Faith may move mountains but having that faith is often easier said than done. The Gospel of Mark tells a story of a father who wanted to fully believe that Jesus would answer his request to heal his son. He cried to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” Jesus healed this man’s son even though he had difficult with his faith (Mark 9:14-29). Like this father, we should also pray for stronger faith. Jesus said“. . .Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”(Matthew 21:21:22)

James (brother of Jesus) said in James 1:5-6 (NLT) “If you do not have wisdom, ask God for it. He is always ready to give it to you and will never say you are wrong for asking. You must have faith as you ask Him. You must not doubt. . .” James was the practical apostle who stood for efficiency and consistency in life and conduct. The book of James is considered the “Proverbs” of the New Testament. James taught about the fruits of our faith.

First, our faith gives us victory over temptation. We should consider our tests and trials as glorious opportunities for proving our faith and increasing our patience. James 1:2-3 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” We have to remain faithful that God will give us grace to endure and that His real purpose will be accomplished in our lives. Testing of our character comes from God; while temptations to evil come from our adversary and our own corrupt nature so we need to be careful where we lay the blame.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17).

Second, our faith shows in our actions. We must not be satisfied with only hearing God’s word but we must do God’s word. What good does it do to say that we have faith if we do not prove it by our actions or put it to use in proclaiming the gospel.  This is what James tells us to do when we hear the word.

RECEIVE IT. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21

DO IT. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22

HEAR  IT. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: James 1:23

EXAMINE IT. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:25 (TO BE CONTINUED)