God Wants You to Grow
Our associate pastor, Mark Schmitz, preached on James 1:2-4 Sunday. It’s a popular topic for sermons, but one I feel I need to hear over and over!
James 1:2-4 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Pastor Mark began by reminding us that we believe in the sovereignty of God. That His hand is in everything that happens in our lives. He went on to say that healthy things grow and that God wants us to grow.
Our faith shows up when we face the unplanned events in our life. People watch how we go through trials. In order to get through them the right way we need a firm foundation. We need to know God, His promises and have a relationship with Him.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
We also need to ask ourselves if we are truly saved.
2 Corinthians 13:5 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
Once we are saved and in a relationship with God, He begins to grow us. To perfect us. To fill us with the spirit. Being filled with the spirit is letting God have free reign over our lives. Being spirit filled is confirmed by our service to others.
God also wants us to be submissive.
1 Peter 2:13-15 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
And God wants us to have a positive attitude no matter what we are going through, because it reflects our faith in Him. His goal is not our happiness, but our joy and our joy is based not on our circumstances, but our relationship with Him. Our attitude is a choice!
Know upfront that trials are inevitable, but they are an opportunity to show how strong our faith is. The more we depend on God, the stronger it is.
Always remember James 1:12 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
To read more on these verses visit: James 1