Jesus was teaching in Capernaum, a town in Galilee, when a large crowd gathered to hear Him.  He was in a house which quickly became crowded to the extent that no one else could enter.  Four men arrived, carrying their paralyzed friend on a stretcher.  When they could not get close to Jesus, they took their friend onto the roof and lowered him to the place where Jesus was standing.  Jesus rewarded their faith by healing the paralyzed man.  This story illustrates the importance of persistence in our faith.  We should not be discouraged when we encounter obstacles in life; rather, we must persevere to overcome such obstacles.  This story tells us four qualities we need when we encounter obstacles.

I. WE NEED OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME  (vs. 2)
     A. Obstacles Are Inevitable  
     B. Obstacles Provide Challenges & Opportunities

II. WE NEED FRIENDS TO HELP US OVERCOME OBSTACLES (vs. 3)
     A. Sometimes We Need To Give Help To Our Friend
     B. Sometimes We Need To Receive Help From Our Friends

III. WE NEED DETERMINATION TO HELP US OVERCOME OBSTACLES  (vs. 4)
     A. We Need Vision
     B. We Need Action
     C. We Need Wisdom

IV. WE NEED FAITH TO HELP US OVERCOME OBSTACLES (vs. 12)
     A. Our Faith Gives Us Greater Power
     B. Our Faith Gives Us Greater Goals
     C. Our Faith Gives Us Greater Hope

THIS WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT
:
How can I obtain a more persistent faith?
    (1)  For this sermon series on “faith”, begin reading the many stories and Scriptures about faith in the Bible (a topical Bible and/or concordance would be helpful as would a cross-reference study Bible on Hebrews 11).
    (2) Think of some areas in your life that have presented obstacles to your faith, and develop some strategies to overcome those obstacles.
    (3) Set some specific action goals for overcoming the obstacles in your life.