Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Your Faith-Life Is Showing


February 21, 2023 
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.  James 1:2-4 The Message

Your Faith-Life Is Showing

We have all had tests and challenges coming at us from all sides for the past three years. I love this translation from The Message of these verses.  With all the challenges and unknowns of the world right we have faced and are still facing, we are being forced to live our faith out loud, and our true colors will show. The world has been watching, and will keep watching, to see how we weather this storm, and some of them are even finding comfort in a faith that they have been ignoring for a while.  Are fear and anxiety winning the battle of your mind right now?  When trials come our way, we have false expectations that God ought to take them away quickly. After all, we have faith – so that is supposed to make it all go away right? The longer we are in a trial, we may actually question God and His love for us. Even David did this very thing when he was literally running for his life as Saul tried to kill him. 

America has been a blessed country, but with everything that has happened in the past three years and all the things that continue to happen, it feels like our very existence is threatened. For many of us, we are grappling with how to deal with this sudden (but not really) shift in our lives.   Even now our God is in control and on His throne.  Even when the most threatening trials come our way, we should consider it as a sheer gift 

Unfortunately, we have to pass through the tough things in life to get to the other side. We can ask God to take away the trial, but trials, like viruses, have to run their course. God still has a plan when the world seems to spin out of control. He has a plan for us in the middle of the out of control world. Our faith on display can be a comfort to a faithless world.  In the midst of trials, especially ones felt by the whole world collectively, people who have turned away from God may turn back to Him. Others who have never known Him will seek Him. Family relationships may be reconciled. Bonds will be strengthened as we realize the valuable gifts that God has given us in one another. 

It is in times like this that we, as a community of faith, need to be there for each other, and for those who reach out to us.  Our individual faith on display and our faith as a whole body of Christ cannot waver in the eyes of a stricken world. We can be the example and lead them to Him by showing our faith in an all-powerful God in the most uncertain of times. 

Our God has already won our battles and we can trust Him. The rest of the world needs to see our faith lived out in every way.  When we are under pressure, or in the middle of a trial, we can know that God will see us through to the other side. We may have no idea what the other side looks like, but God does, and He will use this trial to do its work in us, make us mature and well developed, and not deficient in any way.  Live your faith out loud, showing your trust in a God who never fails. 


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