"The blessings of God become confusing when we think they must be earned, because our motives become misguided labors. All His blessings come to us, not by merit but by way of sovereign appointment, which are preordained, being foreknown. To sincerely work for God cannot be discouraged but how to work is the issue because this determines its fruitfulness.
God continually increases the believers walk to involve more from the new man--through the Spirit, than that from the old man. As God ceased (rested) from creating in the natural realm, never needing to repeat it, so does He cause the believer, "from glory to glory", to cease from his old-man-related works. "For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his own works as God did from His" (Heb 4:10).
Works do not produce faith, but is the evidence of faith for, "I will show you my faith by my works” (Jam 2:18). Works are said here to “show faith”, not produce it. Vast difference!" -Netchaplain
1-18. DEVELOPED GIFT
"But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil" (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
Though we receive our faith from Him, it must be developed in us by Him. Undeveloped faith never progresses beyond the babe-in-Christ, milk-of-the-Word stage. "But solid food is for adults that is, for those who through constant practice have their spiritual faculties carefully trained to distinguish good from evil. Therefore leaving elementary instruction about the Christ, let us advance to mature manhood" (Hebrews 5:14-6:1, Weymouth).
"You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God gives us promises in a quiet hour; He seals our covenants with great and gracious words. Then He steps back and waits while we believe; then He lets the tempter come, and the test seems to contradict all that He has spoken. It is then that faith wins its crown. Then is the time to look into His face and say, 'I believe, Lord, that it shall be done as it was told me.'"
"Without trials of faith we should all be ruined. These trials give us opportunities of linking on to the mighty promises of God and finding through the trials come blessing that wonderfully glorifies Him, or else, missing God, turns the blessing into a burden that fills the heart with weariness and pain." -G.W.
"Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" (James 5:11).
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.'" -MJS
Netchaplain (ordained Chaplain)<><