Sermon:  When your Faith is Fatigued


Summary:  In order to keep from becoming sluggish in our faith, we need to be reminded of the character of God, that God remember and recognizes service done in his name even if no one else does, that God's promises are reliable guarantees we can invest ourselves into, that God has faithfully paved a way for us to come to him not only here, but especially in Heaven.  These encouraging reminders can help us to be firm and steadfast in our hope through any kind of difficulty or challenge.


Know:  We need to stay passionate about serving God because he and only he has reliable guarantees for the life to come


Feel:  Committed to God for the long haul


Do:  Reflect on the character of God as taught in this text and how God has demonstrated these through his actions.  Also discuss related characteristics of God and how he has demonstrated them.  Discuss what God wants us to understand about himself and why, then reflect on how this should impact our level of personal and spiritual growth, our commitment, and our service in our lives.  Identify specific ways you are fatigued in your faith, and some possible ways to deal with it.


Text:  Heb 6:9-20


Scripture Reading:   1 Cor 15:57-58



1.  What do you think of the weather we have been having?

            a.  When it gets this cold, hard to get moving in the morning

            b.  Even the car is sluggish in the morning

2.  Sometimes we get sluggish as well

            a.  Like college student stay up all night, sluggish in morning class

            b.  Long days work, come home, tired, just want to sit on couch

            c.  Maybe through sheer monotony, you just feel emotionally sluggish

            d.  Same thing can happen in our faith - Get sluggish

3.  In our text, we are dealing with people who themselves had gotten sluggish

            a.  Last time, in 5:10 - 6:8, saw rebuke for sluggishness, immaturity

                        - They had stalled in their faith and stopped growing

                        - Falling away was a possibility and a danger

                        - They were to press on to maturity

            b.  Problem, - lost their passion & confidence.  Look at exhortations so far:

                        - (2:1) We must pay closer attention to what we have heard

                        - (3:7) Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts

                        - (3:12) Take care lest there be in you an evil unbelieving heart

                        - (3:13) Encourage one another while it is still called today

                        - (4:1) Let us fear, or might fall short of entering his rest lest

                        - (4:11) Let us be diligent to enter his rest

                        - (4:14) Let us hold fast our confession

                        - (4:16) Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace

                        - (6:1) Let us press on to maturity

            c.  Have you ever become fatigued in your faith?

                        - May not be for the same reasons as those in those in the text

                        - But the fatigue is still very real

            d.  Wouldn't you like to know what to do about it?

4.  (Heb 6:9-20)

            a.  This comes after a rebuke for stalled faith and spiritual immaturity

            b.  Focus moves from the reader's stalled faith to God who never stalls

            c.  Source of our confidence comes from God, who he is, what he does

            d.  To prevent sluggishness, we need to remember what God is like


I.  God recognizes service in his name (v.9-10)

            A.  God is just, will not forget what you have done in his name

            B.  These people have done all kinds of things in his name

                        1.   Man may forget, but God does not

                                    a.  Remember in Air Force, used to say one "Oh man!"

                                          cancelled out 100 attaboys

                                    b.  But God is not like that, even if stumble

                                    c.  God does not cancel out what you have done in his name

                        2.  These Christians served in name of Christ (10:32-34)

                                    a.  They became a public spectacle

                                                - In other words, people publicly abused them

                                                - Maybe even to make an example out of them

                                    b.  They were sharers with those persecuted publicly

                                                - They didn't distance themselves from persecuted

                                                - By serving them, they took great risk

                                    c.  Sympathy to the prisoners

                                    d.  Accepted joyfully the seizure of their property

                        3.  Everywhere they turned, ridicule, persecution, shame

                                    a.  May have seemed like the whole world against them

                                    b.  They were treated as though they were bad people

                        4.  Even though they did good, no one recognized it as good

                                    a.  In our country may not have same experience

                                    b.  But, our experience can have similar effect

            C.  ILL:  Remember man named Robert in former congregation

                        1.  Was active, did all kinds of things in the congregation

                                    a.  Involved in marriage ministry, children's ministry

                                    b.  Helped build VBS sets, work around the building

                                    c.  Lot of fun to work with kids with them, especially singing

                                    d.  Went above and beyond

                        2.  After awhile, complain, bitter, no longer involved

                                    a.  He said he was going to pull back and do nothing

                                    b.  Problem?  No one appreciated them!

                        3.  Eventually, they left angry

                                    a.  They took that anger with them to the next church

                                    b.  They left that church too, then fell away

                                    c.  They wound up divorced

                        4.  Have you ever felt unrecognized, unappreciated?

                                    a.  You give and give, no one says thank you?

                                    b.  Worse, someone ELSE gets recognized

                                    c.  Maybe you get hurt, angry, discouraged?

                                    d.  Eventually, you say, "What's the use?"

            D.  This text brings us back to what is important

                        1.  God recognizes your work done in his name

                                    a.  Even if no one else does

                                    b.  God sees, and will not forget

                        2.  Besides, we don't want to serve for human recognition

                                    a.  We should serve ultimately for God's recognition

                                    b.  If it is for human recognition, then that is all we get

                                                - Jesus said if serve to be seen of men, we have our

                                                   reward in full

                                                - In other words, God does not recognize it

                                    c.  We want to do it to please God

                        3.  Interesting - Notice what text does NOT do

                                    a.  Author does not say, "I" appreciate all work you do

                                                - This is how we would normally encourage someone

                                                - We say, "I" really appreciate you, or "You" did good

                                    b.  Instead, text says, "God" does not forget

                                                - Puts the attention on God's recognition, not mine

                                                - God notices, and he is the one that truly matters

                                    c.  We should say, "God" is pleased, not  "I" am pleased

                                                - Reminds us of reason we serve

                                                - Reminds us that if no one else notice, God does

                                                - Can be more encouraging that if "I" notice

                        4.  So if you have been working, serving, no one notice

                                    a.  Remember, God notices what you do in his name

                                    b.  God is please with your service in his name

                                    c.  God will reward you


II.  God's Promises are Reliable (v.13-15)

            A.  God always, always keeps his word

            B.  Notice how the text reminds us of this

                        1.  God made an oath to Abraham

                                    a.  God made an promise, then a covenant, then an oath

                                                - Gen 12:1-3 - Made a promise

                                                - Gen 15:18 - Made a covenant

                                                - Gen 22:15-18 - Made an oath

                                    b.  What did God promise?

                                                - Will surely bless you

                                                - Will surely multiply you

                                                - Also - All families of the earth would be blessed

                                                  through Abraham's descendant

                                    c.  God moved from promise to oath

                                                - Oath is only as good as what your swear on (v.16)

                                                - God swore by himself (v.13)

                        2.  Why did God do this?

                                    a.  Heb 6:18 - Impossible for God to lie, why an oath?

                                    b.  Why do people make oaths?

                                                - (v.16) - Given as confirmation of person's word

                                                - To ensure you are trusted

                                    c.  (v.17) - God wanted to show us the unchangeableness of

                                         his purpose

                                                - In other words, when God has a plan he will do it

                                                - When he makes a promise, he keeps it

                        3.  (v.15) Abraham patiently waited, and inherited the promise

                                    a.  Spent his life as a nomad, no children

                                    b.  Finally, when at young age of 100, Sarah 90, has son

                                                - Just like God said

                                                - He patiently waited, and had a son

                        4.  Therefore we can take hold of the hope before us

                                    a.  Hope is not some wish, "I hope it will get warmer"

                                    b.  (v.19) - Describes this hope

                                                - It is an anchor for the soul

                                                - It is sure/reliable/firm/trustworthy

                                                - It is steadfast/doesn't shift

                                                - It enters the veil - Figuratively about veil of temple

                                                            = Separated people from God

                                                            = But we have access to God and his help

            C.  ILL:  If I were to ask what Christian hope is like, what you choose?

                        1.  Text uses the image of an anchor - what is an anchor?

                                    a.  Keeps you from being blown away

                                    b.  When storm comes, and they will come, will stay put

                        2.  Ever read the magazine, "Voices of the Martyrs?"

                                    a.  Read about Christians in places like North Korea

                                    b.  Hyun Ju, a little school girl, parents taught her of God

                                                - One day grandmother came over, they were gone

                                                - Learned later what happened

                                                - At school, teacher ask how Hyun Ju got such a good

                                                  grade, she said, "by God's grace"

                                                - In anger, teacher dragged her out, family


                                    c.  A Mr. Chin snuck over to China during famine

                                                - Churches gave him food and Bibles

                                                - Came to believe, took Bibles back to N. Korea

                                                - Reported, interrogated and tortured for a month

                                                - Went back and brought back more Bibles

                                    d.  These are people who believe the promises of God

                                                - They know nothing happens outside God's control

                                                - They know that gates of Hades not prevail

                                                - They know God will be with them, even in death

                        3.  Most of us may never have a situation like that

                        4.  But we still have challenges that cause faith fatigue

            D.  God remains true to his promises

                        1.  Our place, like Abraham, is to patiently wait on God

                        2.  Sampling of some of his promises he has made

                                    a.  Jas 1:5 - Promised to give wisdom to him who lacks

                                    b.  1 Jn 5:14 - Ask anything according to his will, he hears

                                    c.  I Jn 1:9 - Promised to forgive us when we confess

                                    d.  Jn 7:39 - Promised the Spirit, who strengthens us

                                    e.  1 Cor 10:13 - Not allow you to be tempted beyond what

                                          you are able

                                    f.  Mt 28:20 - I will be with you always

                        3.  God will strengthen you through any challenge and be with you

                        4.  He will be with you to the end, or rather - beginning


III.  God has paved a way to Himself (v.20)

            A.  God provided a way for us to come to him through Jesus

            B.  Jesus did what no other High Priest could do

                        1.  All the High Priest's who came before him were limited

                                    a.  They could only enter Holy of Holies once a year

                                    b.  They came, offered up the blood of sacrifice

                                    c.  Then they left, and they were good for another year

                        2.  But Jesus went in not just as High Priest, but as a forerunner

                                    a.  In other words, he didn't just go in and come out

                                    b.  He blazed a trail for us to be able to follow

                                    c.  We now have access to God

            C.  ILL:  Made me think of some of the trips we took in Korea

                        1.  Went to Grandparents in country, Taxi only went so far

                                    a.  Some might take us off paved road a bit, then stop

                                    b.  We had to get out an walk for last couple miles

                                    c.  No paved road, was just a goat path to village

                        2.  There are some places you used to not be able to get to

                                    a.  Too far away, impractical to just make a trip

                                    b.  No good roads, couldn't get there without great peril

                                    c.  Would be like entering a different world

                        3.  Used to be like this getting to God

                                    a.  Only the High Priest could go into his presence

                                    b.  Could not get too close, it was dangerous

            D.  Jesus paved a road to God for us

                        1.  Any Christian can take that road at any time

                        2.  Think about how we address God in our prayers

                                    a.  Old Testament, usually address God as "Lord" or "God"

                                    b.  After ministry of Jesus, we call him, "Father"

                                                - We have access as never before

                                                - We can approach God as his children

                        3.  (Heb 4:14-16) - Reminds us we can approach him now

                                    a.  Jesus passed through the Heavens to God

                                    b.  He paved the way to God

                                    c.  We can approach him now in prayer

                        4.  Time will come when be with him in eternity, he paved the way



1.  Have you started down the road with him?  (inv)

2.  If you are feeling tired, discouraged, worn out, no one notice your effort,

            a.  Remember God

            b.  He recognizes your work, reliable, paved a way to himself

3.  (v.9) - Convinced of better things concerning you

            a.  You have already demonstrated faith before, have already ministered

            b.  You can get back up and get going again

            c.  If you have a case of the blah's, this message is for you

4.  (v.11-12) - Be diligent, be assured, take hold of the hope, God is faithful (inv)

5.  (1 Cor 15:57-58)


Small Group Notes:  When your Faith is Fatigued


Summary:  In order to keep from becoming sluggish in our faith, we need to be reminded of the character of God, that God remember and recognizes service done in his name even if no one else does, that God's promises are reliable guarantees we can invest ourselves into, that God has faithfully paved a way for us to come to him not only here, but especially in Heaven.  These encouraging reminders can help us to be firm and steadfast in our hope through any kind of difficulty or challenge.



- What tires you out the most?


Explore:   Heb 6:9-20


1.  Discuss what this passage teaches about the character of God.  How has God demonstrated these character traits? 


2.  What are some other related character traits not mentioned in this passage and how did God demonstrate them?


3.  Is God dishonest or does he lie?  If not, then why did he made a promise or an oath?  What does God want his people to understand about himself?


4.  In what way is Abraham an example to believers today?


5.  What are the reasons the readers of this passage can be diligent and assured (v.11), avoid being sluggish (v.12), and seize the hope before them (v.18)? 




6.  These Christians were fatigued in the faith.  What are some way you have or are experiencing faith fatigue?


7.  What are some of the causes of fatigue or sluggishness in your faith?


8.  What might help you when you become fatigued in your faith?  What role does scripture play in it?  Your brethren?  Spiritual practices such as prayer?  Other?___________


9.  What are some ways you might help others when they experience fatigue in their faith?