James 1:3-4 The Message (MSG)
Faith Under Pressure
2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Confrontations invoke the fight or flight mechanism. Daily I scroll through Facebook reading various posts from family and friends. Quite often people vent using social media as a cathartic method. Even from myself there are moans and groans that pour out all the issues of life which can be too much for the heart to bear. As a result people either draw closer to God, question Him or rebuke Him. Sometimes I have to ask myself the question, “Does God even owe me anything?” The answer is, No God doesn’t. God takes a bad rep for the problems we must face. There is a river that flows out of the heart and it travels directly to the mind. Once the mind is contested with passion all power lies in what we say. Do we speak from our deceitful hearts? Or do we accept the challenge to ride the storm with courage and praise? I say we should hold our heads high and praise God through the storms because God has granted us the gift to overcome any adversity we must face in order to grow stronger in Him and walk in fullness of our purpose.
Easier said than done but, understand this: There is purpose in your problem. Whenever I am faced with a crisis I pay special attention to my reactions. How I react displays the level of my faith. It is easy to trust God when all is well but, when faced with difficulty many of us will find a hole to crawl into or we look for others to join our party of misery. There is so much power in the unseen realm. I know this is true because I consider my own weaknesses when I am faced with the issues of life. When men have been rude towards me I internalized their behavior but, what I discovered that was most interesting is that internally I mirrored their ignorance prior to the unfortunate exchange. I’ve now come to the conclusion that I did not love myself and it was God who allowed me to endure the mistreatment of others so that I could see that I was the thief of my own joy. I didn’t stop there though I began to see all of my troubles in this light so that I could better understand the level of my faith. Pandemonium can sometimes trick us into thinking that the world owes us something. I thought this way for a very long time. I tripped and stumbled as a result by blaming every person and thing outside of myself. What bothers me is this: I am not the only one and I know the solution lies in where we place our trust.
God delivers me from what I am not able to understand and I trust that He is a way maker. Whatever I must face is with a purpose to build who Christ needs me to be. Spiritual wellness comes when we trust that God has a plan. God never promised that we would not face dark moments. In fact, God ensures us we will be challenged with much adversity more so when we decide to pick up our cross and follow Christ. I pray for your encouragement through the fire because it will most certainly make you stronger and force you out of focusing solely on what you can’t control. Speak power to what you must face and get excited knowing that you have already won the battle. Also, be mindful of the tricks of the serpent. The devil will always be there to test our faith in God. Don’t let your faith fall to the wayside. Faith is there so we can grow stronger in trusting God. With earnest intentions I urge for you to smile and give thanks. Giving thanks to God combats the devil and his tricks.
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Walk by Faith and Not by Sight,