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The Secret to Stability
1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Intro: I have been in church for 44 years. I’ve been in solid, Bible-believing Baptist churches my entire life. I have been preaching the gospel for almost 24 years. I have to say without any hesitation that today, I am seeing more instability among God’s people than I have in my entire life. I’ve never seen such an epidemic of wishy-washy, back and forth, up and down, in and out, hot and cold Christians as I’m seeing now. In the past, people would experience a revival and it would last for years. People would make a trip to the altar and make a commitment to the Lord and honor it for months; even years before they found themselves drifting away or getting cold on the Lord. Not, people will get up from the altar weeping and broken after making vows to the Lord to live for him, and then miss the next two weeks of church services. They will get convicted for not giving and write a tithe check and place it in the offering, and then not tithe again for 3 months. They will hear a message on soulwinning and go one time and then stop. They will hear a challenging message on the marriage and determine in their heart to have a godly home, and then go home and fuss and fight like unsaved people. What is the problem? The problem is INSTABILTY.
The Bible has a lot to say about being established as a believer.
The Bible uses the word – stablish – an old English word that is the same as stable or stability.
- STABLISH – to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix, to strengthen, make firm, to render constant, confirm, one’s mind
- Stability is a work of God
- Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
- Stability is a matter of the heart
- 1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
- Stability is a choice
- James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
So what is the secret to stability?
I. An Unhesitant Turning to God
- Joel 2:12, 13 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
There is a huge difference in an outward demonstration of godliness and an inward dedication to holiness.
God is not impressed with our emotional rending of garments – sitting in sackcloth and ashes if it does not produce a life of sincere turning to God.
Repentance is not an act – repentance is a daily lifestyle.
Turning to the Lord might require a time of weeping and fasting and mourning, but turning to the Lord requires a rending of the heart.
Definition: REND – to tear, tear in pieces
If we want God to repent of the evil, we must repent of the evil! (see verse 13)
QUOTE: “Millions call themselves by His name, it is true, and pay some token homage to Him, but a simple test will show how little He is really honored among them. Let the average man be put to the proof on the question of who or what is ABOVE, and his true position will be exposed. Let him be forced into making a choice between God and money, between God and men, between God and personal ambition, God and self, God and human love, and God will take second place every time. Those other things will be exalted above. However the man may protest, the proof is in the choice he makes day after day throughout his life.”
― A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
II. An Unending Thirst for God
A. A Thirst for His Presence
- Psalms 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
When having God’s presence in your life means more than anything else, that is the thirst God wants us to have.
- Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
B. A Thirst for His Power
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Paul was a prime example of stability – even through physical affliction and pain.
To him, the pain was a small price to pay for the power of God to be in his life.
He had a hunger; a desire for the power of God in his life more than he wanted comfort, health and rest.
Even God’s unanswered prayer didn’t deter him – Paul was a steadfast, stable believer.
C. A Thirst for His Precepts
- Psalm 1:2, 3 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
III. An Unselfish Trust in God
- Psalms 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
The older the olive tree, the broader and more gnarled the trunk becomes. Many olive trees in the groves around the Mediterranean are said to be hundreds of years old, while an age of 2,000 years is claimed for a number of individual trees; in some cases, this has been scientifically verified.
If you want to be around for generations, still serving God and producing fruit, you are going to have to BELIEVE GOD.