“Are You a Thief”

"Thanks God! Love you!"

When was the last time you thanked God for your troubles?  When was the last time you stopped everything in your life, got on your knees, and with a huge smile and uncontrollably worshiped God for the hard times, the fearful times, and the desperate times.  I didn’t say, “When was the last time you told Him about your troubles,” like you’re informing Him of some new information.  I asked you, “When was the last time you thanked God for your troubles?”  That’s right, a big, fat “THANK YOU, LORD.”  No sarcasm, no attitude…simply a sincere thank you.  So sincere that your response would be classified as “worship.”

The Apostle James addresses the very issue of your response to trouble and discomfort.  James says,

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4

“Pure joy” means having full confidence and faith that God has allowed the situation to enter your life.  And because He allowed it to enter, He is doing a work in you and in others through that situation.  Taking pure joy in these situations means you are truly appreciating what God has allowed because you know that it is in process of being turned for good; good for you and good for His glory.

If your faith were never tested you wouldn’t know how much you could trust God.  In fact, if your faith were never tested by fire/trials you might lose trust in God because of the so few opportunities you could witness Him moving.  You would only trust Him in the “good” times.  You wouldn’t know if you could fully trust Him in hard times…how could you know?  Every parachute manufactured for jumpers has been tested in the field.  People, real live people, have jumped out of airplanes and tested each parachute to make sure it works.  Knowing this, I am more likely to trust my parachute to carry me safely from a potential dangerous situation.  If your faith is not tested by discomforting situations, how will you know how far you can trust God?  You simply would have to guess.  The trials are designed by the enemy to hurt you, but God’s results are beneficial…you will begin to mature in your faith.

You begin to trust God quickly and intensely in times of trouble because you’ve done it before and He has never, ever let you down.  Your faith grows as you exercise it and you become quick to stand on your knees and fight and pray and remain faithful in difficult times.  He is in the process of making you mature and complete.  Your life is a journey of training.  You’re in boot camp for eternity…you’re being prepared for eternity.  Jesus faced the cross and everything that came with it and you face the world too.  Your every faithful reaction carries enormous implications of those around you who are watching to see what kind of God operates in your life.

What do they see?

Put your life in the hands of God right now.  He can move whatever you’re mountain you’re trying to move and He can pick-up whatever obstacle that is in your way.  Do you know why?  Because you don’t have the ability to deal with it and you were never meant to deal with it.  The only question is whether you’re going to gift it to God or not.

"We're in a tight spot boys."

Don’t carry anything but your cross as you walk through life.  Carrying your own “stuff” is a crime…it’s theft.  You are stealing God’s opportunity to glorify Himself through your situation.  Stop stealing from God.  It’s a sin.

Are you a thief?

If so, stop stealing and trust in God.  Forget what you think and simply trust in God.

5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  6In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5,6

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