Growing Faith is God’s Plan for Every Christ Follower

Mark Balmer - Sunday, March 10th 2019 - 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13


1 Thessalonians 3:2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,

  • Actually, every person has faith and lives by faith. 

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. 

  • Faith is complete confidence that God will do what He promised

Mark 11:22 "Have faith in God," Jesus answered

2 Corinthians 5:7 We live (walk) by faith, not by sight.

  • God designed everyone to live by faith and not by sight

Matthew 8:6-8, 10 (NLT) Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” 7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!”

  • God wants every Christ Follower (CF) to grow in their faith

1 Thessalonians 3:5-8 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless. 6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. 7 Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord

  • Their strong faith spoke of their growing relationship with God.
  • Growing strong faith comes from a growing personal relationship with God

Romans 10:17 (NKJV) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

  • Growing strong faith comes from the hearing and believing the Word of God
  • Why does Satan fight our faith in God and His promises?

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God….because anyone who comes to him must believe that: He exists and He rewards those who earnestly seek him

Mark 6:5 (NLT) And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.

  • Walking by sight means walking in doubt and fear
  • But walking by faith pleases God are God rewards our faith

2 Timothy 3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

  • God doesn’t just grow our faith by hearing and obeying HIS WORD.
  • God also uses trials, troubles and difficulties to grow our faith

1 John 5:4 (NLT) For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.

  • Trials build our endurance and faith in God

1 Corinthians 10:13  (NLT)  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

  • Trials enable us to comfort and encourage others in their faith

2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT) He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

  • Trials enable us to take steps of faith in spreading the gospel

Acts 4:29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.

  • God uses our “history of trials” to grow our faith

Psalms 103:2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits — 

  • God uses prayer to grow our faith

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

  • Asking God to grow our faith IS HIS WILL!
  • Pray, believe, and you will receive
  • Pray and doubt and you will do without
  • God challenges us to obey and take steps of faith
  • To live by faith requires trusting God in everything

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

1 John 2:28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears, we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • God’s promise – believe it 

Romans 10:13…"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."     

 

All Bible references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted. NLT = New Living Translation.