New Hope Notes
Perfecting Your Faith in an Imperfect World
Pastor Aaron Cordeiro
We are going to continue the mini-series we started a couple of weeks ago called “The Season When We Are Most Vulnerable.” For some, this time of the year is a season of celebration. For others, it is a season in which we don’t understand the current difficulties in our lives. We become vulnerable to the lies of the Enemy. If we don’t know how to navigate through life, we get lost. Today we are going to talk about how we can perfect our faith in this imperfect world. We are going hear today from Pastor Aaron Cordeiro (Pastor Wayne’s son) from New Hope Hawaii Kai. He will share with us a few points on how to increase our faith in this imperfect world.
Today I want to share good news with you. We live in a world which is getting harder to navigate sometimes. Even for me as a pastor, I sometimes ask when can I have a break from life’s challenges. It seems that the problems are relentless. We live in an imperfect world, yet we can still perfect our faith in Jesus Christ. I want to share a few points with you today about perfecting our faith. We will also be talking about increasing our trust.
Let us read on the top of our notes about the trust of Job with God that Job was able to walk in times of suffering. Let us read together…
"Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God." (Job 1:22)
"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it." (Ps. 37:3, 5)
Have you tried to get through suffering on your own? It’s kind of lonely. You try to understand the world that doesn’t make sense. You try to understand the problems that you wrestle with financially, relationally, and faithfully. It’s tough. But he Bible talks about this word trust. When we put our trust in God, the Bible promises something happens with our burdens and our pressures of the things that we face in this imperfect world starts to lift off. Instead of us trying to figure it out, the Bible says that He will do it. I don’t know about you, but that gives me a fresh breath of air. Does this mean Lord if I trust you, you actually fight my battles and you will vindicate me? You will get me through those battles…I really want to share with you the good news, Lord sometimes, even as pastor, I ask that with all what I am going through will it ever end. Everything seems to be relentless. Lord says this an imperfect world. Does this mean that our world be like rose petals and tulips? No, because sin entered the world. We were perfect in the beginning but sin entered the world. The wages of sin is death. So sin ripped away from life what life was intended to be. We need to learn to navigate through what happened. What is trust? There was story of a man named Tim Henso he wrote a book on trust in 1987 about his son named Zach. While they were hiking, the boy joyfully jumping off a rock cliff towards his dad. He felt like a circus act. He tried to catch him and then they fell on the ground. The father was very puzzled. After he caught his breath, he asked his son, “Son, why did you do that?” The son with all calmness said, “Sure. Because you are my Dad.” His whole assurance was based on his trust on the fact that his father was trustworthy. He could live life to fullest because he trust his father. We need to take action on our trust with God. We will be talking about building our trust and taking the next steps in our faith, so our walk will be perfected. Faith is taking steps towards your faith and trust is when you trust somebody so much you could act accordingly. When there is trust level that is diminish, it is hard to have faith and step out in action, so we need to do the next point which is to…
· Start building a full MEASURE of TRUST in God.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (Prov. 3:5-6)
trust which is a Hebrew word “batak” means to rely upon on fully; totally secure; you can fall down; you can trust so much that whoever you put trust carelessness. Lean on not your own understanding. Next you acknowledge Him. It also explained here that the word acknowledge means cohabitation. Cohabitations means like with your relationship with your wife or your friend. You know someone so well, there up and down, inside and out. Even when you make a mistake, it is okay. We forgive and trust them. You can spend time with that person to get to know well so you trust them. There is a freedom in that kind of relationship. That is what we want to discover. The next verse says that it is healing to the body.
Though we wrestle with the things that no man or woman go through increasing our faith, we still trust God. Some of the examples in the Bible were the life of Abel, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, and Sarah. God commended them by their deeds. So we can perfect our faith through our trust in God in this imperfect world. Next are the steps we need to…
PERFECTING OUR FAITH
1. Be content with the OBSCURITIES of your FAITH.
Obscurities means lack of understanding. There are so much obscurities of faith that happens in our lives. Since we live in an imperfect world, our faith is being perfected. It has been a few years that a burglary happened in our home. My wife and I were left vulnerable. As I look back, I reflected on the lessons learned. If it were an old lady alone, I couldn’t imagine what could happened. We were not hurt. Wow…He protected us Then when a cop came, he was from New Hope.. Then after that we learned that we were pregnant. We were grateful. Then as we were going through everything with the burglary, we lost the baby. I ask God “Why me? I am a pastor.” Then at the same that happened we had our escrow started on our house. Through the processes, I learned something important. If I have given up, I won’t know how God’s love for me and my family and his blessings We learned to pray for the person that burglarized our home. Although, it was hard, we had faith and trust in God that he will pull us through. We need to stay in the course.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for." (Heb. 11:1-2)
2. Build TRUST by staying close to HOME.
This hold close to me when a friend of mine taught me how to troll. The birds stay close to the fish. When you follow them that makes you far from home. That happened when we started following the birds. When we did that one time, we were so far from home. We were scared. But there was something that happened two months before. I had a small boat that I sank. I wasn’t afraid because we were so close to home. The times you can increase trust about staying close to home. We even enjoyed the sunset and the surrounding peace we had close to home. What was the difference…I stayed close to home. Mentioned in the Bible was when Jesus was 12 years old that his family were in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. In their excitement, he was left behind. They left him in Jerusalem at the temple…they notice after three days and they went back…let us read what the Bible says…
"While His parents returned home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it." (Luke 2:43)
They were frantic. They found him at the temple. They asked Him why he was doing this things…Then he said “ Why are you looking for me? I am in my Father’s house. I am going about my Father’s business.” They didn’t understand this statement made to them by Jesus. I remember when I was with my Mom at Liberty House I hid behind the clothes rack. My mother was frantic and crying. I couldn’t understand then. But now I have daughter, I understand. Sometimes we could be adrift from God. We go about the weariness of the world and then we go away from home. We don’t understand at the moment. The further away we are from home our trust diminish and it gets harder to come back. The more we are closer to God everything becomes easier because we are close to home. The example of Jesus on the temple gives us a place to look back. Simple practical ways to do to put our trust in God are by doing our daily devotions, maybe by having fellowship with people close to God, and coming close to him in worship. In worship, we surrender to him. Maybe in our prayer life, it is important to put Him first. Putting Christ first when we get up in the morning. Making him first and staying close to home.
3. OUTLAST the TOUGH times.
James speaks about this that gives us hope through Jobs’ life. Even though Job suffered…he outlasted his tough times…Let us read…
"We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful." (James 5:11)
Sometimes we bailout too quickly. I bailout before I experience his blessing, his grace and mercy and compassion when we bail out soon. We haven’t put time to trust God. There are certain things that get in the way with us bailing out quickly which are fear, apathy, arrogance, procrastination, complacency and other things. One time I was surfing. I love surfing. But someday I don’t like it because of the crowd. One day, I went out and I was blessing people along the way. Then one guy was getting close to me. I ended up dinging his board. We hit each other. He was upset and started cussing. Then, the Lord talked to me and ask me to see how he was doing. Then I ask him if he goes to church. Then he started unraveling his life in front of me. He told me he just got out of prison. He also said that he started listening to a pastor on the radio named Pastor Wayne Cordeiro. He changed my life. I told him he is my father. He start crying…he was apologetic. I said to him I was a pastor also. I told him we are different now. We represent Christ now. Then I said that I will give him money. I went to the ATM and got $40.00. I told him that the $20.00 was for his board and the other $20.00 was for the next person who dings his board and trust God will take care of it. Because God has given us grace, so in turn we extend grace to others. He is someone we could trust. If we don’t outlast our tough times, we won’t experience God’s mercy, compassion and his faithfulness. In conclusion, let me read the following Bible verses to you…this is a promise…
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Pet. 1:6-7)
We can trust our God. We have a example to follow. When we come to him in obscure times we are close to home. He is faithful.
1. What is your definition of trust in the Bible? Give an example in the Bible of people that gave their trust to God.
2. Are you going through any specific trials that you could share with the group that God is walking you through? Share with the group how you are dealing with it.
3. Do you have any experiences like the man and his son about trust?
4. How do we make sense of the senseless and begin to explain the explainable so our faith could be strengthen not shaken?