The Gospel Exposition Blog brings you a refreshing message. Today we will look into the faith life, challenges and our reactions to them. Be blessed as you read.
Let me give a prologue. There was a certain man of God who had faith in God and an unshaking trust in His love. He was well respected in the society for his words of wisdom with which he feeds the flock as well as his soothing advice one can trust to have from him in every situation. Neighbouring towns and men of God alike know this man and his works. Things were going smoothly for him until one of his children fell seriously ill, an illness which took away the family’s joy and possessions, for they almost sold themselves to pay hospital bills. What a tragedy! This was the man who taught and advised patience and perseverance. This was the man who taught God is always good, the same man that taught and encouraged believers in grave situations. He himself is now in the shoes of those he taught and encouraged.
After few months, the child got well and continued his education and the man was grateful to God who spared his son’s life. He got more strengthened in the faith and had absolute trust in God that never fails.
From the prologue, we would see that being in the faith does not guarantee freedom from challenges. Jesus said believers will be free from challenges only when we leave this world. John 16:33. Physical happenings and tribulations can still challenge the faith, but there is a word of hope for every believer in James’ epistles.
“James 1 (NKJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”
James, in his letter, said, “be happy when you are in various challenges”, because at the end you will gain (learn) an important virtue, which is, patience. That is, since it is impossible not to face trials or challenges as long as we are in this world, we should take the blessings disguised in them when they come. Challenges force the faith life into the open, they make believers know how strong they are and gives him the ability to grow in patience. Even though no one expects challenges, and as a truth, no evil comes from God, believers are encouraged to see the positive side of every situation, taking opportunities in trials. Being patient will enable you to get the best of your challenges. But in patience, be complete.
“4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Don’t try to cut the corner, make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Let your patience grow, be steadfast, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect, needing nothing. Enough patience grows you into a being with utmost training that would be a blessing to you as well as your immediate and coming generations who might face the same or similar challenges. But if you have found a short cut, or have dropped along the way, there would not be enough words for them (enough strength to help).
However, wisdom is needed while in challenges.
“5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
One big thing that is needed in times of challenges, and every time, is wisdom. It is easy to take a wrong step and make wrong decision in distresses when one is without the wisdom of God. In times of trouble, be patient and let wisdom be your driver. Ask God for wisdom if and when you feel you’re lacking wisdom for one thing or the other as regards your situation. He’s willing to supply. Wisdom will tell you when to pray, who to consult, steps to take and so on. Wisdom is very important. But when you ask, be sure that you have received what you ask by faith. God reckons with faith, not doubt.
“6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
When you ask or pray for wisdom, and anything at all, believe that you have received them. Do not be double minded, be stable in the faith.
In addition, being patient doesn’t mean you fold your arms while expecting miracles to happen. No, it does mean that you put worry aside because there is no solution in it while you trust God alone for a changed and better situation.
As a way of conclusion, let Philippians 4:6-7 be your guide whenever you are in a challenging situation. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life. (MSG). Reader, are you in any situation bigger than you? Do not fret, do not be faithless, trust God for He is shaping something big out for you. Amen.
We believe you have been blessed by this post. Kindly share with friends and family. You can as well ask questions if you have any, and don’t forget to join us on Tuesday for another time of blessing. Thank you and God bless you.