James 1:3 KJV
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Before I comment on today’s verse or verses we have to remember what yesterday’s said and that was James 1 verse 2 which stated “Count it all joy when you fall into divers Temptations, knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
The first two words of this verse are knowing this. James state this as something that we have to know or that we have to acknowledge as true. Another place where this type of idea is used is in Romans 8:28 where it says “We know that all things work together for good to those that love God…”. This is something that we have to know in order to understand that it’s true. If we don’t know it, then most likely we will perceive it is not true. When we walk into a situation and we know that the trying of our faith works patience then we will be more likely to exhibit patience because we have the faith that it will be resolved. A strong faith knows that God will relieve the pain or the sorrow or the financial problem or any other thing that you’re going through in His own time. All we have to do is wait. And waiting involves patience.
People are always saying that we should not pray for patience because I most likely will bring us trials. I don’t agree with that. I think if we pray for patience God will give us opportunity to use our faith more often. And I need to use my faith all that I can because exercising my faith will make my faith stronger just as exercising my body makes my body stronger.
What do you know about faith. Now I’m not going to go into a lang explanation of what faith is but I do want to share something that I perceived many years ago and I’ve always stood by. Romans 12:3 tells us that every man is given the measure of faith.(at least the King James version says the measure of faith). What this says to me is that we all have the same amount of faith given by God. The difference between me and the agnostic and the atheist and the Muslim and the Hindu and the Buddhist is that we place our faith in different things. I may place the majority of my faith in God where a nominal Christian will place a certain amount of their faith in God but they still have faith in the things of this world as well. It’s not that I have more faith because we all have the same. It is that I place more of the faith that I have in my God.
One of the reasons that the faith we place in God grows is because of the word of God. Romans 10:17 tells us that Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The studying of His word and understanding the things that have happened through the centuries because of the faith of the believers will also increase the percentage of my faith that I put in God. There is another thing that will increase the amount of faith that I put in God and that is answers to prayer. When I have more answers to prayer my faith will increase in God. So the more I take the chance to pray and acknowledge that God brought the answer the more my faith will increase. The trouble also comes in that sometimes we do not acknowledge the answers come from God when we pray. We might say that they come from the doctor when it comes to healing, or we might get a financial blessing in terms of a stock distribution or something like that and not give credit to God for bringing it our way. The more we acknowledge God in everything in our lives the more our faith will grow.
I want to ask you a question. Where would your faith be if you never had any troubles? Where would your faith be if you were never sick and you never had the opportunity to pray about being healed and then you were healed? Where would your faith be if you never had any financial difficulty and did not have an opportunity to pray for God to bring you the finances that you needed, and He answered? Where would your faith be if you never had a friend that was sick and prayed for them and they were healed?
I would make a bold statement to say that your faith would be very small if none of these things had ever happened to you. I will make another bold statement and say that if you have had a number of different trials and you prayed and God brought you through them that your faith would be strong. Because the more we get answer to prayer the more we believe that prayer will work, and faith is centered in belief. Jesus said greater works will we do when He’s gone. Do you have faith in that verse? I can run down all the promises of God and ask if you have faith in those promises and I’d be curious what your response would be. Then I’d ask you how many of those promises are true in your life today? About the ones that are not, are you still waiting patiently for God to fulfill those promises in your life.
It is imperative that we understand that the timing for any answered prayer is in God’s hands, not ours. If we cannot be patient, and we try to find a solution on our own, how does that build our faith. And if we don’t exhibit faith in knowing that God will bring the answer how does that help us gain more patience. Remember that patience is one of the fruit of the spirit. Fruit grows when it is given out – we have to release the seeds within us in order for a particular fruit to grow in our life. And so it is with patience. If we do not use the patience that is in us then it will not be strengthened.
Another angle to this is that how patient are you with others? This also is an area we can build our faith. If we are praying for somebody else then we need to be patient for God to bring the answer. Maybe it’s somebody that you have had a difficult time with. I hope that you have decided to pray for those people that you have a difficult time with instead of feeling offended or feeling hurt by things that they said. Praying for them will require patience on our part, because change will take time. Change will come if we wait on God to make the change and if we continue to pray until the answer comes. That is patience!
This has been a long answer to a simple verse, but there is a lot there. To sum it up, we will fall into temptation. When we do, we should maintain our joy in that temptation because we know that this particular trial we are going through will exercise our faith to make it stronger, as well as teach us patience to wait on God. I think that most of us know what happens when we wait on God.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint
Let is soar like eagles through the trials that may come our way!