Just typing out this sharing in case we are unable to hear it clearly

Introduction

“Examine yourselves as to whether
  you are in the faith. Test yourselves.
  Do you not know yourselves, that
  Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed
  you are disqualified” – Paul (2 Cor 13:5)

Paul encourage the Corinthians to examine themselves in faith to see what is the state of their faith. The church in Corinth is not strong in their faith, as the result they face a crisis in their faith. Sometimes we wonder why is this happening to the church of God, often it is because we do not grow in faith.

That is why Paul reminded the people to examine their faith, for without faith we cannot please God. Without faith we will not be acknowledged by God. That is why we need to consider our faith, for we want eternal life and our salvation depends on it.

For Peter also tells us its importance

“who are kept by the power of God
  through faith for salvation ready
  to be revealed in the last time.” – Peter (1 Pet 1: 5 )

Here peter tells us that salvation is by Gods power. Let us look at some areas where we could examine our faith.

1st Pt : Having Faith In Gods Providence

“Now if God so clothes the grass of
  the field, which today is, and
  tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
  will He not much more clothe you,
  O you of little faith?

  Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What
  shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’
  or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these
  things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly
  Father knows that you need all these things.

  But seek first the kingdom of God and
  His righteousness, and all these things
  shall be added to you.  Therefore do not
  worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
  will worry about its own things. Sufficient
  f or the day is its own trouble” – Jesus (Matt 6:30-34)

What comes to our mind when we consider the words of Jesus? Here it tells us that if God clothes the grass of the fields, surely he will take care of the basics needs of men. Therefore we need not be too worried about our livelihood

Does that means we do not need to work? No, we ought to work for our daily livelihood. So what does Jesus really mean ? He tells us that gentiles seek after things to eat, drink and wear. But as Christians we ought to have a different priority.

The people of the world are concern over food, drinks and clothing because they seek a better life on earth, but believers should also be concern about the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

Sometimes we have Christians who sacrifice their time in worship for the sake of gaining wealth. they tend to forget that they need to seek first the kingdom of God. God knows that we need food drink and clothing and he will provide it as we follow his words. God will bless those who seek him. That is why Elder Peter said

casting all your care upon
  Him, for He cares for you.” – Peter (1 Pet 5:7)

Peter said this even when he was in trials. He saw how the Lord took care of others. This is his promise and he cares for us.

2nd  Pt : Having Faith In The Midst Of Storm

“But He said to them, “Why are you
  fearful, O you of little faith?” Then
  He arose and rebuked the winds and
  the sea, and there was a great calm.” – Matthew (Matt 8:26)

This is what Jesus said to his disciples. Why did they have little faith? Matt 8:23-27 tells us the story when Jesus was with them in the boat. Jesus was sleeping at the stern. At that time, there was a storm and the boat was badly shaken by the storm. Yet Jesus was sleeping at the stern. As the disciples were afraid they came to wake Jesus up. They wanted Jesus to help them in the storm.

That is why the Lord said those words, telling them that they lack faith. At the same time he rebuked the winds and the sea and there was calm.

How does our faith compared  to them? From here we know that even if Jesus is with us on the boat, storm will still come. It also tells us that even if we believe in Jesus, we will encounter trials and problems which our faith will be tested.

But over here the disciple came to the Lord and woke him up. Whenever we encounter trouble, we need to ask God to help us. We need not be afraid of the challenge for God is with us. 

“Come to Me, all you who labor and
  are heavy laden, and I will give
  you rest.” – Jesus (Matt 11:28)

Jesus invites those who labor and are heavy laden to come to him. Today when we face with challenges in life. Let us learn to rely on God. But yet as we consider the story in Matt 8 we wonder, “Why did Jesus rebuke the disciples?”

The main reason was that they were afraid and they think they are perishing.Today when we encounter problems in life, let us learn to rely on God and be unafraid. instead of running away from the Lord let us come closer to him.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in
  everything by prayer and
  supplication, with thanksgiving,
  let your requests be made known
  to God;  and the peace of God, which
  surpasses all understanding, will
  guard your hearts and minds through
  Christ Jesus.”- Paul (Php 4:6-7)

Paul reminds us what to do when we encounter with storms in life.Let us learn to make our request before God and to allow his peace to guard our hearts and minds. Sometimes fail in faith because of our reluctance to go to God. We would rather rely on ourselves and consult with others for advice .But the bible remind us to seek help from God

At the end of the episode of the disciples in the storm. They marvelled
“Who can this be, that even the
  winds and the sea obey Him?”- Disciples (Matt 8:27)

Sometimes when we solve the problems by our own methods, we would think that the problems were overcome with our mere wisdom and not the help of God.  But over here when Christ saved them from the storm, their faith grew and the understood the power of God.

That is why today when we encounter trials let us not fall and be afraid like the disciples. They were afraid of the storm and they had little faith. But rather let us rely on God to weather through the storms and problem in life with the help of Jesus.

3rd  Pt : Having  A Faith without Doubting

“And immediately Jesus stretched
  out His hand and caught him, and
  said to him, “O you of little faith,
  why did you doubt?”- Matthew (Mat 14:31)

Jesus asked Peter why did he doubt.  Let us consider why did Peter doubt. We know the story well. When Jesus went up to the mountain to pray. He told the disciples to get onto the boat. Eventually they encountered a storm and Jesus was walking on water to them. The disciples were afraid when they saw him and Jesus assured them that it was he.

At that point Peter asked Jesus for the permission to walk on water. Jesus told him to come and as he walked, he was afraid and he began to sink. Therefore Jesus caught him and asked him why did he doubt.

What can we learn from this? We know that as we learn to pray to God and rely on him, our eyes must be fixed onto the Lord. Today in our heavenly journey we will be faced with trials and tribulation. They sometimes frighten us even though we are walking with God. Worst still when we encounter tribulation and we start to doubt as if God is not in our lives helping us.

That is the problem of Peter, the storm had always been blowing even before he step up of the boat. If we want to find faith to rely on God and to walk on water. We need to focus on Jesus. For if we focus on the problem, we will be afraid and anxious. But God tells us not to be afraid or anxious, we do not need to worry over what we eat and what we wear. We need to focus on God and to keep his words. God is always ready to help us and the trials will never hurt us.

Conclusion : Having Joy In Trials

People like Job , Peter and James all went through trials and they tell us to be joyful in trails for after the trials our faith will be built up. The purpose of trails is not to hurt us but to build up our faith. It is to help us examine if our faith is strong or weak

If we focus on the problem and not the Lord, then we will be like Peter. Eventually we will lose our faith and we will slowly sink. But if our eyes is focus on the Lord , we will not lose for God will help us.

For the author of Hebrews once says this

But we are not of those who draw back
  to perdition, but of those who believe to
  the saving of the soul.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 10:39)

Here it reminds us that we are people who believe in the salvation of the soul. We need to have the resolve not to lose our faith. As long as we believer in the Lord. We need to examine ourselves to see if our faith stands.

This is important because we need that faith to accomplish our purpose in life. Let us learn not to worry over our lives. But rather we need to pray, grow and mature in faith. So that our faith will eventually be perfect.

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