I. At times in Christian experience, for various reasons, a Christian's zeal for God, His word, His house, His service and His people might wear thin or grow cold. Ministers need to consider that and act accordingly. ISA 50:4.
A. In a culture where sin abounds and temptation is on every side, true love may become cold.
1. Perilous times are not defined by political or economic trouble but by rampant sin.
2. An inordinate affection for the world and the flesh can choke God's word (LUK 8:14) and lure one into abandoning the faithful. 2TI 4:10.
3. It becomes very difficult to discern the inward working of the Spirit when a person lives like this. ROM 8:5; 1JO 2:15.
B. Under continual oppression, people can become numb to the encouragement of God or His minister. EXO 6:9; JOB 9:16.
1. Be honest. Are the burdens and responsibilities which God has given you all that
heavy? HEB 12:3-4; JER 12:5; PRO 24:10.
2. Be cautious. In times of weakness, desperate and foolish decisions are sometimes
made. GEN 25:29-33; HEB 12:15-16.
3. Be considerate. Negative contributions to the house of God can be contagious.
DEU 20:8; JOS 14:8.
4. Sometimes, desperate situations are needed to humble a person sufficiently to remember the Lord. PSA 78:34; DEU 8:3 c/w ISA 57:15.
5. Being faint does not exempt us from persevering in the work of God.
JDG 8:4; 2SAM 23:10; REV 2:10.
6. Our weakness only magnifies our dependence upon God, Who gives strength to the weak who wait on Him. 2CO 12:9; HEB 11:34; ISA 40:29-31.
7. If you must grow faint, do so FOR God's house, not BECAUSE of it.
PSA 84:2, 10.
II. Unrealized expectation is a great contributor to lack of zeal. PRO 13:12.
A. Do not confuse deferred hope with empty hope. The former promotes strength, the latter
weakness. PSA 27:13-14 ct/w PRO 29:18.
B. No Christian ought ever to say that there is no hope. 1TI 1:1.
C. Our troubles may be because of our hope, not the loss of our hope. ACT 26:6-8; 28:20.
D. Be cautious to not confuse God's promises with personal expectations. Much
disillusionment comes from assuming fulfillment of what God has not promised.
III. God does not run the universe on our time schedule. Faith in His promises must be complemented by patience (HEB 6:10-12; 10:35-36; 12:1). Consider these examples where faith AND patience were required:
A. Abraham. GEN 12:2-4.
1. Relocated five times. GEN 12:5, 10; 13:1, 18; 20:1.
2. Contended with famine. GEN 12:10.
3. Strife and family trouble. GEN 13:7-9.
4. War against the kings. GEN 14:14.
5. A weak moment. GEN 16:2, 16.
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6. Twenty-five years later, the promised son is given. GEN 21:5.
B. Joseph. More than twenty years elapsed (during which time life was not always pleasant)
from the time of his dreams to their fulfillment. GEN 37:2; 41:46-47; 45:6.
C. Caleb. He waited for more than 40 years to receive the promise of inheritance.
D. Elijah. One of the greatest prophets of God for more than three years could only minister to a widow in a strange land while God's timetable was fulfilled. LUK 4:25-26.
E. Their endurance was, like Moses', tempered by their respect to the recompense of the reward. HEB 11:26.
F. If the goal for which one waits is valued highly, time is of little consequence. GEN 29:20.
IV. Christian experience is often likened to agriculture. Seasons of sowing without reaping should be expected, but that doesn't mean we give up on sowing.
ECC 11:4-6; PSA 126:5-6; MAR 4:26-29; GAL 6:9; JAM 5:7.
V. If you have become faint in your Christian walk, do as David. 1SAM 30:6; PSA 27:14.
VI. Remember, patience is a fruit of the Spirit (GAL 5:22) and thus an evidence of sonship and full salvation. ROM 8:11, 14.
A. Doing well may not be recompensed until Resurrection Day. LUK 14:13-14.
B. The person who continues in obedience even though he doesn't see immediate rewards
shall reap everlasting life. ROM 2:6-7.
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