Sunday, 5 May 2013
Snapshots From The Bible- WK18~James 2:17 Faith needs actions
James 2: 17
'In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.'
Your actions are the proof of your faith, both internally and as a sign to others.
What is faith? One of the intangible qualities all of us possess to greater or lesser degrees. Just to walk up the road requires a level of faith, but faith in God, ourselves and others are the three major elements. Faith in God is a way of life set out according to your religious beliefs, formal or informal. the biblical definition~ Hebrews 11:1 states, 'now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.'
Faith in this respect is a long term outlook focusing on the positives, the things we really hope for.
Living in faith
Imagine going around preaching about your faith and beliefs yet, when the going gets tough, you go to pieces! Faith is not about empty words, it needs action. In order to truly believe in something we need to test it on a regular basis. Initially we may need to take small steps to help our faith grow. Once we see results we become excited which encourages us to believe more deeply and put more trust in our faith.
True faith banishes fear
If your faith is real, even if you experience shudders of fear, fear cannot take hold of you. Faith and fear are opposites, not bed fellows! God Himself sets test for our faith which acts as a means of measuring achievement. There are many examples of tests throughout the Old Testament; when life seems too much and we become fearful, just think of Daniel trapped in the lion's den!! It doesn't get more real than that and God is always in control, He performs miracles when we genuinely believe and we must never underestimate His power.
Stretching your faith
We should be quite happy to push ourselves and ask God not just to help us through difficult situations in life, but also to increase our belief that we can have the things we most wish for. There are many people who don't believe they deserve the good things life has to offer, yet we were given a beautiful world and every one of us can live an amazing life, followed by God's promise of unbelievable eternal life. We need an expectation that God fulfils all our needs above and beyond our wildest imaginings!
The above verse says quite clearly that if we are not physically living our faith, it is dead. This opens a can of worms when we stop to consider what faith itself encompasses. Everything is down to our faith. The way we consider other people is a major factor, our words and actions portraying individual beliefs. All are equal in God's eyes, so to live out our faith we need a good awareness of learned attitudes and in-built reactions to others. We need to feed faith though thanksgiving and praise, it is not an isolated quality and appreciation of our lives keeps everything about us in a positive light. We feel good about God, life and our future. If we aren't living our faith- what are we living? OR are we just reacting to everything life throws at us instead of making real choices?
When we live in faith we are at peace with God and one with ourselves. We can feel good about life and walk with our heads held high. Think according to your faith and act in faith at all times, this is God's will and the best way to live your life.