The Test of Faith

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James 1:2–4 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.
James is speaking to a people that had been scattered abroad, separated from one another. There seems to be a thread in the scriptures of Israel longing to be together. This may be more the desire of God than the desire of Israel.
The carnal nature of sin
++Produces death
God has called man to
++Oneness with Him
++Unity with one another
Man seems to be more concerned with what
++I am doing than
++we can do
It is amazing that though we especially in the western world value our independent freedom, yet sometimes fail to see how those freedoms are interconnected with others.
It doesn’t mean we have to fortify our personal freedom by surrounding ourselves with people with the same opinion. There are no issues when there are no issues.
What happens when people of opposing opinions have to occupy the same stage?

Count it all joy when trials come

Acts 5:41 NKJV
41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
2 Thessalonians 1:5 NKJV
5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer;
Matthew 5:12 NKJV
12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
When test we must know
Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Faith is the confident reassurance of
++God’s Presence
++God’s Power
even when the situation is uncomfortable.
Faith is not visible.

It is an inside work based upon a perceived reality.

Romans 4:3 NKJV
3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Romans 10:10 NKJV
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 3:3–4 NKJV
3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”
This perception is not baseless or having no foundation.

Everything we do and say is based upon a perceived reality.

We have a perceived reality
++About who we are
++The world around us
++Even God
Romans 1:20–23 NKJV
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
We use information whether true or untrue, real or imaginary to shape our perceived reality.

Abraham simply believed God

The choice to believe
++Changed everything
++Shaped his present
++Determined his future
Faith change how God saw him
++his importance
++his value

God changed the way he counted.

The Test of Faith

Now James tells us that the various trials we face are a test for our faith.
This test is not only
++To reveal our faith
++To cause our faith to work
When faith is required to work
++it produces patience
++Some say endurance
Activated Faith is the
++Ability to hold fast to what we have learned
++Recognition that this process to is working out something in us.
Sometimes we can be so anchored in a personal convictions or cultural narrative that we do not see the broader implications of our actions.
We are anchored
++To our way
++To our thoughts
Proverbs 21:2 NKJV
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.
Proverbs 12:15 NKJV
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.

Patience or Endurance also has a work to do in us

James 1:4 NKJV
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

We must be willing to let patience work

The work of patience
++is to make you perfect
++Is to make you complete
When it is finished you
++will lack nothing
++will stand firm
It all starts with how you
++See tribulation
++Handle conflict
++Deal with the challenges in your life
If they become a anchor of our pain or misfortune or misery the trial of our faith will not lead to the patience that make us complete. But if we can see it differently we will embrace the challenges, the conflicts with full knowledge that I need this in order to get were God want me to be.
This doesn’t mean we are living to pursue conflict (Hebrews 12:14). It is a reminder that daily we will have opportunities to grow in our faith, in our patience as God conforms us to the image of His son. If that is the true purpose of tribulation “Count it all Joy”.
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