Living By Faith

FAITH UNDER TRIAL

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, when ever 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!

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JOY NEUTRALIZES PRESSURE

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God.

 (Acts16:25)

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)

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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)

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MOVE YOUR MOUTH– MOVE YOUR MOUNTAIN

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain…
(Mark 11:23)

Change your words; change your world.
Mark Hankins

The speaking part of faith is very important. Speaking is vital to faith working effectively. In Mark 11:23, Jesus’ words indicate that the speaking part must be emphasized three times more than the believing part. Jesus emphasized the speaking part three times and believing only once.

Faith moves God. Faith moves mountains, but faith will not move anything until it moves you. The first part of you that your faith will move is your mouth. Smith Wigglesworth said, “No man looks at appearances if he believes God. I’m not moved by what I see, I’m not moved by what I feel, I’m moved only by what I believe, and I believe God.”

Your faith must change your words before it will change your world. If you are silent, you lose by default. There is no silent faith in the Bible. Faith must have a voice.

Confession: I’m not moved by what I see, I’m not moved by what I feel, I’m moved only by what I believe, and I believe God!

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RISE UP IN FAITH

For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from (its) works of obedience is also dead. (James 2:26 AMP)

Even in the middle of adversity, your faith will get you to your destination.
Mark Hankins

I went to a hot-air balloon festival once in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A man from the church I was ministering at had a hot-air balloon in the competition and took me in the balloon with him. Not long after we took off, he told me that we had absolutely no control over the direction of the hot-air balloon. He said the only thing that we had control over was the altitude of the balloon.

The balloons that had made it to 3,500 feet were heading north. There was a different wind blowing at 3,500 feet that caused the balloons to go the opposite direction. We noticed that all of the balloons at 1,000 feet were heading south. Unfortunately, that was the wrong direction. The target was on the north side of Albuquerque!

This experience reminds me of people following Jesus and obeying God. If you want to get on the target that God has for you, you are going to have to rise up in the Spirit, rise up in the reality of your redemption, and rise up in faith.

Confession: I have a divine destination. I choose to rise up in the Spirit where there is another wind blowing!

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