You will never be the same.
We can be changed.
Put your faith into action.
Know that stress has a purpose.
You Will Never Be the Same
In the Bible, names are often reused throughout the Scriptures, but they do not always represent the same person. There was a James who was often within the inner circle with Jesus before His death, burial, and resurrection. However, the book of James was written by James, the half-brother of Jesus. Once Mary gave birth to Jesus through the Holy Spirit, she and her husband Joseph, in addition, had natural-born children, as well.
Matthew 1:18 (NLT) says,
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus went on to fulfill His purpose and to do the will of His father. Up until this point, James saw no need to have faith in the one who was sent as His Redeemer and High Priest.
1 Corinthians 15:7 (NLT) says,
7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.
This occurred after Jesus rose from the dead. He spent some amount of time with his brother James following His resurrection.
A change has come.
You see, this James, the half-brother of Jesus, did not become a believer until after the resurrection. Although James was around to see the earthly life of Jesus, he still could not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. But thank God, after Jesus made His great sacrifice for the sins of all so that we could be made righteous through Him, his own was able to see what He had not been able to see before. James became a believer of Christ. His eyes were immediately open to the Messiah, His personal redeemer, and he believed.
After this encounter with Jesus, James’ life was never the same.
Because of the great sacrifice that Jesus made for you and I, we have been given this amazing opportunity to simply believe and choose to follow Christ and be a part of God’s very own. Those who believe and have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior have experienced a personal encounter with Christ. Our eyes have been opened, our hearts have been pierced, and we have come into the knowledge of who Jesus is and His purpose for coming to this earth.
Our lives are never the same. We have hope and are promised peace, joy, and strength.
This change is available to all who choose to believe. Believe and you shall receive.
We Can Be Changed
James, who was once not even a believer, even when the Messiah was his own flesh and blood, grew in faith. He was even considered to be one of the pillars of the church.
Galatians 2:9a (NLT) says,
9 In fact, James, Peter, and John, who were known as pillars of the church…
This is a great illustration of how, once you believe in Christ and begin to follow His ways and increase your faith in Him, when He calls you and changes the course of your life, He can use you to accomplish great things. You can become a living example of change through Christ Jesus where you will be able to lead others to Christ. Be it one, or two, or many, if it is for the kingdom of God, He will get the glory out of your life.
Put Your Faith Into Action
The book of James can be used as a tool on how we can put our faith into action within our everyday life. When we are walking in the Holy Spirit, living this life will not wear us out. We will definitely have ups and downs and even moments of sheer disarray, but we will be able to put our faith into action and shift the direction of our focus. God will give us our strength back and we will be able to finish the process.
James 1:22-25 (NLT) tells us the following important task to remember.
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
It’s all about faith. Not faith and works, but faith that works.
James encourages us when we go through various trials.
James 1:2 (NLT) says,
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
All things are not joyful, but we are able to consider them as great joy, because our joy is in knowing who is with us along this journey.
Know that Stress Has a Purpose
When we are going through different test and trials, there is something that we should remember. There’s something that I need to remember, as everything that I share with you is for me first and foremost.
Whatever God permits in our lives where we experience the shattering or shifting of what we hold dear, in that, and the stress connected with that experience, is found a purpose.
What Does Stress Indicate to Me?
John 16:33 (NLT) says,
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Stress has been a part of our lives since we first learned the meaning of the word. I have come to realize that a lot of the things that bother me and stress me now in life has an underlying reason. That reason?
I know that there is a better way through Christ.
Knowing there is a better way, but then looking at the circumstances and situations within my view, grieves me because I have been made, you have been made, for so much more. Unfortunately, traps and distractions have been set in our way to keep us from our divine purpose.
Although we experience the grief, there is a result or purpose that should be ultimately revealed.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV) says,
6 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,
God’s plans are so much greater than the current lives that we live and stress over each day. It places within me an urgency to see change for the better. In my blinded state, like that of James, being close to the Messiah and accepting Him and everything that goes along with being connected to the source of my strength, wasn’t as important to me. Knowing more, knowing of a better way, has placed within me a determination to get to the better that God offers to all who accepts Him.
Having this personal revelation causes within us growth and a will to find out the purpose that God has for us.
When the stresses tend to flow non-stop without a rest or break, for me, that is an indication that my full deliverance and breakthrough is oh so very near. Satan is getting nervous because he can sense that God’s purpose and plan is finally in my view and I am willing to do what it calls for to reach my destiny. Giving up cannot even be a part of my thought processing, because if I press, when I press, my Overwhelming Victory will be revealed.
Seek God for the purpose of your stress! When you seek, you will find. Find what? Purpose!
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