Most of us face some kind of a trial or temptation daily. Passing or failing these tests will either reveal our strengths or our weaknesses. Though we all experience times of weakness it is important to know how to exercise appropriately in order to get strong. The truth is we never have to fail a test again. Today we will examine what the Word says about being strong no matter the trial or temptation.
In James 1: 2-4 it says, “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when various trials light upon you, 3 knowing that the proving of your faith produces endurance (patience). 4 And the endurances must attain its purpose, so that you would be mature and complete and not falling short in any way.
- [vs.2] “Consider” (some translations say count) means to stop, pay attention to, and get a grip on the situation in order to understand what direction to go before you do or say anything.
- [vs.2] “Joy” is a calm delight that focuses on the idea that God can do something good in the midst of whatever the circumstance.
- [vs.2] “Various” trials means many different types of trials.
- [vs.3] “Proving” of your faith (Standing with God and His ways)…
- [vs.3] “produces” (The results of exercise.) endurance (patience).
- [vs.4] The “purpose” for this endurance is to bring us to maturity when it comes to trusting GOD in every circumstance.
Note that while in the midst of these trials we are standing before a judge and a jury.
- God is the judge. He already knows where each of us are.
- There are usually others who are watching too. They represent the jury along with ourselves. Our strengths and/or weaknesses are made clear.
Every test will measure our performance, suitability for the task, and our strength in God.
Simply, what have your test been revealing in the area of:
Ex. Your bills exceed your income due to some medical expenses incurred after an auto accident that put you out of work for a month. Do you go into worry mode or faith mode?
Worry mode expresses a trust in your own ability to meet your needs.
Faith mode expresses a trust in God that no matter what comes along He is able to take care of you.
Ex. You and your husband fight over what you watch on TV. In order for each of you to accommodate your own desires you are spending more and more time apart. He stays in the living room to watch sports on the big screen and you seem to be tucked away in the bedroom watching home remodeling shows. He seems to be content with this arrangement.
Do you go into worry mode or faith mode?
Worry mode expresses that you will have to do one of two things.
- Not rock the boat.
- Watch sports with him to spend time together…boring!
Faith mode demonstrates that your trust is in a God who takes care of your every need.
When practicing the command to “consider it all joy when you face your trials” you establish the fact that God could/would do something good no matter the nature of the trial. This produces a strength that empowers you to patiently wait or endure the trial and also allows God to accomplish His purpose. A stronger trust in Him.
Faith or trust in God oftentimes means we have to seek His wisdom. And that’s not only okay, it’s required!
- [vs.5] But if anyone of you “lacks wisdom, he must continually ask from God”, the One Who gives generously, without reproaching, and it will be given to him.
- [vs.6] But he must always “ask in faith without doubting”: for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, being moved by the wind and blown here and there.
- [vs.7] For that man must not expect to receive anything from the Lord,
- [vs.8] since he is a double-minded man, unsettled in all his ways.”
When asking for wisdom regarding finances His wisdom may be to just pray regarding provision. It may be to go out to find another job and/or to reduce your expenditures for a season.
When asking for wisdom regarding relationships His wisdom may be to compromise or negotiate in order to meet the needs of each person involved.
However He leads it will always be for the good. So ask!
Kenneth E. Hagin eluded to a prophecy in his book, The Coming Restoration that sums this message up.
“Yea, saith the Lord of hosts, do not expect the enemy to come in like a flood and overtake you; but expect the glory of God to rest upon you. Expect the Spirit of 32 God that resides within you to function as the Holy Scriptures declare that He will function. And He’ll rise up in you and give illumination unto your mind and direction unto your spirit. For it is written, “He’ll show you things to come.” And you’ll not ever be left in the dark, for you’re not children of the darkness; you’re children of the light! And you’ll walk in the light every single day. And the work of God shall be accomplished. And the glory of the Lord shall shine upon thee. And oftentimes men—that is, natural men, men in darkness—will see the glow upon thee. They’ll even see the glory upon thee. They’ll even see the light shining forth from thee, and come and walk with thee and be blessed forevermore.”
Why don’t we ask?
WE ARE LAZY
WE MAKE EXCUSES
WE ARE CREATURES OF HABIT
WE THINK THINGS ARE GOOD ENOUGH
Remember that we have been told to ask! Let Him turn your weaknesses into strengths and cause you to mature and grow in trust towards Him.
Also, know that when you have passed one test other trials and temptations will come along to give additional opportunities for you to exercise your faith. Even a body builder exercises once they are strong.
Let’s get to work and become strong in the Lord.