word. God did not give his word to any other creation… just to people… humans. We are created in God’s Image which means we have the ability to be loved by and to love God. He gave us His Word so we can know him.
Romans 15:4 NCV
4 Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope.
Everything written in the WOG was written to give you hope… to teach you how to follow Jesus.
The bible will give us patience and endurance. That’s the ability to keep going when you feel like giving up. That’s some things we need during this crazy time.. Hope… patience and endurance.
If you don’t have hope… encouragement and endurance… it’s because you are in in the WOG and plugged in.
The second way Faith Anchors us…

2. Faith Anchors me when I accept whatever God says

I may not understand it, but I will accept it.
James 1:21 NLT
21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
God has planted his word in our hearts and he wants us to humbly accept it. Welcome God into your life and accept Him.
Look at the beginning of this verse. To get God’s Word planted in you, you must git rid of some filth in your life. We have to make room in our hearts for the Lord. That means getting rid of stuff that keeps us form accepting the Lord and his word.
Filth - rhyparian - ear wax. James is saying that you have to get the ear wax out of your ear to hear God. Sin blocks you from hearing God.
Then he says to get rid of the evil in your lives. Right now with this pandemic, many of you take your clothes off as soon as you get home because they are contaminated. Maybe you need to get rid of some emotional and spiritual filth before you meet with God.
First I accept GW as a gift, then I accept whatever it says… Next,

3. Study it and then do whatever it says

James 1:22–25 NLT
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

5 Conditions for for God’s Blessing

1. Listen to the Word of God

You are doing that right now. Unfortunately, you only remember 5-10% of what you hear. That’s why we give you notes to take. But the first is to listen.

2. Look Carefully at the Word of God

Look carefully is to study it. You get a study Bible and take notes in the bible… underline… highlight.

3. Do what the Word of God says

You do what is says and it becomes a habit. You Listen and study daily.
Try something for the next week… Read His Word First and Read His Word Last. I think you will be amazed at the difference this will make in your life.

4. Memorize the Word of God

The text says don’t forget which means to learn it or memorize it. When you have a verse that really speaks to you, memorize it. Put it on a card and read it over and over or put it in your notes on your phone so you can look at it during the day and read it out loud.
When becomes important to you you can remember… baseball stats… LSU Stats...
The bible word for memorizing and applying it is meditation. It’s thinking about how to apply it in your life. It’s like worrying but about the right things… opposite of worrying.
There is even a promise that goes with this…
Joshua 1:8 NLT
8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
Do you want to be prosperous and succeed during this time? or any time? God says that if you will meditate on His Word day and night, you will succeed and be prosperous.
Treated it as a valuable gift, accepted what it says, cleaned my heart out to receive the planted word, so I can hear it, read and study it, memorize it and meditate on it...
Here is the lat thing…

5. Do what it Says

You have to do what it says.
James compares not doing what it says to looking in a mirror and seeing that you need to comb your hair and then just walking away. Why look i the mirror if you are not going to fix what’s wrong when you see it.
Why read the WOG if you are not going to do what it says?
Do these things this week…
Listen to the WOG. Listen to podcasts, sermons… Bible app will read it to you.
Read the WOG
Study the WOG
Meditate and Memorize the WOG
Then do what it says...
Let me close with this
God uses nature to show principles to us.
Proverbs 30:26 The Living Bible
24 There are four things that are small but unusually wise: Ants: they aren’t strong, but store up food for the winter. Cliff badgers: delicate little animals who protect themselves by living among the rocks. The locusts: though they have no leader, they stay together in swarms. The lizards: they are easy to catch and kill, yet are found even in king’s palaces!
Cliff badgers are weak and can’t defend themselves, but they are smart enough to hide in the rock… are you? On Christ the solid rock I stand… all other ground is sinking sand.
During these horribly crazy times, you may not feel very strong, but you CAN be wise enough to anchor yourself to the Rock of God’s unchanging truth… the Bible. The wisest thing you can ever do is to anchor yourself to Jesus Christ and His Word.
Matthew 7:24–27 NIV
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
What are you building your life on?
culture… opinions… trends… Build your life on the Rock of God’s truth. If you are feeling unstable, get into this book. Read it… Study it… Memorize it… meditate on it, and do what it says.
Prayer
Re-commit your life to follow Jesus
Salvation.
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