“Real and fake faith look exactly the same until they are put to the test”. - Bill Keisy
We have been studying the book of James over the last month at Relate Church and how it’s a blueprint for us to live our lives well.
As we go through life our faith is put to the test. The Bible says to count it all joy because if you persevere your character grows and hope comes alive in us for the world to see. If we don’t go through these challenging times in our lives we will not have developed the character we need to rely on for the tougher days down the road.
True faith will never be passive; it rolls up its sleeves and says, “let’s get to work".
Our love will require us to do the hard work we are called to do. A faith driven church is one who puts in the work to make a difference in other people’s lives according to His will and His purpose in our lives.
Recently at Relate Women, Pastor Helen talked about how it’s important to share the journey with others and not just keep things between, “me and God”. Which is the stance I have taken for so long now. This is not something I’m very comfortable sharing but I’m learning it’s important to show our faith in action because this is what moves the heart of God.
I’d like to share with you what that looks like in my life over the last five years. This is not something I have ever shared publicly, but a few close friends and my family are very aware of my mission. In my life that means delivering a meal and spending time with people who are struggling with something that’s been life-altering.
Our love will require us to do the hard work we are called to do.
You know the kind of moments when you wake up to a new day and everything is different. I have spent time with many people who have lost a loved one or a spouse, others who have been diagnosed with cancer and others who have suffered very traumatic experiences.
One of the first people that I served was the husband of a dear friend of mine who passed away. It was not easy, not something that I wanted to do, but I knew someone needed to walk alongside his family while they all grieved. Life goes on and the world keeps moving on but for people who have had hard times the world tends to completely stop. I have a small idea how hard these days are for them so I serve them the best way I know how.
There have been moments that I’ve walked away and said a little prayer as I walk back to my car. Some days I feel like my knees will buckle because the pain that people endure is something else, but it’s my hope that they can see Jesus and know that He is truly the Prince of Peace and He is with them in those toughest moments of their lives.
We are learning within this series inside James that true faith is how you love and serve others.
The one thing that I love about the book of James is that it also means being quiet and listening to others. There is wisdom in listening well and hearing the life struggles of others from their perspective and life experience.
I want to be part of a church that serves people so they know they have found their “home”. Church to me is my home and when life challenges have come my way, it’s my hope and prayer that everyone who walks through the doors feels loved and welcome because they are family.
I would like to leave you with one of my favourite scriptures that I often pray, “Thank you God for every good and perfect gift you’ve given me because I know it all comes from you”.
"Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the Heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession."