James 1:1- 4

 

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.…

 

 
We have all been there at times, those days when you just want to go back to bed and pretend you can sleep through the day and wake up tomorrow and then everything will be ok. But sometimes it comes with the job description of being human, you have to face what comes your way and you have no choice in the matter. Then it becomes challenging for some of us to count it all joy. 
 
Some of you might remember my wife and I are now trying to sell our house. We are hoping a sale will cover some if not all of our debt. As a part of the sale the house has to be checked for construction errors. We knew in advance the contractor has a bad reputation, but we where hoping he had constructed our house without fault. The report uncovered major construction errors. This will make it difficult to sell the house, and difficult to get the asking price we need to cover some if not all of our debt. In this situation it is difficult to find any reason to count it all joy, but the word says this is a test of our faith. So the word says we are to count this as joy. 
 
I dont know about your situation, perhaps its cancer, perhaps its flooding, perhaps its something similar to our situation. But I do know it is challenging to count it as joy when you do not see how this will work out. We are depending on this sale to make us debt free, but suddenly it has failed. Everything we have tried fails, and perhaps everything you have tried have failed and you do not know what to do anymore. 
 
When we have lost every confidence in ourself, and our own ability to find a way out of our own mess it is easy to loose hope. But this is actually where God wants us. He wants us to loose our hope in ourself and our confidence in what we can do. So He sets us up to fail, and that is why we are to count it as joy when things like this happens. We are to count it as joy and remember this is a test, and important test used by God to show us the way to victory is through faith and trust in Him and Him alone. (2.Chor 12:9
 
I know it would be easy for me to claim it was the devil who has done this to us, that it was the devil hindering us from selling our house. And I know it would be easy to use this as an excuse to do spiritual warfare to fight against the forces of evil trying to stop us from selling our house. And this is even being taught from behind the pulpit. You have heard it yourself, preachers telling you your situation is an attack and you can stop it or make it go away by doing spiritual warfare. 
 
But we have to remember one important thing, nothing happens without God allowing it or agreeing to it. So this situation with our house has been allowed by God, and this is difficult for some of us to understand. Our thoughts goes something like this "if God is love, and God only wants what is best for us, then it would be in Gods best interest to do everything He can so we can sell our house". 
 
If God allows us to do something out of our own plans, fads and schemes, he would be blessing sin. So my plans of selling the house to pay of debt is actually a sin because it is my plans, something I have thought and planned. Something I am able to do in my own strength. That is why it makes it a sin when I try to sell the house. So God sets me up to fail by allowing the house to be constructed wrong, knowing He can use the contractors sin to my advantage. 
 
So God sets me up to fail so that I can realize and be reminded how dependent I am on His grace that can only come to me through my faith in the cross of Christ.
 
That is why I can rejoice, that is why I can count it all as joy. Because when this has happened its just God telling me "you cant do this by yourself, allow me to do this for you". 
 
And then I know, believe me, I know how things works. The devil comes along side of you and he whispers to you thoughts like "you cant trust God to meet your needs now, salvation yes, but not now". Because when we choose to believe the cross of Christ and we count it all as joy, he will tempts us to leave the cross and venture into sin. This is where faith comes in, and not just faith in God as healer or provider. Faith in the cross, faith in the fact that if He has given us the cross we can trust Him to meet all our needs. 
 
So our faith in God as our healer, provider and deliverer does not come as a result of our faith in Him being all of that. It comes as a result of our faith in the cross and the blood of Jesus. 
So when the devil comes and whispers those lies to you, tell him about the cross. Remind him he was defeated at the cross, remind him the blood of Jesus defeated him ad his demons and remind him the blood is the truth and the truth testifies that God WILL meet ALL your needs because of your faith in the cross. 
 
That is why I am not worried right now, I am not worried because I know God is up to something. And I know that God has given me Jesus, therfore I know He will give us every last cent we need to become debt free. I dont know how He will do it, perhaps through the sale of the house, perhaps another way. But I do know He WILL do it and I know it will be great. So I am rejoicing because I needed God to remind me how dependent I am on His grace and the cross of Christ.  But I also know, that to have access to His grace I have to be content with the blood. I have to decide I dont need anything, I just need His cross and His blood. 
 
This does not mean I dont pray about things, I do. When things arise, troubles and hardships come my way I do pray about it. But Instead of telling God what to do, I just share with Him whats on my heart and mind, what I am concerned about, and then I pray for the blood of Jesus on every situation. What it all comes down to is this, the blood of Jesus is enough.