Faith-Full

11 08 2015

Although the dictionary defines faith as confident trust, the world defines it as a nebulous belief in “something out there” – whether it’s God, or Buddha, or aliens…whatever.

But the Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Why is this? As I read through James, I realized that many of the things that are commanded in the book cannot be done if I do not implicitly trust God.

When trials come, I will not shout, “Hurrah! God’s going to do mighty things, and I’m going to get to see Him at work.”

I will credit chance or luck for the good things that come my way.

Anger will come easily when others infringe on my rights. As a result, I will do some really ugly things – rampant wickedness, the Bible calls it – in an effort to maintain my position.

Every effort will be made to hoard all that I have. After all, It’s mine…get a job!

Without real trust in God, I will fall into the world’s belief that only those who have status, riches, or renown have value; and that I will only be a “somebody” by rubbing shoulders with them, or by becoming one of them. Heaven forbid I should be identified with the “wrong crowd.”

Consequently, I will scratch and claw my way to the top, stepping on others along the way. I will be unable to encourage or support others in my field, lest they gain an advantage and surpass me on the ladder of success.

Trust enables me to rest in the knowledge that God will avenge my adversaries on my behalf. Without trust, my belief is that I must seek revenge.

Unless I trust God, forgiveness is impossible.

These are just a few of the topics covered in the book of James. As you can see, without faith, we will fail in our attempts to do more and try harder.

Thus, our focus when we travel through James must be on learning to trust God. We must be able to rely on Him completely, or fail utterly.

This begs the question:

How do I learn to trust God?

The only way I know is by experience others’ and my own, and from my memories. This is what the Bible is all about: stories of people’s experiences with Him.

Paul said, “Forgetting the past, I press on toward the mark of the upward call in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians) Time and again I’ve heard people use this verse to say, “You need to forget everything that happened to you, and everything you used to do. That’s not important anymore. It’s only today that matters.”

To a certain extent, they are right. If we live in the past with unresolved anger, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness, we will be short-circuited and unable to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What Paul was stating is that he did not allow his past to define him. Yes, he used to be a Pharisee, harshly judging people. He had been transformed by the Lord’s hand.

Yes, he used to arrange to have people killed for following Jesus. He doesn’t continue to murder.

These are things he used to do, but now he was a new creation in Christ. The old was gone, the new had come.

On the other hand, God told the Israelites countless times to “Remember when I brought you out of Egypt. Remember when I parted the Red Sea. Remember when I took out your enemies…

“Remember.”

It would seem that our memory concerning God’s work in our lives is a big deal to God. Why is that? Well, this is where “theory meets reality” and experiences happen.

The same is true in our history. When I look back and remember times when I needed a home and God provided, I experienced Him as my Provider.

When I had to go to court because of an abusive husband, I experienced God as my Defender.

When I was in the hospital, dying from a bone marrow disease and God healed me, I experienced Him as my Healer.

When I was committing adultery and God continued to pursue me, I experienced Him as compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy and faithfulness.

It is in remembering that I discover that I’ve had many chances to experience the truth of Who God really is.

Today when my faith is weak, I have only to look back and remember all that God has done for me. Recounting the ways that He has been faithful, helps me to be Faith-Full!

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10 responses

11 08 2015
nopew

Remember God’s work, not our mistakes is a recipe for growing faith. And Paraclete works with us and for us to live that way, so we don’t have to depend just on human memory as holy reminder stands beside us!
Peace

13 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

11 08 2015
Wendy L. Macdonald

Amen, Tami. Remembering fuels our faith.
Blessings ~ Wendy

11 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

He has been so good to us…and will continue thus forever. Woohoo!
\o/

11 08 2015
Pure Glory

Thank you God for always meeting me in my need. Your mercy and love are exceedingly great! What full faith! Thanks Tami for sharing!

11 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

🙂
\o/

11 08 2015
wordforlifesays

BEAUTIFUL! When I look back and see all that He has done in my life, it helps me to be FAITH-FULL, too! Many blessings to you!

11 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for your kind comment! Blessings to you as well.
\o/

11 08 2015
birdieklh

Amen! That is exactly what the Israelites did . . . the Psalms of Ascents gives us that very clear picture, and it is the way my husband and I face the difficult times . . . we grab hold of all God has brought us through in the past and speak of His mighty power,love and grace. It does give us that boost to continue forward through anything, knowing His Faithfulness!

11 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

Sometimes it’s those memories alone that keep me going. 😉
\o/

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