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Faith without works is sadly "no longer with us"

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Anything that happens in life will either grow you or ground you. A trial comes, and through faith and perseverance, you can grow. We are even told by James to "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4). Growing through trials in the way God intends is what "passing" looks like when our faith tested. This is the Christian life.

On the flip side, if you allow it, trials in this life can also ground you. The same trial that could lead to tremendous growth in your faith and become a testimony to encourage others, can also cause a person to walk away from God and grow distant. The unbiblical belief that being Christian and praying to God about our circumstances will always lead to Him rescuing us from any and all negative outcomes is something that leads to spiritual frustration, and even depression. This is because the expectation of ease is not born from Scripture, but satan. In Scripture, Jesus never promised a trial-free life. In fact, He promises just the opposite. "In the world, you WILL have trouble...(John 16:33 emphasis mine)." But our enemy wants to use trials to dissuade us from growth and persuade us to quit, sin, compromise, and abandon God altogether if possible.

But what about when God gives you a trial and an assignment at the same time? When you must not only endure the trial, but also do the assignment? What drove the apostle Paul to write letters from prison to encourage the saints? The prison epistle Philippians is one of the most encouraging letters in the Bible and yet it was written from jail. What drove Jeremiah to keep preaching despite having an assignment that made him worthy of being nicknamed "The weeping prophet"? What caused Nehemiah to keep building with a brick in one hand and a sword in the other when the people were bent on tearing down the wall (Neh 4:17)?

The answer is faith. Faith that showed up by way of their faithfulness to their assignment. In other words, their faith worked. Because faith does. Faith is faithful. And the more faith grows, the more fruit it produces for God. Faith believes what God has said beyond what can be humanly seen and moves as if the former is true and the latter is false (2 Cor 4:18, 2 Cor 5:7). This is not easy. The Christian's faith-walk is by no means a cake-walk. And that is why Jesus was terribly clear about the difficulty of following after Him (Matt 16:24).

This is every believer's story. And this is my story, LV,YHWH's story. One where we are at the beginning stages of walking in faith and obedience, and not by sight. Our story was birthed in a trial where I was literally grounded by an injury. In that space, seeking God to find His purpose for allowing this momentary tragedy, LV, YWHW was formed and here we are. Something I did not imagine or foresee, but felt compelled to carry out. This blog post stands as both a witness to what God has said and done, and as a form of accountability for the faithfulness of my future self. This is essentially a letter from present me to future me. An encouragement to stay faithful when frightened, persevere when pressed, overcome when obstacles appear, and hold fast to obedience.

Hi. My name is Jeric Thomas. I am a husband of 22 years, girl-dad of three beautiful, smart, and gifted young women, pastor, bible teacher, and servant of God who also happens to now own a gospel driven clothing company that God established called "LV,YHWH". God has written His creation a love letter in His Word and signed it on the cross. It is our job to communicate that message of love to His creation however we can. This is my assignment. It is my desire to steward this assignment well by faith, and by works, and to hear Him say to me, "Well done my good and faithful servant (Matt 25:21,23)."

May God help those who can relate. Who find themselves in a place where they must endure and also, do. For those who cannot, I know that in Christ one day you will be able to because trials are sure to come. At that time I pray these words give you the encouragement and also the accountability that it will give to future me.

With love,

From God. Through you. To everyone.

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