Genuine faith increases when we are tempted, resist the temptation, and endure. Our glory is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Genuine faith is also increased when we come to understand that God's divine gift is Love and Forgiveness. James speaks on how our temptations do not come from God. What comes from our Heavenly Father is the Light of Christ and all good things that motivate us to love God and others.
Genuine faith stems from genuine humility. Our humility and faith is shaped from those trials we face in our lives. We are richly blessed beyond measure. The challenge is to keep ourselves humble regardless of how blessed we are. I also want to add that humility is the means in which we shore up treasures in heaven and not here on earth (see Matthew 6:19-20). It is not one of many Christian Virtues. It is the root of all Christian virtues. Humility is the root of genuine faith in God.
As you meditate on James 1:5-8, think about those times in your life where you lacked wisdom. Times when you faced difficult circumstances and were unstable and of a double-mind. What were times where God has revealed to you that there was spiritual drought in your own life? In what way has God helped you increase your faith and resilience in order to establish a strong spiritual barrier against temptation? What about having your faith replenished where faith was lacking growth?
Those individuals who are contemplating suicide are dealing with some very serious intense and distressing emotions. They feel they are at the brink of complete and total hopelessness. They feel unworthy, unlovable, and feel severely inadequate in dealing with the stress in their lives. They want the pain to go away. To them, suicide is the only answer and there is no arguing or reasoning with them.
James 1:1-4 teaches us the simple and practical truth. That through our faith, patience helps us endure suffering, and the wisdom we gain helps us make the necessary changes and adjust according to the circumstances. Yes – it is true. In the storms of life, we do not have the power and authority to change the tempest. We are empowered to adjust those sails.
For us, we feel that our zealousness slowly fades away with each inevitable struggle. If that is the case - maybe it is time to slow down, to take a sabbath, find ways to be grateful for what you have, and above all else, pray to our Heavenly Father. And, if worry and fear has weighted you down some - pray with great intensity and passion to seek God's divine grace that will renew your soul.
God is a God of possibilities and is a God of miracles. He has intervened in ways we are still not able to fully fathom. He does not just preform miracles like a magic show. Miracles occur around us daily. the miracle of a new life being born into this world. Miracle of a person suffering opioid use, or alcoholism, coming to Christ and being healed and forgiven. Strengthened to live a healthy and sober life. The miracle of a prodigal son or daughter coming back home. The miracle of science to help us provide needed medical services to those who are suffering ongoing medical issues.
We are to be an example of Christ's grace and truth. An example of His compassion and love toward others. He did not appear to bother Himself with the concerns and social upheaval of his day. He spoke truth. He was gentle. He showed mercy and grace. His light exposed the darkness without a single word. He responded from that light and truth in speaking to those hearts who were darkened with self-righteous indignation.
We are called to persevere as Christ has persevered. As Christians, we face our hardships with faithfulness that God will empower us to overcome. We are strengthened by God's grace and mercy. And, if our prayers seemed to go answered. If it seems God is silent in those times we are facing hardships. We are asked to continue to live according to His will and teachings.
Today, there are many that talk about God. This is the easy part. It is easy to declare yourself to be a Christian. It is easy to live according to your will and way of thinking. However, when we truly live by God's divine laws - that becomes quite troublesome. No wonder many Christians have watered down the Gospel message. No wonder many Christians evangelize cheap grace. No wonder has the message of the Cross been more foolishly stripped of its power and authority. For Godly men and women of integrity to live righteously and obediently to God is offensive to those who live according to the cares and dictates of their mindset.
As we emulate men of valor, righteousness, and integrity - we are emulate Christ himself. We become humble, committed, and faithful. We become Christ-like in service toward others. We strive to be above reproach. And, it is up to us to cultivate those relationships that we desire to emulate in our own lives.
God has given us every reason to experience authentic joy and happiness. We are called to be cheerful and thankful. God's blessings come upon us without measure. His love and grace causes our cups to runneth over.
Living a Christian life is also living a life of integrity. It is not easy most days. However, as we strive to live the right way, our Heavenly Father will continue to bless us and empower us to live fearlessly with bold courage.
If we view our lives as being too busy to concern ourselves with the welfare and well-being of those around us, we miss out on an opportunity to be a light in their lives.
People are watching you. They are learning how to live. You owe it to God, to yourself, and to others to live righteously and well.
Our Heavenly Father lifts up those whose hearts and prayers are turned toward Him. Are you willing to take up the challenge to turn to Him? Give Him your life in complete and total surrender? Are you ready to take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ and bear His image and likeness? If so, you are willing to step out in courageous and bold faith to live a blessed life?