WHEN WE READ the Word of God, it is easy for us to concentrate on our favorite scriptures. We love to read God’s promises, and I’m certainly thankful for the promises He has given to His children. However, there are other verses in the Word that we would just as soon skip over.
James is not my favorite book in the Bible. But there is information in this book that is necessary for our walk with God. Some verses in particular are found in James 1:2–4 (AMPC): “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.”
Our faith will never grow without being tried.
I shall never forget when I began studying the Book of James many years ago. My husband and I had just come to work for Kenneth Hagin Ministries, and I had been reading many of the faith books that Brother Hagin had written.
I was pumped up in my faith and felt there wasn’t any mountain I could not speak to and remove. Then one day I seemed impressed to begin reading James. I read verses 2 and 3 of the first chapter and kept going over them: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
I had been reading the Word and had received knowledge of the Word. Now came the time of the testing of my faith to see if I would be a doer of the Word. James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
Our faith will never grow without being tried. Faith is based on God’s Word, but proofs of faith come from living the life of faith. Our faith will be tested again and again. We do not pass the test once and it’s over for life
God never promised us a life without trials. However, He has promised in Psalm 91:15, “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”
And He has promised us in Isaiah 43:2, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
Our entire life must be based on faith in our Heavenly Father. Everything else around us may fall, but if our faith in Him stands—our life will stand.
Satan’s desire is to destroy our faith in God. Since the Garden of Eden, he has been trying to create in the mind of man the devastating thought that God does not really love us. The devil’s plot is to make it appear as if God does not hear or answer prayer.
Satan will try to kill your confidence in God. Especially when you’re going through a trial, he will come to you and say, “See—this faith stuff doesn’t work. What happened to your God? You believed, and it didn’t work.”
The enemy endeavors to get you into the arena of reasoning and doubt—doubting the provision that your Heavenly Father promised you.
Actually, the enemy wants to get our eyes off what he is doing. John 10:10 says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Satan is the destroyer—Christ is the deliverer.
Then what do we do when Satan comes in and tries to steal, kill, and destroy. We stand firm on the promises of God. I’m reminded of a story of a little boy who was leading his sister up a rugged mountain path. “Why, this isn’t a path at all!” the little girl complained. “It’s all rocky and bumpy!” To this her brother replied, “Sure! The bumps are what you climb on.”
That is the attitude we must possess. We must take the bumps of life and make them stepping-stones instead of stumbling blocks. With Christ, we can triumph over those bumps. Even in the midst of adverse circumstances, we can count it all joy, knowing that our God shall deliver us out of all our trials.
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