Sep 8, 2011

Handling Disappointment

read : 1 Timothy 3:14–4:6

The Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn
away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons (4:1).
You’re having a Bible study with someone, and they say, “I simply don’t believe in Jesus.” Or perhaps you discover that a young person you’ve been
discipling is having premarital sex. And you wonder:Have I done something wrong? Have I failed in myefforts to teach God’s Word?

Ministering to people can lead to heartache. Yet Paul exhorted Timothy (and us) not to give up, but to press on in teaching others. He wrote that we need to neither be an optimist nor a pessimist, but a realist. Let’s face it,the Bible and experience reveal that some people will turn from their faith in Jesus. So apostasy (renouncing one’s faith) is not a surprising development, nor should it be considered evidence that we’ve failed. Jesus said in Matthew 24:11 that “many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.”

We also need to see that lost faith is all about spiritual warfare. Paul described the heretics in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3) as those who “[followed] deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons” (4:1). The ultimate
origin of all deception is Satan. In 2 Corinthians 10:4, Paul instructs, “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” What are God’s
mighty weapons? His Word and prayer.

Finally, we need to continue to teach the truth (1 Timothy 4:6). In dealing with the false teaching in Ephesus, Paul told Timothy to point the believers back to right doctrine—truth revealed from Scripture regarding God, His ways, and His purposes.

It can be disappointing when people turn away from God, but His truth will
never disappoint us.
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