18 But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe-and shudder! - James 2:18-19
Faith is a deep seated belief in the existence of God that radically changes the way we live our lives. A saving faith must produce consistent good works, or that faith is empty. We can believe in God, yet not have that truth impact our lives. Here James challenges those who believe in the existence of God, but do not allow that faith to impact their works by reminding the reader that even demons acknowledge the existence of God and tremble at His greatness. James is not considering his audience to be demons, but he is claiming that our faith must be more than an intellectual pursuit. The demons agree that God exists in the same capacity, but they do not allow that knowledge to change who they are, and therefore, are not saved. The difference between the demons and saved people is the works, with works being the fruitful evidence of the saving faith.
Works have the power to transform our hearts and deepen our faith in unique ways. There is something about doing the work of God, about being His hands and feet, that changes and softens our hearts and draw us closer to Him.
It can be a challenge to work for Christ when we are walking through a deep trial. We can be so consumed by our emotional or physical struggles, that we can excuse our need to serve others with our works. Surely, God does not expect me to serve others at a time like this! I’m too busy walking through my own trial to consider the needs of others!
I would challenge that these are the very times we should be getting our focus off of ourselves and putting it in others. Nothing magnifies our own trials like meditating on our troubles. When we are deep within a trial, we have a difficult time thinking or dwelling on anything other than ourselves, but working for Christ shifts our focus to others. As we focus our attention on others, our problems begin to shrink and are brought into the proper perspective. Dwelling our our own trials is a “me” focus, working for Christ is an “others” focus.
When the challenges of life seem to rise up and you are feeling overwhelmed, consider putting your faith into action and working for Christ. It will take your focus off of your problems, and grow your faith in ways you cannot imagine.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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