19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
“Shipwreck” is defined as: the destruction of a ship at sea by sinking or breaking up, e.g., in a storm or after running aground. It can also mean an irretrievable loss or failure
Looking at the definitions above on the word “shipwreck”, it is easy to see how this word can apply to our lives. Paul speaks specifically in this verse of two of his opponents in the faith Hymenaeus and Alexander. These two men worked against the Apostle Paul in spreading the Gospel. They heard the same message of Christ, but the difference being that these two men, walked away for whatever reason from the truth of God’s Word and went about doing their own thing, much to their own detriment. Hence Paul says they made shipwreck of their faith…
If you've been a believer for any length of time, you will no doubt have had a moment when things got really tough and your faith in God to deliver you from that situation was null and void. Destitute. If you read Chapters 13 and 14 in the book of Numbers, you'll see that when God told Moses to send out 12 spies to scout out Canaan, the Promised Land, that many of the children of Israel succumbed to the destruction or shipwreck of their faith when they chose to believe the negative report of the 10 spies, instead of trusting God (who by the way had already promised them the land) and by murmuring and complaining. This eventually ended up barring them entrance into the Promised Land and for many of them, it cost them their life.
What I want to focus on however, is not the problem or the danger of shipwreck or abandoning your faith, but on the SOLUTION.
As we go into 2019, I want to give you…
4 WAYS TO AVOID SHIPWRECK OF YOUR FAITH
Focus on your objective or your purpose. NOT the PROBLEM.
As human beings, we fear the unknown. We want to take the path of least resistance, and we don’t like obstacles. But fear has a tendency to eclipse our faith, making it shipwreck….why?
Because it causes us to take our eyes off God and not trust in Him based on what He has said in scripture. In essence, fear puts our eyes on our dilemma and sometimes makes our problems bigger than they are.
Don't allow fear to hinder your process as God leads YOU into the “promised land” of opportunity, of ministry, of healing, of salvation and wholeness.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
I think this is unfortunately something if we're honest with ourselves, many of us as women struggle with. It certainly is an issue in the Body of Christ. It can also be a very easy trap to fall into if we allow it. The 10 spies, in Numbers 13:31-32, spoke negatively of everything they saw with the inhabitants of Canaan, who they deemed in their own eyes (not God’s) as being stronger, and capable of devouring them and how small they were in comparison to the inhabitants. When we look at ourselves in light of ourselves, looking at what others are doing, or what others have (whether it’s something tangible like money or a home, or something intangible, like a successful career, ministry or business) feelings of inadequacy can and rise up.
However, God has placed within each and every one of us a gift, a talent, and an ability that no one else has…He’s called YOU to do it, not sister Susie, or bro Bob or your boss, or your co-worker. So, we don’t need to look at someone else and see what God is doing for them as if He’s not capable of doing the same for you.
Don’t allow your emotions to dictate or control your situation.
Fear is an emotion, anger is an emotion. Neither are good reference points to use when we’re faced with a situation. Regardless if the situation or challenge is financial, personal, health, etc… Again the 10 spies and almost all of the congregation of Israel fell prey to their emotions of fear and doubt, despite the fact that they knew God had made a promise to them. When we go through things it's natural to react. Sometimes people may even put us in a position where we are made to feel some kind of way and we may be justified in our feelings. However, what we don’t want to do is stay in that emotional place. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Don’t allow unforgiveness or bitterness towards someone else control you. If we want to experience VICTORY in our situation, we have to be mindful to take heed of this warning and NOT get caught up in our emotions.
Fight the good fight of FAITH.
Let’s not be like the Israelites. Let’s not forget the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Let’s not forget the promises God has made to us and to our children. Most importantly, let’s not forget the history that each of us have with God who delivered us from where we were to where we are: in spite of our circumstances and in spite of ourselves. Whom even though we were faithless, He remained FAITHFUL.
God is faithful…
…His mercies for us are new every morning. His compassion fails not for us. His grace is sufficient for you, because His strength is made PERFECT in your weakness so that the POWER OF CHRIST will rest on YOU. We can be strong in the Lord and in HIS POWER and MIGHT. He is the one that has begun the good work in you, and He is the one that will be faithful to complete it until the day of His return.
So as 2018 goes out, and 2019 comes in, let’s do as the Lord, Jesus told us in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Be Encouraged & HAPPY NEW YEAR!♥