Living By Faith

FAITH UNDER TRIAL

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. (James 1:2, AMP)

 

“God is interested in your character and your whole person, not just your immediate comfort.” – Mark Hankins

 

I was watching a documentary on how people make pottery. Pottery is baked in extreme heat to make it durable and hard, so it is usable. I thought it was interesting that they know a pot is done by the sound it makes. Many times trouble will hit you and get you into serious oven situations. If you stay silent while in the oven, then you are going to be in the oven a long time. But if you will just go ahead and shout for joy, you will make it through! God wants you to hold steady and stop squirming out of your problems and difficulties prematurely. The natural human tendency is to try to find a way to get out from under the pressure. You have to realize that your faith is on trial, and the devil is trying to knock that faith right out of you. Mix patience with your faith and it will take you through the pressure. Let God build character in you and make you strong enough to receive blessings that you may not have been able to receive before.

 

Confession: I refuse to give up! I am going to allow my faith to be on trial, and I will not lose!

  • 0

JOY NEUTRALIZES PRESSURE

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God. (Acts 16:25)

 

“If you allow pressure to push you out of position, you’ll miss your miracle.” – Mark Hankins

 

The Apostle Paul had the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Romans putting pressure on him. During one of the most difficult hours of his life, he began singing praises to God. The devil can put pressure on you and get you into a corner, but as long as he can’t shut your mouth, you can overcome. Oral Roberts said, “Everyday there’s a miracle coming to you or passing you by.” That means if you allow pressure to push you out of your position, you’ll miss your miracle. When you start counting it all joy, it neutralizes the pressure. That is a challenge, but rejoicing is a choice you make that will strengthen you so that your faith and patience will hold you steady. “Is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow and don’t try to squirm out of your problems.” (James 1:2-4  TLB)

 

Confession: When my patience is in full bloom, I will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete. (James 1:4  TLB)

  • 0

MAXIMUM JOY

Consider it maximum joy, my brothers, when you get involved in all sorts of trials. (James 1:2  Berkeley)

 

“The reason the devil is putting pressure on you is because God’s got a blessing for you!” – Mark Hankins

 

I played on the championship football team in high school. We were undefeated, so we always went out fully expecting to win. One day the coach told me, “Now Hankins,” as he grabbed me by my shoulder pads, “you might be able to go around the tackle, but by the time you go around him, what you’re looking for already went by.” Then he said, “The only way you can play defense is not to avoid the pressure the tackle is putting on you. You can’t go around him — if you do, you will miss what you’re after. You’ve got to fight through the pressure.” The reason the devil is putting pressure on you is because God’s got a blessing coming for you! So when pressure comes from every side, face it and get happy right in the middle of it! The devil is saying, “Hey, give up and just go around.” You say, “No. I am not going around. I am going through this tackle!”

 

Confession: The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me walk upon my high places. (Habakkuk 3:19)

  • 0

JOY’S MULTIFACETED CONNECTION

But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. (Psalm 68:3)

 

“Joy and rejoicing are simply a choice that we make daily.” – Mark Hankins

 

Look at all of the blessings of God that are connected to joy.  Joy is connected to:

  • God’s presence (Psalm 16:11)
  • God’s strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
  • God’s salvation (Isaiah 12:3)
  • The anointing – the oil of joy (Hebrews 1:9)
  • God’s medicine (Proverbs 17:22)
  • God’s Word (Jeremiah 15:16; Psalm 119:162)
  • Prosperity (2 Corinthians 9:6-10; Psalm 105:37-45)

It seems that if Satan can steal our joy, then he can damage a lot of other things in our lives.

It is clear that God did not create us to be miserable. He created us in Christ to enjoy life and to have dominion. Joy is one of the great secrets of faith. One of my favorite pictures of Jesus is the one of Him laughing triumphantly. Jesus sits in the heavens and laughs. (Psalm 2:4) Make the choice to rejoice!

 

Confession: I rejoice with exceeding great joy because I know that I am blessed.   God created me to enjoy my life and have dominion. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice! (Psalm 63:7)

  • 0

THE SECRET POWER OF JOY

Even now you are happy with the inexpressible joy that comes from heaven itself. (1 Peter 1:8  TLB)

 

“Rejoicing is an act of faith.” – Mark Hankins

 

One day, the Lord spoke to me very clearly and said, “If you only knew what happens in the spirit when you rejoice, you would rejoice every day.” When we rejoice, we are acting like sons and daughters of God! Rejoicing is an act of faith. Remember the words of Paul in Acts 27:25, “Cheer up…I believe God that it shall be as He told me.”  When we believe God, we can cheer up!  Believing and rejoicing ushers in the glory and goodness of God in our lives. Rejoicing enables us to make progress in difficult times. Joy is the secret of faith and endurance. James 1:2 says to count it all joy when trouble comes. This must be why Job laughed at destruction and trouble. (Job 5:22) Of course some people may think you are a fool, but if you have found joy, you have found the secret of survival and success.

 

Confession: Even now I am happy with the inexpressible joy that comes from heaven itself!  The joy of the Lord is my strength. Just like Job, I laugh at destruction and trouble because I know that joy is the secret of faith and endurance. Ha! Ha! Ha!

  • 0