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“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4 The trials that we face have a far greater purpose than the aggravation and pain that we often suffer. Isolated from God’s intent, some would think that we had been abandoned to face the giants of perplexities alone. It is when nothing is left but God’s promises that faith is called into action. What we received during those moments when could clearly see Him and experience His blessings must keep us when we enter into the fog. Faith to endure is the patience that must further develop us. We learn to wait on the Lord and not attempt to rush the process. God has more to teach is in these dry cold winter seasons than we could ever learn in the springtime of life. This is when our faith is tested as to its authenticity. How would we ever know whether we love God for who He is or merely love Him for what He gives? On the other side of the test is a faith that endures. We can then see Him for who He really is and not just image…

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.” Lamentations 3:21 The immediate challenges of our day oftentimes cloud our view from seeing the faithfulness of God throughout the years. Living in the immediate alone without any reference to the past will make us feel as if we must take matters into our own hands. God has given us the gift of memory to reflect upon His goodness directed towards us even when all hope seemed to be lost. We are then able to feast through reflection, on His faithfulness. Whatever may appear as an impassable mountain standing before us, God is there with His wisdom and His strength awaiting our request. He will first settle us in our difficulties to know that He has knowledge of our present state. Then He will provide for us the wisdom to see all things from His perspective. If this is one of those obstacles that should not be or is as a test of our faithfulness to Him alone, in time,  we will have provided for us the right answer and resolve. He will keep us in perfect peace if our minds are steadily focused on Him knowing that our God is…

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” 1 Peter 2:7 What man often finds as most useful, God rejects. And what man rejects God accepts. The material used by God to build lives, community, and His Church is not what we in the natural would always consider. He builds with character. He makes sure that what is being erected can support the winds of change and the waves of adversity. The example is a house built upon the sand. Even though the structure is elaborate and is a thing of beauty. It has no foundation and eventually the inevitable would come to test its strength. The strength of a structure is its foundation. And no other foundation can be laid other than Jesus Christ. The accuracy of the establishment of Christ in the life of the believer will keep him stable in the most difficult of times. Christ is often rejected or redefined because the majority of people do not see any use for Him as He is. They attempt to either fit Him in as they please or eliminate Him altogether. Yet He is the only One we can turn to when we are forced…

“Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.” Psalm 60:11 None has ever trusted God so completely that they never had a shadow of doubt. It is in the shadows where we look away from God in search for what appears to be strong but is lacking in content and in character. The challenge came to us and we wondered why we were chosen for adversity. Even then, there arose among some what appeared to be further evidence that God was absent. Many have abandoned God completely with thoughts that He was unreliable, while there are others who learned the lesson and passed the test. Without the test, there would be no need for help. The awareness of our need fostered the acknowledgement that we could not carry out our assignments alone.  Without Him we can do nothing. The assistance of man is useless unless God is involved. The help of others only further complicates the issue. It is above our heads and the heads that stand tall are not tall enough and their arm of strength cannot reach far enough to bring remedy to the deep wound left within. The need must first be identified…

“He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart” Psalm 15:1 The benefit of abiding with Christ is the motivation to act is governed by the Holy Spirit rather than merely our own minds. The thoughts generate from God and are transferred to the heart so that the will is to do His will rather than what previously occupied our time and attention. It is not a matter of consciously manipulating the mind to think right. There is a continual flow from the heart to the mind maintaining an awareness of God’s Presence at all times. Then it is not as much of a strain to make the right decisions in relation to our walk. Though temptations may come and trials may test our faith, we know that He is with us and we know that He working in us. Now when we speak, we speak from a changed heart. His Word is hidden in our hearts and no other language is our own other than what is being translated into life within us. What marvelous position to occupy when God is able to convey His truth boldly through an earthen vessel that has been transformed…

 “for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” 1 John 4:20 There is that moment in the life of every Christian where love is indiscriminately distributed. This is the mark of true conversion that one has passed from death unto life. It does not mean that the person will remain there, but if he has never been there, he has never received conversion. All too often very little is required of the seeker that limits his expectations of God. If God does not require the whole heart of the individual, how can that individual expect to receive the fullness of Christ? The test is openness to others with a heart overflowing with love. We cannot contain the authentic love of God for its objective is to be given away. Our mission is to fully follow after Him allowing His love to be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. If we love Him we will love our brother, love, and keep His commandments.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:6-7 Faith is placed on trial when you are given a seemingly legitimate reason to rebel against God as the result of current circumstances and the decisions of others. Logically the thing to do would be to disobey God and partake of the forbidden, or curse God for relief that does not seem to be on the horizon or even a part of the plan. One is for self-gratification and the other is to remedy the effect of constant misery. Faith rises in the midst of trials as being more precious than whatever the outcome would have been if you had relented in the midst of your greatest and most fierce battles. It is precious because in the end, God will prove Himself to be faithful. He will reward those who do not cave in under pressure, and will avenge them from…

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” (9) Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.1 Peter 4:8-9 Love does not ignore or deny the sin, but love loves in spite of the sin. There are some deeds that could make it difficult to love the one who has offended you. That is the true test of love when you are able to look beyond the offense and see the soul that is in a desperate place drifting in a direction away from God. Stephen understood this when he was being stoned to death. He cried out to God in the midst of their throwing stones at him “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” He wanted what was best for them even while they were venting their hatred against him. If this had not been the case, Saul the Pharisee who became Paul the Apostle would have never been saved and used in such a mighty way. God’s will is to use your enemies if they ever come to know Jesus Christ for who He is. But your release of them may pave the way for them to…

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1 The light that God gives illumines the way to our salvation. The darkness of night shrouds the condition of the soul. When people wander in the dark, they cannot see beyond the moment. There is no certainty of purpose or hope for the future. There are some who seek to be enlightened. Their understanding is influenced and fashioned as the result of information gained from many sources. Their hope in what appears to be sufficient enough to save them. Yet even if what they knew possessed the ability to advance them beyond their peers, it would still be lacking the power to rescue them from the testing and judgment of all things. The Psalmist proclaimed, “The Lord is my light.” Only His light can lead us to salvation. It gives reveals the nature of things that would otherwise allure us away from the eternal. It preserves, and when necessary, restores our souls. If the question of eternity is resolved as the result of walking in His light that has become our own, then whom shall we fear? Nothing within the darkness is able to frighten us…

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13 Careful preparation is required if one is to continue standing under the pressures of the world, the flesh, and the devil. The armed attack of the enemy which may work through all three, are aimed at the weakest part of our character. It is impossible for any to fully know all of his weaknesses. Surely in the areas of perceived strength temptations will come to test the strength of our commitment to God and the truths that we profess to uphold. This is why an accurate and spirit-guided articulation of the message from God is so important. Equally so, this is why the enemy of our souls would much rather see us doing any other thing that taking heed to the words that are given for the salvation of our souls. The whole armor of God, not just those portions that are comfortable and in fashion must be continually worn. The attacks do not come at a scheduled time, but when we least expect them to come. They may come successively if there…