Imagine surviving a shipwreck. Imagine yourself feeling the fear of seeing the waves break apart pieces of ship, along with the sensation of sinking, of panic, and of gasping for air. Imagine losing not only your belongings, but also watching other people fight for their lives. Imagine nearly drowning, being washed ashore, or being rescued with barely an ounce of strength left. You’re traumatized, weather-beaten, and exhausted to the point of semi-consciousness.
Does the above resonate with you, even though you have not experienced an actual shipwreck? Does the description feel strangely familiar? If so, your faith may shipwrecked.
Paul the Apostle writes to Timothy about how to fight against being shipwrecked in the faith. He writes:
I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, 19 having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; (1 Timothy 1:18-19)
The storms of life will assuredly try to throw you off course and drown your faith: the kind of faith that knows God will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrew 13:5); the kind of faith that declares in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
To avoid our faith being shipwrecked, we must remember the promises of God to us. Paul instructs Timothy to live by the prophetic words about him. Paul encourages Timothy to keep his faith intact by fighting the good fight. When you are discouraged, pull from your memory all the moments when God proved faithful to you and others. When you feel like you’re drowning in the issues of life, remember James 1:2-4 which states, “whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” Remember all the times that God gave you the strength to endure whatever it was that tried to submerge your hope in the waters of despair and God will deliver you.
Glorious and Exalted is Our God!
The Rev. Dr. Nicole Foster is the T.V. Host of The Hippie Theologian, Brandstream TV Network which tackles a variety of topics such as the Old Testament, activism, and para-church ministry. She holds a Doctorate of Ministry from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, as well as a Master of Divinity from Redeemer Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in History from Southern Methodist University. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook.