Satan would like for us to forget some very important truths about our soul and our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan would like for us to forget what certain words mean. He would like for us to forget that we can and we will increase in faith. The longer we stay saved, keeping the commandments of God, the stronger our faith will become. We will exercise ourselves in believing and trusting God; and because we do endeavor to increase, God will help us to increase.
1 Thessalonians 3:6-10
6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
Think about Paul's statement to the congregation of the church of God at Thessalonica. Paul said that he had a burden to visit with them again so that he could “perfect that which is lacking in your faith.” This statement is embedded in the question, “what thanks can we render to God again for you?” The answer to the question is that God will give Paul the opportunity to visit them again and minister to them so that their faith can be increased.
I have two questions to ask you.
- Can you be patient with a brother or sister who is weak in faith and not condemn them for their weakness?
- Can you resist the temptation to be envious and covetous of a person who has stronger faith than you do?
1 Corinthians 2:1-8
1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
It is our objective to establish your faith upon the witness of the power of God. A gospel without power to deliver people from their sins and their diseases, is not of God. The rulers, ministers and princes of this world who do not know the wisdom of God will not exalt the Lord or edify the body of Christ. Jesus Christ still has a ministry who are anointed to preach the gospel according to the command of Jesus:
“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”
If we do not see the fruit and evidence of a sanctified ministry, called and anointed by the Holy Spirit, then we need to “dig a little deeper” as brother Cleve Green used to sing the song, “Dig A Little Deeper.” We must spiritually dig until we find that “wellspring” that never will run dry.
2 Corinthians 10:12-18
12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:
15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.
17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
We have preached to you the rule of righteousness, mercy and judgment. We have ministered to you according to the commandments of the Word of God. We have not taught you the traditions and opinions of carnal men, but rather the rule of holiness which is required of all those who profess salvation through Jesus Christ. Now, when your faith is increased to believe and understand what we have given to you, we will see the evidence, the proof and the fruit of our gospel which is according to the power of God.
2 Thessalonians 1:1-6
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
How do we know that our faith is growing? We rejoice in “your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:” How is your attitude and conduct when persecutions and tribulations come? We will suffer many things, both in our fleshly body and in our soul.
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
When God allows Satan to test you with some hardship, don't be fearful or doubtful:
1 Peter 4:12
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:”
1 Peter 1:6-9
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Perhaps you need to memorize verse 7. We must not forget that God allows His dear children to be tested and tried with temptations and hardships. These temptations and hardships are not proof or evidence of disobedience. These sufferings do not mean that God is displeased with you. Examine your heart and know yourself. If there is no willful disobedience in your life, then you must stand and not be moved by the lies of Satan.
2 Peter 1:1-12
1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
God wants us to add virtuous character traits to our faith. These virtues will add to our faith and cause our faith to increase. The more we abound in these virtues, the greater our faith will become.
Remember the words which Moses spoke to the children of Israel:
Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
Remember the words which the Apostle Paul spoke to the congregation of the church of God at Corinth:
1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.”
If you are a man, woman or young person; when trials, tests and tribulations come your way, act like a strong man. Jesus Christ in you is stronger than all the powers of Satan.
Let your hardships and difficulties make you strong in faith, increasing day by day until you reach your heavenly reward. The end of your faith is eternal life with Jesus Christ.