FAITH WILL BE TESTED

FAITH WILL BE TESTED

 James 1:2-8

 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

 In the last blog we talked about counting it all joy when you fall into various trials.  When we face trials the first thing we should do is count it all joy.  Easy to type, much harder to actually do!  But the Holy Spirit through James told us to do this.  And with the command comes the ability to do the command.  We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

 James 1:2-3 is one sentence.  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  Step two in the test is, “we are to know something”.  Know that patience will be produced out of this.  But I must not neglect step one.  Joy!  The joy of the Lord will be your strength in this trial.  And it’s not about feelings.  Open your mouth with words of joy and not complaint.  And keep in mind step two while your doing this.  You know that your faith is being tested and it is producing patience.

 Patience is not just putting up with something.  It means to be consistently constant.  It means that no matter what comes your way you are not moved.  You don’t lose it.  Anger doesn’t get the best of you.  Grief is not allowed to set in.  Depression can’t find a way in to your soul.  You stay on God’s Word concerning your situation and refuse to be swayed off of the Word. 

 In times of testing it is critical what we allow to come out of our mouths.  Take the Word of God concerning your situation and speak that instead of speaking the problem or test.  Give praise and worship to the Lord!  Right in the middle of the test lift your voice to God and know patience is being produced in you right now!

 If you have a prayer request or praise report contact us by email here on our website.  I will join my faith with yours and I believe we will get results because God is good and He answers prayer.  And I would love to hear from you about what God is doing in your life and be able to praise God with you.  We love you and are praying for you every day!

 

COUNT IT ALL JOY

James 1:2-8

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

We all go through struggles in life.  There are times we are faced with extremely trying times and downright tragedy.  When we come across scripture like, “count it all joy when you fall into various trials”, it almost seems comical.  But obviously, what the Holy Spirit is saying through James here is “step one” in getting through any test or trial that crosses your path.  Even when faced with extremely trying times we are supposed to “count it all joy”.

Philippians 2:14 tells us to “do all things without complaining”.  But how many times have we complained when trials came instead of counted it all joy.  I know that I have too many times.  But let’s refuse to be condemned and be determined that when the next trial hits that we will begin to praise God in the trial, not for the trial, and count it all joy!  This is step one in getting through this situation in victory.

Remember what 2 Corinthians 2:14 says.  “Now thanks be to God who ALWAYS leads us in triumph in Christ.”  You may be in the middle of something right now that has stolen the expression of joy right out of you!  But, on purpose, begin right now to give God praise.  Allow the joy, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit to be stirred up on the inside of you.  The joy of the Lord is your strength!

The Third Person of the Godhead is on the inside of you right now.  You have more power on the inside of you than you will ever be able to use in your whole lifetime.  And He has fully equipped you to handle anything and everything that crosses your path.

In the next blog, I will go over more of James 1:2-8.  In the mean time I encourage you to read this portion of scripture many times and let the Lord minister to you.  You can also contact us at our ministry website and give us a prayer request.  We love you and are praying for you!!!

How Love Behaves – Part 6

Love does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 1 Corinthians 13:6-7

We are supposed to love the truth more than anything. You might say, “But Brother Steve, I thought we were supposed to love Jesus more than anything.” That’s what I said. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. Jesus also said, “Thy word is truth”.

Any deception, any falseness, is acting just like our enemy. God cannot lie. Satan is the father of lies. Lying is one of the worse things any Christian could do.

Love is ready to believe the best of every person. Let’s don’t be quick to participate in gossip. Don’t believe everything you hear about someone. When we walk in love we won’t be involved in this sort of behavior.

Some people are concerned that if they walk in love they are walking in weakness. But love endures everything [without weakening]. Its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances. Now that sounds pretty strong to me!

As a child of God you have the Holy Spirit living in you. He is the third person of the Godhead. You have more power on the inside of you than you’ll ever be able to use in your whole lifetime. You are fully equipped to handle everything that comes across your path.

The love of God has been poured out into your spirit by the Holy Spirit. We, as Christians, all have God’s love in us. Are we accessing that love on a continual basis?

How Love Behaves – Part 5

1 Corinthians 13:5 Love takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

Now this is when we really find out how strong we are in our love walk. Unless you are really established in your love walk, when someone does you wrong, it’s not easy to pay no attention to it.

Too many times what we do is take that wrong that’s been done to us and put it in our “been done wrong” account. And we will keep that account active for years.

But again, love takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. This doesn’t mean you won’t feel anything when you have been done wrong. But you don’t have to act the way you feel. You can be pretty upset and nobody knows it.

Then you get in the secret place alone with God and allow the Holy Spirit to take care of the hurt. And you don’t want to go in there bad mouthing the one who has hurt you. This is not tattle tale time. You go in there and pray for them.

Jesus told us to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. (Luke 6:27-28)

Faith works by love. And for our faith to work properly we will have to walk out these scriptures. Not just know them. But if we will just yield to the Holy Spirit, He will help us.

How Love Behaves – Part 4

Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way. 1 Corinthians 13:5

In the last three articles we have been looking at the love chapter, in the Amplified translation. In verse 5 of first Corinthians 13 we see the Holy Spirit conveying a strong message to us. Love does not insist on its own rights or its own way.

It is in this area that the home gets in so much trouble. Husband and wife insist on their own way and the children learn from them. This carries on over into the church. If we don’t get our way then we will just go to another church. Never mind that God has called us to a specific church.

Spouse will divorce spouse simply because they think they have a right to. Yet the Holy Spirit says that love does not insist on its own rights. People leave churches simply because the church they just knew God had called them to is not doing things their way. But God says love does not insist on its own way.

Let’s examine our hearts. Let’s examine our motives. Let’s get into the secret place with God and allow the Holy Spirit to send in a probe deep into our spirits and show us where changes need to be made. Be determined to be a man or woman of God and make the changes necessary to line up with this verse.

Remember that faith works by love. (Galatians 5:6) And love does not insist on its own way. If your faith has not been getting any results check out your love walk. Read all of 1 Corinthians 13 and see if your love walk lines up with this chapter. The Holy Spirit is ready to help us make the changes.

How Love Behaves – Part 3

Love is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 1 Corinthians 13:4

There is a big difference between being boastful and giving your testimony. The definition of “boast” according to Webster’s dictionary is “to talk about deeds, abilities, etc., either ones own or those of someone close to one, in a manner showing too much pride and satisfaction”.

In the World Book Dictionary it says, “to praise oneself”. Pride comes before destruction. We need to change. Sometimes we need to make some little changes; little adjustments in our thinking, attitude, the way we live and do things. Sometimes we need major adjustments. Sometimes we have to do a 180.

And the ability to perceive and make these changes makes all the difference in your ability to receive from God. How much you can receive is going to determine how quickly you develop. The degree of your humility will determine your usefulness to God!

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. (1 Peter 5:5-6)

Without God’s grace can we be a true success? The humble get the grace. The more proud you are the more full of yourself you are. The more full of yourself you are the less full of God you are. By God’s grace you have redemption, wisdom, favor, strength, innovative ideas, ability, anointing, and on and on.

The opposite of humility is pride. The most proud is the most blind. When you run out of humility that is as far as God can use you. Pride is the nature of the flesh. When you realize you are talking about yourself stop and ask yourself why. Are you being led by the Holy Spirit to do this?

This does not mean you can never talk about yourself or your achievements. Just check inside yourself first to see what the Holy Spirit would have you say. Here are three evidences of pride.

Pride is not a good listener/Pride is an interrupter.

Some people seem to be listening but really they are thinking about what they are going to say next and when they speak, it will be in the form of an interruption. I’ve done a bit of counseling and I noticed a large percent of the time counseling was not being received because they would not listen.

Talking about yourself all the time.

Are you the subject of all your conversations?

Pride has to be noticed.

Does the music have to stop because you entered the room? Pride also shows up in embarrassment, hurt feelings and anger. How well do you handle being ignored? Do you have to be center of attention? Do you have to tell your experience all the time?

When we walk in love we will not be boastful. We will not think of ourself more highly than we ought to.

How Love Behaves – Part 2

Love does not envy.

“Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy”.

(1 Corinthians 13:4 AMP) The definition of envy is “a feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages, possessions, etc.” How many times have we seen this, even in our churches?

If I am walking in love I will be thrilled when I see you excel. Anything less is ungodly. What is ungodly? Well, what is uncola? Uncola is a soda that doesn’t have cola in it. When our actions do not have any God in them we are acting ungodly.

We are all called to minister to somebody and we will not be able to minister effectively if we have envy and jealousy. The Holy Spirit tells us in Matthew and Mark that Jesus was handed over to Pilate because of envy.

The Pharisees and Sadducees could not handle Jesus getting the crowds. Jesus was having multitudes come to Him to hear and be healed. There religious leaders were so envious of this they began planning to kill Jesus.

If the religious leaders had been walking in love they would have been thrilled that people by the masses were being healed. They could have humbled themselves and got with Jesus to find out where they were missing it in this area.

Envy starts in our thinking. We begin thinking why does Sister So and So always get to sing. Why doesn’t Pastor let me sing as much as her. I can sing as good as she can.

You will have to cast down those envious imaginations with the words of your mouth. But even if you have not been effective at walking in love recently, do not allow yourself to be condemned!

Confess your sin and God is faithful and just to forgive you of your sin and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) Then go on and don’t let the devil or yourself condemn you because God counts you as His very own child and remembers your sin no more!

A house that has been condemned has been declared unfit for use. So you must not allow yourself or anyone else to declare you unfit for use. God still has great things in store for you!