“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. James 2:26; NASB
The Bible says faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1) Faith that is dead keeps us living in fear. Faith that is alive has us trusting in God’s love and provision. So what does faith that is alive look like in our everyday lives? Here’s an example that may hit home for some of you.
Let’s say your boss asks you to work Sunday this week, which is when you usually go to church with your family. You figure that missing a church service for one week is no big deal, so you accept. I would tend to agree with you in this instance. However, let’s say you’re told that starting next month your schedule is being changed and you will be working every Sunday from now on. Now this is a problem. You need your job, obviously, but as a Christian you know that devoting a day to worship God needs to be a priority in your life. What do you do? This is where your faith comes in. It is being tested and your response could very well determine your path in the future.
I have seen this scenario play out many times. Unfortunately, the majority of times it has not ended well. Whenever you put something in a position in your life, that is higher than your commitment to God that thing becomes your god. You will find yourself serving it more than serving Him. Whether it’s the job or the money and security the job provides, it has taken God’s place in your life. If you choose to make worshiping Him secondary to anything, it will weaken your relationship with the Lord and may even draw you from Him.
In this example, faith that is demonstrated by works would have you asking for the Sunday requirement to be reconsidered. The reason you would give for this is that attending church on Sunday is a priority in your life. Then pray that if it is the Lord’s will, your boss will make the necessary adjustment to your schedule. Should there be no adjustment made, you have a decision to make. If you have prayed and asked God for what you should do and do not get an answer, then the answer lies in your resolve to put Him first.
The Lord may give you the feeling that you should give it a couple of weeks in which case you should wait to see if the situation changes. If it does not change, then it is time to ask the Lord to show you an opening for a way around this situation, or even another job. If your heart is to keep Him first, you will soon be led to a way to fix the situation so you can continue to worship with your family. This may require changing jobs, maybe changing departments, or some other fix you never saw coming. When that fix comes it will be faith giving you the strength to make the decision to keep God first. It may mean reduced wages, a longer commute, or some other inconvenience. It may also mean a better job and higher wages. It may mean all of them.
It is in these times of decisions that our faith requires works. Remember, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) If hardship is caused, it will be short lived. God is good and prospers those who keep Him first (see Ps. 1:1-3). Making changes in your life to honor God even when it hurts is a faith that is alive, and God will bless you for that faith.
Have a great week and God bless.