The Problem of the Loss of Faith

Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we ponder our lives as seek to understand the problem of the loss of faith. 

And now, sit back and listen to today's message. 

The Problem of the Loss of Faith 

" . . . Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Mark, Chapter 9, Verse 24. 

Excerpt from James' "The Variety of Religious Experience" chronicles the case of man who had long
been troubled by doubts and finally lost his faith. I include it below for illustrative purposes. 

The French philosopher Jouffroy : "I shall never forget that night of December in which the veil that
concealed from my own incredulity was torn. I hear again my steps in that narrow naked chamber
where long after the hour of sleep had come, I had the habit of walking up and down. I see again
that moon, half-veiled by clouds, which now and again illuminated the frigid window-panes. The
hours of the night flowed on and I did not note their passage. Anxiously I followed my thoughts, as
from layer to layer they descended towards the foundation of my consciousness and, scattering one
by one all the illusions which until then had screened its windings from my view, made them every
moment more clearly visible. 

"Vainly I clung to these last belief as a shipwrecked sailor clings to the fragments of his vessel,
vainly frightened at the unknown void in which I was about to float, I turned with them towards my
childhood, my family, my country, all that was dear and sacred to me: the inflexible memory, beliefs,
it forced me to let go of everything. The investigations went on more obstinate and more severe as
it drew near its term, and did not stop until the end was reached. I knew then that in the depth of my
mind nothing was left that stood erect. 

"This moment was a frightful one; and when towards morning, I threw myself exhausted on my bed,
I seemed to feel my earlier life, so smiling and so full, go out like a fire, and before me another life
opened, somber and unpeopled, where in the future I must live alone, alone with my fatal thought
which had exiled me thither , and which I was tempted to curse. The days which followed this
discovery were the saddest of my life." 

Brothers and sisters, today we consider the problem losing faith. This is a devastating situation for
it involves eternal survival. The loss of faith is tantamount to the loss of the divine spirit just as
joining with the divine spirit is tantamount to the eternal survival of faith. Once oneness with the
spirit occurs, then has our faith become loss-proof, for we become a part of God and God becomes
a part of us. We become eternal. We know that we receive salvation by believing wholeheartedly in
Jesus, by our faith. 

What are some of the factors that go into the eternal loss of faith-the eternal loss of the divine spirit
from the soul and mind of a mortal? This is a difficult problem to consider because all mortals are
at risk of the loss of their faith who have not joined in oneness with the Father's spirit through Jesus.
We are all free will creatures and as devastating as it is to lose our faith, we can do so by a
wholehearted choice. 

What happens to make someone lose their faith; and what are some safeguards against this
devastating loss? In our mortal life we are material beings with a spiritual potential, our souls, and
it is our souls that must begin the never-ending process of actualization. And this spiritual growth
of our souls unfolds only in response to our unwavering faith. We know that we are mortal; we also
know that we have a desire to survive this mortal life, at least most of us who have not lost their
faith. The lost of faith is tantamount to declining survival, to surrendering to the doubts of the
material mind where the recreation of us takes place by the Father's spirit. 

Faith operates with potential spiritual reality. Our spiritual selves are potential reality, as contrasted
with our material selves. Our material selves are absolutely real to us, while our potential spiritual
selves are not. And no matter what happens in the material world, with the exception of faith, our
potential spiritual selves do not intervene. No matter how much we suffer or how agonizing the pain,
we are not delivered from the material world. We are assaulted all of our lives by material ups and
downs of life. We sustain all kinds of losses, and we are heartbroken by them. These losses and these
affliction put a sincere strain upon our faith. 

We instinctively look for faith to deliver us from the smothering and withering effects of suffering.
We can't sleep; can't think at times, and even if we could, we could not think through such a
problem, we can only swing in the wind of agony suspended by our faith while the material life runs
its course. These constant blows destroy material faith and the intellectual foundation of faith in
spiritual realities. It is a tough educational experience, but is the only way to demonstrate that faith
though it appears in the material mind is the province of the spiritual. The fact that spiritual faith
remains when material and intellectual faith is destroyed is proof that it is spiritual. We can now
begin to see what happens when we base our faith upon the material and the intellectual. It is at this
junction where the material and intellectual faith is destroyed that we face a turning point. We follow
the urge of faith in his minds and souls until its reaches the border of the spiritual citadel or we can
let our faith die with the destruction of our intellectual and material hope. It is at such a time we
should heed the warning that a mind solely occupied with material and intellectual reality is doomed
to become increasingly material and lose its spiritual potential and thus its faith. We cannot deny that
we are material beings, but we must always remember that safety lies in activating our faith through
these material problems rather than stopping at them. 

The loss of faith is an irreversible state when it finally occurs. This state is pronounced when no
amount of time passing will change the attitude of the mortal towards the things of faith. Ten years
from now or an hundred or hundred thousand, or million or all eternity will not change the attitude
of the one who has let his faith die. The values of faith and the subsequent meanings of faith are
spiritual, and the greatest of all spiritual values is the heavenly Father revealed to us through His Son
as Love. Faith in this divine love is the secret to maintaining and sustaining faith. For only divine
love has the power to nourish faith and to keep it pure. 

None of us are exempt from this severe test of survival: to maintain our faith when all the material
and intellectual things fail. The passing of this test demonstrates a survival character; the failure of
this test confirms the opposite-a character of nonsurvival value. Every mortal must somehow find
a way to remain in touch with the heavenly Father as he goes through the trials and tribulations of
this short life, doing the best that he can with it. But the final test of a survival character is the
attitude of "not my will but your will be done" in every crisis of the mortal life. This is just another
way of saying, "that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life:
and I will raise him up at the last day." Thus the surest safeguard against losing our spiritual faith is
to believe wholeheartedly in Jesus. This gives us hope and prevents us from becoming weary and
succumbing to the doubt of the material mind, which can eventuate in the loss of our faith and thus
our salvation. 

This concludes today's message on the understanding the problem of the loss of faith. We hope you
find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day. Until next time,
this is Dr. James Perry. 

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       By Dr. James  Perry       
 Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done!
 The Problem of the Loss of Faith