Rejoice When You Fail?


When we realize how important our actions are to God and examine them in the light of God’s Word, it is easy to become condemned and discouraged. We often avoid an honest assessment of our actions because of this. However, our actions are the only true indicator of the condition of our faith. We discussed the connection between faith and actions in our last article, Do You Believe like a Demon? In order to cooperate with The Lord’s work to purify our faith, we must be willing to join with the Holy Spirit in examining our actions. Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.

 We saw in our last article that our actions are an essential part of our faith. God is able to gage our faith by our actions and so can we. Some people quickly say God knows my heart when they fail to live up to His standards, meaning that their actions don’t indicate the condition of their heart. Jesus said that people speak out of the abundance of their hearts. (Luke 6:45) Words are just the result of the actions of our mouths. The Bible tells us we will give God an account of every idle word we speak.( Matthew 12:36) James tells us that faith without supporting action is dead. (James 2:14-26) The connection between faith and action is indicated throughout the Bible. For more discussion on this, see Do You Have Faith Like a Demon?

Once we begin to examine our faith in light of our actions we will all begin to see areas of weakness and failure. The normal human reaction is to become condemned and discouraged but this is not the reaction that God desires. He sees this as the opportunity to make corrections and purify our faith. In fact, He allows trials into our lives for the purpose of exposing impurities and dealing with them. Peter compares this process to refining gold.       1 Peter 1: 6-7 You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. The refiner heats the gold until it melts and the impurities rise to the top to be removed. The same process happens in our lives. Situations turn up the heat until that word or action that has been hidden beneath the surface is exposed so God can deal with it. Notice that Peter instructs us to rejoice in this process. James also says the same in James 1:2. This is a completely different reaction from becoming condemned and discouraged. God has no intention of condemning us when impurities are exposed during trials. It is actually the result He desires. This is why we can rejoice in the trial. The true work of repentance for a Christian is to cooperate with God in the refining process by admitting the fault and letting Him remove it from our lives. We must know that we can’t fix ourselves. Only The Lord working in us can remove the impurities. Our part is to agree and be willing.

When unwanted actions rise to the top during times of pressure, I have begun to thank God for exposing them, agree that they are wrong and unwanted, admit that I can’t fix them and ask Him to remove them. I find that this is much more effective than sulking and retreating from God as Adam did in the garden. We can truly be joyful in times of trial if we approach them as God lovingly working to purify us. Always remember that His intended result is victory for us.

All scriptures are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible

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