Seeking Jesus First - May 4, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - May 4, 2023
Photo by Jon Tyson / Unsplash

The author of The Book of James in the Bible was the half-brother of Jesus (according to the flesh), son of Mary and Joseph. While not a disciple during Jesus’ lifetime, he became an apostle and church leader after the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

The Book of James teaches some very important aspects of faith. Here is a passage from near the beginning and one near the end of the letter.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:2–8, NKJV)

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:13–16, NKJV)

After reading these passages, what faith principles speak to you?

James starts his letter with an encouragement to go through trials with joy, patience and faith, trusting God for the wisdom needed to overcome. He finishes his letter with a reminder to use your faith (and the faith of mature believers in your life) to forgive others and to overcome sin and sickness.

  • Face every trial with the joy of The LORD. The joy of The LORD is our strength.
  • Our continued faith in the midst of trials and temptations produces patience.
  • Our patient faith perfects us during the struggles and sees us through to a place of victory and plenty.
  • All of God’s wisdom is available to us when we pursue it through asking and believing.
  • Asking in faith means we do not doubt in our heart. (See Mark 11:22-24) (Important fact: It says heart not brain.)
  • A double-minded man is unstable in everything he does. So, let the mind of Christ be in you.
  • When you face suffering, pray. When you are cheerful, sing praise.
  • When you are sick, call for the elders to anoint you with oil and pray the prayer of faith over you.
  • The prayer of faith will save (save, deliver and heal) the sick. It will also lift their spirit and raise them up.
  • If you have sinned, confess and your sins will be forgiven.
  • Forgive and pray for those who have offended you that you may receive your healing.
  • When you stand in the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus, your fervent and faith-filled prayers are powerful and effective. They will accomplish much.

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”” (Mark 11:22–26, NKJV)

The LORD Jesus taught the same stuff. We have been given the God kind of faith. It can accomplish anything. But remember to continue forgiving everyone. Unforgiveness has the uncanny ability to sabotage your faith. “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23, NKJV)