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TRYING OF YOUR FAITH WORKETH PATIENCE
Christianity Oasis Ministry has provided you with this Trying of Your Faith Worketh Patience study. Let us seek and find the truth within the Bible together in this Trying of Your Faith Worketh Patience Bible study, shall we?


 

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STEPPING STONE #8

TRIALS AND TRIBULATION


Welcome back to ...

THE PATH

Psalms 25:5 
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Patience is a virtue. Virtue is strength or power. 
I trust that you're waiting each day for the next step.

By doing so, you're gaining strength. 
The more strength you have, the easier it is to conquer any problem.

 

Happy to have you back here at THE PATH, my friend. Well, weíve shared a lot of TRUTH together and you have learned several methods of eliminating the weeds in your garden. On this STEPPING STONE thereís even more exciting TRUTH to discover!

Jesus taught us another TRUTH that we can use for gardening tools in the Word, and now that youíve cleared a lot of weeds, itís time to add some nutrients.

 

First, letís review and expand on a couple of facts that we talked about earlier.

1. The problem is not YOU.

2. The enemy of your soul is the SOURCE of the problem.

Take a look at some one word definitions of the word ďproblem.Ē

{evil - harm - trouble - tribulation}

Nobody wants any of those things, but the thoughts that are generated by them are what make problems grow. Your problems arenít all caused by a sin that you committed, although some may be. Let me remind you, itís whether or not you choose to entertain the problem that determines if it becomes sin. If you believe it is, thatís why our Savior Jesus Christ died for us, because not a single one of us is immune from sin.

Sometimes, it seems like trouble follows us wherever we go. And friend, nothing could be closer to the TRUTH. You DO have an enemy of your soul following you around watching and waiting for you to be vulnerable as to be able to try and overtake you.

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour
...

This Psalm describes it well ...

Psalm 143:3-4
For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.
Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.

This does not mean he can just do so at will ...

We must turn over the leash of our mind and spirit to him for him to be able to do so whether it be willingly or not or even known that we are doing so or not.

This is why you must defend your soul (mind) from taking in any foul or unwanted thoughts and deal with any weeds (bad thoughts) that do pop up from time to time.

You have just weeded out your garden, and it looks just beautiful. As your friend, Iíll remind you again, you must protect it. I canít explain it better than Jesus did:

Matthew 12:43-45
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he (the unclean spirit) walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, I will return into my house from where I came out; and when he returns, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goes, and brings with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Yes, you read that right ... EVIL SPIRITS have and will seek to destroy your garden.

Now would you believe thereís an upside to this? If your life is void of being presented with trial and tribulation, what do you think that means? It means that the devil isnít concerned about you anymore. He doesnít think youíre a threat to his cause. A Christian's trial and tribulation is something to rejoice about. Peter explains:

1 Peter 1:6-9
For a while youíll be in heaviness through many temptations, in which you should greatly rejoice, that the trial of your faith, which is more precious than gold, though it be tried with fire, will be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith, which is the salvation of your souls.

Thereís something important to understand about all of this. The rejoicing that Peter is talking about is that we get to prove our faith by conquering trial and tribulation. It establishes PATIENCE within us.

James 1:3
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

And you will need this patience to receive the PROMISE of God.

Hebrews 10:36
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Itís not that we are to welcome the problems, so much as it is that we welcome the opportunity to show the Lord our faith, by overcoming them.

Now, donít get me wrong my dear friend, overcoming sin IS NOT easy.

REMEMBER ...

 You inherited sin, just like you inherited your hair color and the color of your eyes.

Remember ... You were born with it.

BUT ... That doesnít mean you have to like it or tolerate it in your life.

Weíre going on a FIELD TRIP now, to the Epistle (Of Paul the Apostle) to the Romans.

If there was ever anybody who can testify of trial and tribulation, it would have to be the Apostle Paul. In the letter that he wrote to the Romans, he explains our ďhumanity,Ē that we sometimes refer to as ďhuman nature.Ē

Okay, this gets kinda deep, so letís look at this closely. How could satan make sin even more sinful? By using something holy to deceivingly bring evil to people.

Romans 7:14
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (human, fleshly), sold under sin.

This is an interesting phrase that Paul uses ďsold under sinĒ. It means that we as humans, inherited sin, because Adam and Eve sold their purity for it. We inherently do it. Now, I encourage you to read the next part ever so slowly, because it can be hard to understand if you don't digest it little by little. Paul explains original sin so well, that you may just be speechless when youíre through reading it, because youíve probably felt this way many times before, but were never able to put it into words. Get ready for more TRUTH.

Romans 7:15-25 (Good News Bible)

I do not understand what I do; for I don't do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. Since what I do is what I don't want to do, this shows that I agree that the Law is right. So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me. I know that good does not live in me---that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it. I don't do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do. If I do what I don't want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me. So I find that this law is at work: when I want to do what is good, what is evil is the only choice I have. My inner being delights in the law of God. But I see a different law at work in my body---a law that fights against the law which my mind approves of. It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body. What an unhappy man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death? Thanks be to God, who does this through our Lord Jesus Christ! This, then, is my condition: on my own I can serve God's law only with my mind, while my human nature serves the law of sin.
 

Are you at a loss for words? Thatís because Paul took them right out of your mouth! My dear friend, this is something that we all feel, often, and yet we think that nobody understands us because we think that we are the ONLY ONES that feel that way. When really, everyone is that way, they just donít know how to explain it either.

In other words, often ties when you try to do good, when you have only good intentions at heart, evil comes a calling. If this is still a little difficult to understand, think of it this way, let's say you are in good health and you take precautionary measures to stay in good health, but you still catch a cold. You didn't ask for the cold but it was introduced into you by one means or another. Once you have the cold, you don't take each and every measure you can to heal from it, maybe because you don't have medication at hand or you have responsibilites that keep you from bed rest and chicken soup and a vaporizer etc, so you suffer from it longer than necessary. Now, you can substitute sin for the cold and see how it is not your fault that sin is introduced into your life, but if you allow it to stay by entertaining it or by not dismissing it, it will hang around longer and very likely grow in proportion.

Sooooooo, the next time youíre beating yourself up and saying in your mind, Why did I do that!? You can recall what Paul said, O wretched man that I am! Who can rescue me from this misery? And then, remember the answer that he gave.

I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Heís the only one that can save us.

LET GO AND LET GOD!

LET GO (of your problem), AND LET GOD (remove it)!

Your problem is unique. But friend, youíre not the lone ranger when it comes to being a Christian being tempted by evil.

Knowing this TRUTH prepares you for the inevitable trials that you will face as you begin to walk the Path of TRUTH. Whenever you know that potential danger awaits, prepare yourself.

You must protect your mind ...

THOUGHTS ARE THINGS.

CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS

BY RENEWING YOUR MIND DAILY

Thoughts are seeds. You may think theyíre harmless, because nobody can see or hear them except you and the Lord.

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE ...

Matthew 5:28
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Have you ever been doing something, and a thought pops into your head about something that happened some time ago? Then you think about it for a little while and your spirit changes? And you think about it some more, and you find other reasons why it makes you mad. And the more you think about it, the madder you get! Pretty soon, youíre thinking about things that happened years ago that are done and over with that youíre still mad about, and getting madder!

See how a seed can grow with THOUGHT?

WHAT IF YOU WATERED GOOD SEEDS WITH THOUGHT?

THINK GOOD THOUGHTS

REMEMBER WHAT WE ARE TOLD TO DO ...

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK on these things.

The chart I shared with you in the last step is an excellent way to do so, and could and should be done every day until it becomes a habit. It takes up your time. When you are doing God business, the chances of the enemy tempting you lessen. Perhaps you've heard the saying, idle hands are the devil's workshop.

You canít stop the devil from tempting you with thoughts, but you CAN choose whether or not to accept the thoughts and whether you will ponder on them by using that chart until it becomes your natural reaction.

You have to train yourself to recognize bad thoughts and arrest them immediately. As youíve learned, your first line of defense is to tell the TRUTH. If the thought doesnít leave, there are many things you can do to change your thoughts.

Here are a few examples:

Sing a spiritual song in your mind, or out loud, that reinforces righteousness.

Incidentally, the fact that you recognize untoward thoughts more readily is a HUGE accomplishment in itself. You are admitting to the presence of a problem and that is half the battle (or maybe the percentage is even higher)! When the enemy sees that you have chosen righteousness ...

James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

HERE IS A SIMPLE EXAMPLE:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now Iím found,

Was blind, but now I see.  

Concentrate, on the words that youíre singing, because you can sing and be thinking of something else at the same time. It happens while you read and do other things all the time.

FOCUS

 How many times have you had to start a paragraph over again because you read it while your mind was on something else, and when your thoughts returned to what you were reading, you couldnít remember one single word you read but you are halfway down the page.

I DO hope you are not experiencing this now ... :)

TUNE IN

These are some other ideas of how to chase undesirable thoughts away:

Recite the 23rd Psalm.

Psalms 23
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the House of the LORD for ever.

Listen to some awesome Christian music.

Recite the books of the Bible in order.

Write in your Journal.

Do a MIRACLE GROW activity.

Have some Christian Fellowship.

Do anything that replaces the bad with good.

BUT ... DO ADDRESS THE LIE.

To do nothing is still having made a choice.

My friend, let us be real ... You are trying to live a Godly life in an ungodly world. Temptation is inevitable and everywhere. You can't turn on a television without the enemy trying to lure you with the trends of worldly ways. Youíll have to work hard at it. It wonít be easy at first, but youíll soon get the hang of it.

Anything thatís worthwhile, takes time. Focus on positive things. Think good thoughts.

Hereís an excuse that might pop into your mind, that weíre going to attack with TRUTH.

IíM ONLY HUMAN

Is that so? I mean, is that really true? ONLY human?

What about the spiritual part of you?

Romans 8:5-7
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Remember, the Spirit of God lives in you.

After reading what Paul wrote just now, it should make you cringe to believe that youíre only human. Donít believe the lies that the devil plants that say itís human nature to feel this way or that.

Donít let him CON-vince you into using excuses that allow certain behavior or thoughts that are not righteous. As a Christian, you donít follow human nature, but a Spiritual nature. Paul said, the carnal mind is enmity against God.

I encourage you to look those two words up in the dictionary. Let me do it for you:

carnal = temporal - worldly - fleshly

enmity = rejection - hostility - hatred

Romans 8:6
To be Spiritually minded is life and peace.

PRAY IT AWAY

Prayer is another fantastic way to control your thoughts. Evil cannot contend with God.

Put your thought toward Him.

ASK Him to help you.

Matthew 7:7-8

Ask, and it shall be given you;
Seek, and ye shall find;
Knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

 

GRACE ... GOD'S GET OUT OF HELL FREE CARD

We all make mistakes. We fall. Sin gets in our way. Temptation surrounds us and we don't always resist. But that is exactly why God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, and to give us the FREE gift of GRACE! He wants you to ask forgiveness and keep fighting the good fight of faith. When you find yourself struggling with feelings of failure, unworthiness, fear, weakness or shame, just remember that God loves you so very much and He wants you to get back up when you stumble. PERSEVERE! NEVER GIVE UP! If you have a bad day, this study will help you understand more about the liberating GRACE that our Father wants each and every one of us to enjoy.

GRACE
 

 

STEPPING STONE EIGHT


Our time together passes so quickly, does it not?

Yesterday, you removed a lot of bad, and today, you put in a lot of good, and we have to give the nutrients time to soak in and do their work. Weíre going to wind down now for today but youíre sure to love tomorrowís STEPPING STONE, and I look forward to sharing TRUTH with you then, my friend. Do not forget to keep removing those weeds and continue to keep up with all eight steps to date.

FEELING A LIL BETTER YET?

YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET !!!

Continuing in EACH step daily is so very important.

If you like ...

You may go back over each completed step as often as you like as to be sure you have not missed anything.

MAKE SURE YOU JOT DOWN A LIL SOMETHING IN YOUR PERSONAL JOURNAL

You have completed STEP EIGHT

Tomorrow, return to the Forum page of this program:
 

And we will proceed to ...

STEPPING STONE #9

And I will meet you there!

 

 

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