Does Your Faith Falter or Fail?


Let’s get straight to the point. Jeremiah 17:9 says, ““The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Romans 3:11-13 says, “11there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”” That commentary and so much more from the bible is an indictment on the goodness of man. Despite our penchant for rewriting our character portrayal, the Word of God is clear. Man does not think the right thing, does not say the right thing, does not do the right thing. Sin has rendered us incapable of doing so. Sin is always waiting to seize us just as God told Cain “sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7)

Make no mistake about it. We are sinful. While not needed, sin’s ally from the beginning is satan. In 1 Peter 5:8, we are told “Your enemy (adversary) the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Devour is to consume, engulf or engross wholly. He wants to totally destroy us by breaking our feeble faith, but that is enough. We know Jesus told His disciples “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20) Faith is the agent that frees us from the clutches of sin.

All of that raises the question Does Your Faith Falter or Fail? With the condition of our intentions described above, a perfected faith is out of the question. The only question is a faltering faith or failing faith. What is the difference. Falter is to stumble, waver or give way in instances. Fail is the inability to deliver, to prove of no use or help, to fall short of that expected and desired. There seems to be such a small difference in these words, but a mustard seed is really small. Some times, the difference between life and death, success and failure is small. For a small airplane pilot, the difference between faltering and failing is life and death. If the engine falters, it hesitates or staggers but regains power to prevent the plane from plunging into the ground. On the contrary, when an engine fails, the engine not only hesitates but stops. There is no recovering from a failing engine. The plane will crash into the earth.

Let’s go to the Word of God to discern the difference and to answer the question Does Your Faith Falter or Fail? In Luke 22, Jesus sets the stage for us to see the difference and to ascertain the answer to Does Your Faith Falter or Fail?. This passage is infamous in Christendom. It is the passage where Christ not only prophesies about the failure of His betrayer, Judas, but also foretells of His beguiler, satan, and the faltering of His believers, the remaining disciples.

Let’s get it – Luke 22.

The Betrayer (Failing Faith)
Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present… 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!”…

The Beguiler and Believers (Faltering Faith)
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”…60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

The key in it all is that when Jesus prophesies of Peter’s faltering He also prophesies of Peter’s redemption and reconciliation. He says “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers”. Jesus knew that Peter turned away for a moment. His faith wavered in that moment but did fail. In our pursuit of Christ, we will falter, but we must never fail. When we deny Jesus in some way in some instance, we must repent immediately returning to Him. Repenting is turning back to Christ. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Your faith will falter or fail depending on whether you repent. If you repent, you will be turn back to strengthen your brothers. Romans 8 tells how God solves the problem for those whose Faith Falters.

33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you are a believer, God will keep you just as He kept Simon Peter and the other disciples, just as He has kept me. He keeps us by Jesus being at the right hand of the Father interceding (praying) for us. Does Your Faith Falter or Fail? You decide by the choice you make.

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