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Sermon Illustrations: Faith In God

A man was walking on a pitch black night when he fell over a cliff. On the way down, he managed to grab hold of a small tree sprouting out of the side of the precipice. Desperately he began to call out for help and a voice answered, "What do you want?" "I'm stuck down here holding on to a tree. I can't hold on too much longer. Can you help me?" "Yes," came the reply. "Who are you ?" the man asked. "I'm God," replied the voice. "What do you want me to do?" asked the man. "Let go of the tree." For a while there was silence. Then the man called out and said, "Is there anyone else up there?"

In Korea, people write their problems on paper streamers and attach them to kites. When the kite is high in the sky, it is cut loose and people's troubles just float away.

Faith often defies logic. In November 1837, a distinguished British physicist named Dionysius Lardner, proved with irrefutable mathematics and equations nobody could question, that it was impossible to build a steamship capable of a non-stop voyage to New York. Copies of his lecture proving this 'fact' arrived in Manhattan on April 24, 1838, aboard the steamer Sirius, the first to cross the Atlantic entirely under steam.

A man was caught in a flood, sitting on the roof of his house, and praying and trusting the Lord. After a while, a rowing boat came by and its owner offered him a lift. The man said, "No thanks. I'm trusting in God". Next a helicopter came and he gave the same reply. Eventually the man drowned. When he stood before the Lord, he said, "Lord, why didn't you save me? I trusted You." The Lord said, "I sent you a boat. Then I sent you a helicopter. What more did you want?"

There are two kinds of people. One kind of person looks at a problem and says, "It can't be done". The other kind of person looks at the opportunity and says, "If it could be done how would we do it?"

Feed your faith and doubt will starve to death.

People criticise Peter for sinking, but at least he got out of the boat.

There are no guarantees in life; anything can happen. "A house in Weston-super-Mare in England was set on fire by a burning cigarette butt which had been used by a sparrow to build its nest in the eaves."1

If someone wants to practise extreme faith by denying that they are sick, they shouldn't even blow their nose.

Spurgeon said, "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down. By faith the walls of this church will be pushed back." Later, the deacons took him to task, telling him that he was presumptuous, since he was only a young man. But during his ministry the walls were pushed back three times.

James deMelo relates the story of how he was at a friend's place who had a Pit Bull Terrier. The man had a tyre hanging from a tree, got the dog worked up then shoved the tyre at it. The dog latched on with its teeth. The man would shake the tyre and swing it high in the air from side to side, but the dog would not let go. "How long will he do that for?" asked James deMelo. "A couple of hours. Sometimes I go in and eat a meal and he's still out here latched onto that tyre." "Really! He can go for that long?" "Yeah. Come on, let's go eat." They went inside, but the dog was still holding onto the tyre a couple of hours later. Finally the owner had to go pry the dog's jaws off the tyre. This is an example of what you might call Pit Bull faith. It never lets go of the promises of God.

The spiritual realm is invisible. Numbers 22:22,23,25,27,31 relates the story of Balaam and his talking donkey. Even the donkey had more faith than Balaam.

David had five pebbles. Goliath had four brothers. Was that a coincidence?

I loved that movie "The Bear". Right near the end there's a beautiful scene. The bear cub is attacked by a mountain lion, and he's been backed up against a stream. The lion claws at the little bear's snout. The bear tries to bite the lion's paw and keeps making this high-pitched roar. Then suddenly the lion takes off. The little cub is on its hind legs making a huge victorious roar. Then the cameras swing round and you see the real reason why the lion fled. There's a 1500 pound bear standing behind the cub. What a beautiful picture of what it's like to trust in the Lord. He's right there with us, helping us even when we don't realise it.

My brother had a dog named Ben. Ben could run around as much as he liked - on a runner. Every so often he'd see a cat and chase it, but suddenly, yank. Ben stopped dead. He could go no further. A lot of Christians are like Ben. They put themselves on a runner. An opportunity comes along, something they'd really like to do for God, and they really want to go for it. But yank, it's as if their unbelief says: This far and no further. Have faith!

There was a time when Spain possessed the territory both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar. So on their coins they stamped the two Pillars of Hercules, which is what the two promontories of rock were called. And on a scroll the words, "No more beyond." Meaning there ain't nothing else out there. Then came the discovery of the New World, and with it the realisation that there was in fact something else out there. So they changed the coins to read, "More beyond." Mostly our limits don't come from God, but they come from within us. As you look at your life, has fear or some other negative thing burned into your life, "No more beyond"? Or are you convinced that there is indeed more beyond, and that you're going to reach out for it?

When D L Moody, great American evangelist of the 19th century, lay on his deathbed, he was reputed to have said to his sons, "If God be your partner, make your plans large."

A logging foreman sold a farmer a chainsaw. He said, "This is guaranteed to chop down fifty trees a day." The farmer was impressed with that and bought the saw. A week later, the farmer stormed back through the front door, threw the saw on the counter, and demanded his money back. "There's something wrong with this saw. There's no way it'll do fifty trees a day. It can hardly do three trees a day!" The foreman grabbed the saw, pulled the cord, and the saw went, "Bzzzzzzz." The farmer jumped back, eyes wide open: "Hey, what's that noise?"7 For so many Christians, God's power is available to them. But they simply don't know how to access it.

Faith is the bucket of power lowered by the rope of prayer into the well of God's abundance. What we bring up depends upon what we let down. We have every encouragement to use a big bucket. Virginia Whitman

We are limited by our faith, just like speed-limited trucks.

One day a child playing with a valuable vase got his hand stuck in it and couldn't get it out. Before resorting to breaking the vase, his father said, "Son, relax, just open your hand and pull it out." To their astonishment the little guy said, "I can't. If I do I'll drop my penny." Word for Today 7-6-08

1 Sunday Mail 1-7-01 p71