James 1:2-8, 22-25 (NKJV)
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.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
- We all want to be blessed and favoured by the Lord
- But why is it that we experience difficulties –
- Troubles in our lives are often opportunities to test our faith
- One needs to persevere / endure / be patient through the trial without wavering on the things of God
- That testing of the faith is what leads to spiritual maturity, where we move from spiritual milk to meat
- Once we are strong in faith / we can fully trust in God no matter the circumstance, then we can lack nothing.
How do we endure / persevere / be patient when we are in a crisis?
- Ask God for wisdom , as he will give generously without blame or rebuke
- Ask with faith without doubting God’s willingness to help
- A doubting person is double minded and cannot expect to receive anything from the Lord.
- They have divided loyalties between God and the World
- The person will always be unstable in what they do
What next after asking and hearing from the Lord?
- Hear what God says and implement exactly as said. HEAR and Do the Word of God
- Let’s not just hear and deceive ourselves that we know better
- God’s ways are perfect and will set us free
- Those who obey are blessed and favoured by God
Where am I getting all this? Does it work or is it theory?
From my experience
- It is easy to come to God when one is in a crisis. That is most of us at Lord’s Favour Ministries.
- It is also easier to follow Gods instruction when we are in crisis because we are desperate. Though those that lack wisdom will do even more bizarre things from witch doctors.
- But what about when things are good? It is most difficult and that is where people lose focus and the enemy defeats us.
What does this all mean according to the Word of God?
- According to Psalms 11:10, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
- And that our faith should not be on the wisdom of men but in the power of God according to 1 Corinthians 2:5
- Mans ways leads to death according to Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25
- Only Gods counsel shall prevail according to Proverbs 19:21
- God does not listen to those who disobey Him according to Proverbs 28:9 and that in fact says that fools despise wisdom – Proverbs 1:7
- Romans 14:23 goes further to say that what is not of faith is sin and in Hebrews 11:6 that it is impossible to please God without faith
What is this faith?
- Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen according to Hebrews 11:1 and numerous examples of faith are given in Hebrews 11 such as that of Abraham and Sarah where they were promised a child even though they were past child bearing age. But they had confidence in God of the promise of a child and a great nation even though the circumstances displayed the contrary.
- The Holy Spirit concludes for us in James 2 that – Faith without works is dead. That is , it is futile to expect anything from God if we can’t prove to Him our faith / trust in Him through how we act / behave / react to His Word in our lives.
How do we acquire this faith?
- According to Romans 10:17, faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God
When we hear the Word of God, we should believe it and act in a manner that proves that we trust in it. God wants us to act or behave in a manner that in fact proves that we have faith / that we totally trust in Him and Him alone – as he is a jealous God who would not want to share His Glory with anyone or anything.
The Word of God in James 1 therefore says that when we are confronted with a situation in life such as a crisis, it may be a way of our faith in God being tested to ascertain whether we actually stand with Him or with the world. If we are for God, then we should seek His wisdom and counsel on the matter, accept and implement His counsel and that we shall be blessed for it.
But is there an example in the Bible that confirms such a conclusion?
1 Chronicles 14:2 , 8-17
2 So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, for his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel.
8 Now when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went out against them. 9 Then the Philistines went and made a raid on the Valley of Rephaim. 10 And David inquired of God, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?”
The Lord said to him, “Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand.”
11 So they went up to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there. Then David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore they called the name of that place Baal Perazim.[e] 12 And when they left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire.
13 Then the Philistines once again made a raid on the valley. 14 Therefore David inquired again of God, and God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; circle around them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. 15 And it shall be, when you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” 16 So David did as God commanded him, and they drove back the army of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer. 17 Then the fame of David went out into all lands, and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.
The story of David
- David is anointed King and is successful
- Trouble comes his way
- He inquires of the Lord
- He is successful and
- Gives back the glory to God as the one that won the battle
- Trouble comes yet again, he inquires of the Lord again
- But given a different answer this time — we should never assume Gods ways
- Man shall not live on bread alone , but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of god – Mathew 4:4
- He implements as God says and is triumphant
- God blesses David more, with fame and the nations fear him.
How do we get the favour and blessings of God in our lives?
I will leave you with 2 questions:
- Do you have a true relationship with God?
- Do we totally without a doubt trust in God?
- Establishing a true relationship with the Lord
- We always seek His counsel and wisdom in all situations whether in good times or bad, in crisis or success in everyday situations. How it was at the beginning with Adam and Eve in the garden before they sinned.
- Relationship is different from fellowship. Relationship is from the heart.
To truly trust in God, have total faith in God and in His ways
- That means forsaking the wisdom of men and the world. – Cursed is the man who trusts in man – Jeremiah 17:5
- We need to accept, do and persevere in Gods ways as the issues that arise in our lives are at times to test us – to confirm whether or not we truly trust in God
- The way we react or what we do will bring to light what is truly in our hearts
- At times this endurance in times of crisis is to prepare us for the more difficult test of trusting in God in times of success
- It is always easier to fall short / disobey / ignore Gods wisdom when we are in success than when we are in crisis
- According to Mathew 9:29, I believe that God tells us that according to our faith , let it be, and according to Luke 7:50 that our faith has saved us and our faith just needs to be as little as a mustard seed – Luke 17:6
- Deuteronomy 30:19 concludes for us:
- I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore chose life…
Jeremiah 17:10 – NLT
But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.