James asks us to count it all joy when we fall into various trials. No temptation to do something evil is ever sent from God, but they come to kill, steal, and destroy. But of course our Lord wants us to overcome and be stronger by relying on him. Our ability to draw on the strength of joy is based on what we know about our God. If we know He is with us and helps us to overcome then we can be patient in the midst of our test. Patience is a fruit of our relationship with the Holy Spirit. We can bear up under the load of a temptation and know that it is going to pass.
James tells us that patience will put us in position to lack nothing we will need to overcome. Jesus was tempted in every way like we are, yet without sin. When He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Satan told him to turn stones into bread, but Jesus did not yield but quoted the book of Deuteronomy. If Jesus had to quote the Bible to overcome temptation, then maybe we must do the same. In a temptation then we must know something of the Word of God to speak against our enemies. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit and we must give him something to work with on our behalf. Our enemy has no answer for God’s Word.
Pastor RobbieRead More
James the brother of Jesus, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, sends us a very difficult task. It is very foreign to our thinking in this generation, and perhaps to every generation. To have joy in the midst of a trial, temptation or test, is not the way we normally think, but is what James 1:2 asks us to do. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” Joy is the foundational fruit of our relationship with the Holy Spirit in a trial. We need to know some things about joy, if it is so important.
Where does joy come from, what does it do, and what is it? The first Christmas tells us where it comes from. The angels told the shepherds that they brought glad tidings of great joy about the birth of the King of Kings. Joy comes from the heart of God. That may be shocking for some because they see God as an old sour puss never satisfied about anything but punishing some law breaker. Joy is a concept in the mind and heart of God and begins in our mind the same way. It is birthed there by God when we believe what he says. Romans 15:13 states “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.”
Joy comes from believing what God has said about the covenant He desires to establish with us. Zephaniah shows us that the Father loves us joyfully and rejoices over us with singing. Which brings us to the next question, what does joy do? Joy does what Zephaniah tells us that God does, rejoice. Joy brings the emotional lift we need in a trial to celebrate even before the trial is over because God is bringing us through. It is not though a fixed plastic grin that has no relation to reality. What is joy? Nehemiah said the joy of the Lord is our strength. Joy is strength, so James knows if we are going to be victorious in our trial we must count it joy. More to Come!
Pastor RobbieRead More
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
and rests his confidence upon Him.
He shall be like a tree planted by the waterside,
that stretches its roots along the stream.
When heat comes it has nothing to fear;
its spreading foliage stays green.
In a year of drought it feels no care,
and does not cease to bear fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 neb
There are times in our lives when things seem dry. We are not hearing God as we are accustomed to. The evidences we once knew of to indicate God’s presence with us are gone. Pastor Bob Yandian spoke of this during Jubilee. He spoke of the four different soils that received the seed of God’s Word. He said that the fourth type of soil, the “good ground”, the disciple of Jesus, will experience these times in their life.
The fire of the Lord is a consuming fire. When the heat comes we must embrace the Word of God and the work of the Spirit in our lives. The Word is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart. The heart is deceitful and wicked above all things. Only the Spirit can truly know it. By the heat or fire of the Lord we are refined. The good soil knows and believes God’s love for him. This breeds confidence or trust in God. We are not afraid when heat and drought appear for we know and believe God is our True Provision. He has provided and continues to provide. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
As we are refined we bear much fruit. The fruit is the fruit of the Spirit of God. The fruit cannot come from us. It can only come through us. We are the branch and we bear the nature of the Vine, or tree in this passage of scripture. That fruit is the divine nature of God that is in us in Christ.
Though we face adversity, with firm conviction we believe God’s power will accomplish what He has promised. We walk by faith and not by sight. Though there are times when sight appears more real, it is during these times our faith is refined and sharpened. It is easy to believe God during times of plenty. We may see drought with our outer eyes but look with your inner eyes of faith. In Christ, there is never drought. He is the living water that is never dry. We are united with Christ. This living water is in us.
So rejoice in the Lord. Though things appear bad, praise Him. Why so downcast O my soul? Put your hope in God. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Heal me O Lord and I am healed. Save me, and I am saved, for you are my praise.
This is a profession of faith. Declare its truth in your life. Know and believe God’s love for you. God is love and you are never without God. Therefore, you are never without love. We are hidden with Christ in God. Hallelujah!! Give Him praise!
Johnny D. GreenRead More
TAKE THE CHALLENGE
How much do you read from the Bible? It is the time of year when many make resolutions for the new year. How about this; if you read 9 chapters per day from the New Testament, it would take only 28.8 days to complete. If that is too much for you, try 6. Six chapters in one day and you complete the task in 43.3 days, less than two months. Five and it only takes 52 days. Four and it only takes 65 days. It really is incredible how quickly you can complete this task. I am not talking about reading for the sake of reading or some religious duty. We should always ask and expect the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth and cause things to catch our attention that we or someone else needs. The more we use any tool, we become more familiar with how to use it. Of course the Bible is not just any tool, it is the word of God. More seeds planted, more harvest possible. It is time for the Church, the ground and pillar of truth (that is us), to be more bold to speak the word of God into our society. Take The Challenge!
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