Opening Scripture:
Matthew 17:14-20   When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

The problem here is we come to Jesus wanting the signs and wonders more than we want Jesus.

Jesus says it’s not the belief in faith, but the direction of your faith. Faith is not your “get out of trouble” card. Faith is what causes you to hold the hand of the Master throughout life.

When you have increased faith, you have faith enough for yourself and faith to give away.
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Forged:  This kind of faith has been shaped by the fire and hammer; it is drop forged faith. This process is repeated over and over in order that faith can be welded into our character.

Shaped:  When this process is completed, the Great Iron Smith begins to shape us into the weapon needed to fight the good fight.

Grinding:  Using the file is the most tedious and time consuming. It can seem as if nothing is happening, but when completed, the blade is ready to be hardened and tempered.

Hardening:  Again, back into the fire, heated up to 5 times. The steel becomes so hard that it could shatter if dropped. A period of cooling is given until the blade is heated and then plunged into hot oil. Only now is the blade ready for the final steps.

Tempering:  To be tempered means that the hardness is retained while the brittleness is removed. An oven is heated and for hours the metal lies alone in the oven. But when removed, it is both hardened and tough.

Polish:  More time is spent grinding and polishing; an edge is put on the blade.

The weapon of faith is now ready for battle. It has been forged into the tool needed for the building of the Kingdom.

The School of Suffering Graduates Rare Scholars by Charles Spurgeon
“I move to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord’s workshop. I sometimes question whether I have learned anything except through the rod. When my schoolroom is darkened, I see most.”

To have much faith, too much faith, means that we are actively pursuing giving away as much of our faith as possible!

If we are to become a church of great faith, drop forged faith, then let’s start giving away and sharing our faith like we mean it.
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Read 1 Samuel 30 – The life of David

From the meeting with Goliath to being in Jerusalem is actually 15-20 years apart. This moment comes toward the end of the process that prepares David to become king. He had given up on reconciling with Saul and had fled to the Philistines where he feigned allegiance. When time comes for the battle between King Saul and the Philistines, they tell David to leave because they don’t trust him. He returns home to Ziklag where the Amalekites have taken everyone captive.
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Amalekites:
– a picture of the flesh
– were the people that God had told Israelites to completely destroy
– evil and always represents the attack of the enemy against God’s people
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David and his 500 men discover all they had was gone, including their wives and kids. He was a man without a flag and had been rejected by his own country.

1 Samuel 30:4-6  Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. Now David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

The men had lost faith in both God and David.

“But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” David was facing the attack of unbelief – the most common assault against faith.

The attack of unbelief is about believing or not that God is God.
– Good, all the time
– Faithful
– Full of mercy
– Deliverer
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The attack is common:
– Elijah begged God to take his life.
– Jeremiah declared that God deceived him.
– Paul said that he was despaired even of life.

How do you strengthen yourself in the Lord like David did?
1.  Hurt before God, pour out your bitter cup, repent before God
2.  Read the Word
3.  Believe it
Hebrews 12:4  You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin.
4. Get up and move; David got up and pursued the enemy.
1 Samuel 30:18-20  So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives. But nothing of theirs was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that they had taken for themselves; David brought it all back. So David had captured all the sheep and the cattle which the people drove ahead of the other livestock, and they said, “This is David’s spoil.”

You’ve got to believe that God is good, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
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Are you in the battle? Here is some good self-talk for you from Psalms.

Psalms 42:11  Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

Forged faith is faith enough to give away.
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Questions:
– How do you strengthen yourself in the Lord during times of struggle?
– How can you give away faith this week?

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