Living Faith

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,  being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (Jam.1:2-8 NIV)

People these days are so outspoken about their faith. They explain all the crazy things they do as the outcome of their faith. Faith means different things to different people, nevertheless every human being who breathes operates on faith. The object of their faith may vary.

As the Bible defines it in Hebrews 11:1,

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

The object of a Christian’s faith is Jesus Christ.

Faith is more than mere intellectual assent, it results in corresponding action or behavior. Faith that is alive moves one to action. If there is no visible transformation in the life of the one who professes to have faith, his/her faith is a dead one. Faith is like a seed planted in the ground, which, if not sprouting, growing, flowering and producing fruit over a period of time, is dead.

Living Faith Rejoices in Trials

James is writing to encourage the Christians of Jewish origin who were scattered all over the world. Since their faith in Christ has effected a change of behavior in them they were being subject to opposition and persecution from their own community. This situation is not uncommon even today in many countries around the world. James suggests that Christian faith is practical and behavior oriented. He raises a few issues in his letter. According to him, Christian faith is a living faith. It is intellectual assent plus action. You do certain things because of your belief and intellectual assent. It is a faith that works.

Attitude in Trials

It may seem crazy, for those who do not have faith, to rejoice when you are in trouble. First of all, it is humanly impossible to do so unless there is some mighty reason behind. Here, there is a purpose with which God is permitting trials in the life of a Christian, the result of which is profitable.  You don’t fake the real joy, it comes from the source of joy – Jesus the Savior who suffered for your sake. The joy of the Lord is our strength in trials (Neh.8:10).

Apostle Paul had more trials than any other Christian, perhaps (2Cor. 11: 22-29). Yet, he confidently said nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom.8:35-39).

Advantage in Trials

The Bible says that trials in a Christian’s life are a test of his/her faith. It is profitable because it helps to develop endurance. Trained in endurance we become perfect and mature in our character.

God allows His children to grow through testing with the purpose of perfecting us in godliness. One has to successfully pass every test before he/she can graduate from the school of suffering. God did the same thing with the man Jesus (Phil.2:6-9Heb.5:7-10).

Assistance in Trials

It is humanly impossible to have the right attitude in suffering and grow to maturity by our own strength. We need God’s grace and wisdom to go through it. God knows it and He is promising His assistance in our times of trials. James 1:5 instructs us to ask God for His wisdom. He will see us through as we depend on Him (Heb.4:14-16).

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