Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Faith & Endurance


 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4




A Spirit-filled life does not mean one that is problem-free. As Christ-Followers, filled with the Holy Spirit, we still make mistakes, have difficulties, and fall into sin. But we have two distinguishing characteristics that set us apart from other Christians and from unbelievers. First, we not controlled by our circumstances, and second, we refocus quickly after having sinned.

When the Holy Spirit is in charge, our attitude will not be determined by what's going on around us. In other words, life doesn't have to be stress-free in order for us to know peace - our spiritual joy won't diminish even if we should meet with disappointment.

Anyone can be loving, kind, and self-controlled in seasons of blessing (mountain-top experiences). But what happens to our attitude in trying times (valley experiences)? The real test of who we are occurs not when things are going our way but when misfortune show up. If the Spirit is in charge, we will learn to do four things: to love when we want to hate; to practice kindness when we are accused; to respond gently when others are harsh; and to have self-control when temptation strikes hard.

None of us will do all of this perfectly because there is still "self" within us. But when we sin, we will respond quickly to the Spirit's prompting. He won't have to work hard to get our attention, because we are under His authority. We will recognize our wrong action, confess it, and refocus on God's ways.

If you are a Christ-follower, who is in control of your life?

Be blessed and be a blessing!

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