My last blog came out of the first chapter of James asking, “Have you passed your test? Today I want to ask, “Have you considered what it cost to fail a test?” While pondering that question it is important to realize that God knows every test we will face so He has already provided the answers.
Look again into the first chapter of James to see some of those answers:
Vs. 2 Count it all joy, when you face any kind of trial.
Vs. 5 If, you lack wisdom, ask God and He will provide bountifully.
Vs. 6 Always ask in faith, not doubting.
Vs. 22 Be doers of the Word and not just hearers…
No matter what test or trial you may be facing today these answers will help you pass. And God also offered additional incentive for the one who applies those answers (vs. 12). The crown of life.
However, when we do not “count it all joy” what is the cost?
If we “lack wisdom concerning a trial or test and do not ask God for wisdom” what is the cost?
If we do ask God but become “double minded” concerning the trial what is the cost?
What is the cost when we hear the answers to a test but do not apply them?
Does our failure to apply the answers cost only us as individuals or is there a ripple effect that costs our families, cities, states, and even our nation?
Take a minute and visualize this cost in dollar amounts. For example, if you do not “count it all joy” it cost you $10.00. If you fail to “ask for wisdom” when you need it the cost will be $20.00, and if you are double minded about it, “not asking in faith” the cost will be $30.00. Finally, when you hear the answer and “don’t apply (doer)” it you will be fined $50.00.
Each test can add up to be a sizeable deficit, but this financial picture doesn’t even begin to tell the story about a greater cost. We have to consider the cost of losing God’s promise of becoming complete and mature (Vs 4) when we fail to activate the answers He provides.
Think about it this way. Our failure to apply God’s ways will ultimately support the work of the enemy. We either believe God or believe the devil. If and when we believe God we do what He instructs us to do. James 2:17 says, “Faith without works is dead.” When we fail to let God be our master we are following the enemy. Is this the price we want to pay?
So, in order to prepare for your next trial/test take a look at David who fought the lion and the bear (I Samuel 17). He not only had to look out for himself but was also responsible to protect his father’s sheep. Had he failed any of these tests we would be reading a different story about him.
We can see that during these opportunities he exercised a strategy that developed his warfare abilities. Those numerous, smaller tests ultimately prepared him to stand victoriously against Goliath on behalf of an entire nation, Israel.
We all face various tests that requires protecting ourselves or those we love while being attacked by the lion or the bear. Passing these smaller tests will also prepare us for the fight against the giant that threatens our nation. So, let each opportunity serve to strengthen your faith in God and prepare you for this same kind of victory.
When I was in the army I was trained to listen and obey what I was commanded to do. Why? Those in authority knew a whole lot more than I did and if I didn’t listen I could cause my entire company to die if we were faced with war.
Have you ever thought about the fact that if you do not avail yourself to listen and obey that it could be costing more than you want to pay? Take a look around.
Give this some thought and allow it to bring the convictions necessary to be serious about fighting the good fight of faith.