Original Teaching: To Keep Your Faith From Failing
- Date: February 24, 1980
- Teacher: Pastor Star R Scott
- Scripture: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4
- Review by: Jason Felton
This week we are going to begin reviewing a teaching by Pastor Scott that will help us examine the state of our faith and truly see James 1:4 as the testimony of our lives. Wouldn’t you like to be able to say that you are perfect, entire, and lack for nothing? I’m sure your answer like mine is a resounding YES! However, this perfection does not come without the temptations, tests, and trials that try our faith.
Have you turned on the news recently? Seems like everything you hear is bad news that only leads to anxiety. Am I going to get laid off tomorrow? How am I going to put my kids through college? What about my retirement? What if me or one my family members is diagnosed with some horrible illness? How am I going to make ends meet and pay my bills? Am I ever going to meet that special someone? So many questions!! But the good thing is the Word of God has all the answers. Matthew 6:34 says take to take no thought for tomorrow. I Peter 5:7 says to cast all your cares upon him, for he cares for you. Now, you may be thinking “Jason I know all of these scripture.” Then why is there so much anxiety, fear, and doubt dominating our lives?
The reality is that we don’t know our own hearts. We know the answers. We know the doctrine. Many of us even make positive confessions, but we often move in fear that somewhere along the line the pressure will become so great that we’ll crumble under it. Beloved, we need to get our eyes off the circumstances and onto the promises of God’s Word. If you can do that, then I have good news for you. Your faith will never fail. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!
If you learn the concept that James is trying to teach us, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. If you will count it all joy in the midst of temptations, tests, and trials. If you will come to the understanding of the love that Father has for you. If you remember that He said He would never leave you or forsake you and in fact will complete that work that He started in you. If you would believe God’s Word that says you will never be tempted or tested past that which you are able to stand, then you will be victorious. Do you believe that? As hard as it seems right now in your life do you believe that? Maybe you feel like things are so difficult right now and everything is caving in on you. I want you to know, friends, that God will not allow you to be tempted past that which you are able to stand! You have the ability to walk out this thing successful and victorious!
The Bible tells us in Romans 10:17 that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” One of the biggest tools we have to help increase our faith is the Word of God. When you’re in the middle of these things, Satan is going to attack you from every angle. He will get you to doubt, to fear, to question, and to twist everything that you believe and that God’s Word says is true. In the Garden of Eden, the first thing Satan challenged Eve with was “Hast God said.” If we are going to have to faith to stand victorious then we MUST know the Word of God.
When Satan comes to you with “Hast God said” you tell him that “We are more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) and “No weapon formed against us shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17) and “God will not allow us to be tempted past that which we are able to stand and with every temptation, test, and trial He has made a way of escape.” And you call Satan what he is! He’s a liar and the father of lies! If you haven’t determined in your heart that God’s Word is truth and everything else (no matter what the circumstances may be) is a lie, then somewhere down the line you will faint in your mind and your faith will fail! But, if you’ll read through God’s Word and believe what it says, you will see the outcome has already been determined! WE WIN!!
Another tool that the Lord has given us to help us walk victoriously is the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 says ” The Comforter, the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you in all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you”. The Holy Spirit fulfills the ministry of comforter in our lives. The word “comforter” means to come along side and to assist. He is dwelling inside us to bring us comfort so when we are going through a trial he will bring ballast and support to keep us from sinking. When it seems like this trial will never end and it seems like you don’t have strength to take another step, the Holy Spirit will begin to add the power whenever you need it to get you through the trial. You see, the two things we have talked about work hand and hand. If we will be men and women who do the Word of God and are full of the Holy Spirit, the Lord will allow these two things to work together to bring about victory in our lives IF we don’t faint!
Some us of are under the misconception that the trying of our faith builds faith. It doesn’t. The trying of our faith works patience (James 1:3). This is one thing we want to talk about that the Lord is trying to work in us, PATIENCE. Now what does this word patience really mean? Well it doesn’t mean to just hang in there or to endure or try to make it through somehow. The word patience means consistency. It means to be constant, unchanging, and not double minded. It means we don’t rejoice when the doctor’s report is good and say “whoa is me” when it’s bad. Patience is the consistency that we need that will allow us to say the same thing (what God’s Word says) time and time again without being moved by the circumstances. This consistency that’s being worked in us will allow us to look back at these temptations, tests, and trials and see that we have been successful in every other event.
You say “But Jason, I’ve failed at times.” No, you’re the winner! You are going to stand in Heaven one day and sing worthy is the Lamb. You may have been set back, but you haven’t failed. The game is not over yet! The only Christians who fail are the ones that quit before the game is over. The ones who choose to believe the circumstances over the promises of God’s Word. You will never be led astray if you follow the words of Jesus! How consistent is your dedication to the Word of God? We can’t change the Word of God to cover up our failures! We need to change our lifestyle to conform to the Word of God.
A perfect example from the Bible of how God views us as we go through these temptations, tests, and trials is the story of Abraham and Sarah. Romans 4:20 tell us that Abraham staggered not at the promises of God. What?! Does anybody remember a kid named Ishmael? Hebrews 11: 11 says that Sara through faith received strength to conceive and deliver a child past age because (and get this) she judged him faithful who had promised. Do you remember what Isaac’s name means?! It means laughter, because Sara laughed when she first heard this news. So Abraham had Ishmael and Sara laughed. In our minds we would probably view this as failure, but God views these two as people who were faithful and that didn’t waver from His promises.
You see God already knew how Abraham would handle these tests. The person that didn’t know was Abraham, and in our lives, it’s the same thing. God knows the beginning from the end, and as we saw last week, He won’t allow you to be tempted past that which we are able to stand. If we remain patient in the circumstances we are in WE WILL inherit the promises of God. But this means you can’t trust in the doctor’s report, and you can’t trust in what people are telling you about your kids, and you can’t trust in all the bad news.
Friends, I know it’s hard! But if we are going to be seated on the throne and reign with Him, we are going to have to suffer as He suffered. God’s testing us to see if he can trust us more and more with the operation of His Kingdom. Ultimately, He is using these temptations, tests, and trials we go through to bring us to perfection! That’s the end game! To bring us to to that place to where we can have the testimony that we all said that we wanted in Part 1 of this series. That we may be perfect, entire, and wanting nothing (James 1:4). So count it all joy!!!
So as we’ve come full circle let me leave you with one last thought. God is not looking for people who are just talking the faith language (these people will fail). God is looking for a people who through faith and patience will stand until they’ve seen the promises of God’s Word come to pass. How do you get there? In EVERY situation and circumstance you find yourself in (good or bad) you look to Jesus who is the author and the FINISHER (perfecter) of your faith! (Hebrews 12:2)