June 10, 2019

Back on April 28 of this year I preached a message entitled Real Faith. I also preached that message at River of Life Community Church in Breckenridge yesterday. I had read through the book of James and realized that James introduced many scenarios that would come down the highway of life in our direction to see how real our faith in Jesus was. Had we matured to the level where we would trust Jesus to get us through any situation that might present itself to us.

The first situation that James talked about was trouble. James said that the Trouble Test came to see if we had matured to the point where we were able to handle the trouble with joy or were we still giving in to anger, frustration etc. Here are the verses.

James 1:2–4 (NLT) — 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

This past week Hillcrest held what they called the ‘Hillcrest Combine’ for area their athletes. The athletes were put through various tests. They were tested on strength, speed, jumping, etc. The maximum weight each athlete could lift was recorded and that was the individual’s baseline. their baseline. This was also done for speed, jumping and any other test that they might have. The rest of the summer now is used to keep training and improve their baseline in each area. For example if an athlete’s baseline in the bench press was 200lbs then at the end of each month in the summer, through continued training, the athlete would see if they could lift more than 200lbs thereby increasing their baseline.

I thought we could do the same in training ourselves to lead out with joy when we found ourselves in troubling situations. So I pulled up this pain chart.

What would you say your baseline is when it comes to exhibiting joy in troubling or painful situations? Is it a 10 > really, really grumpy to the point of shedding tears or is it a 6 > really having a hard time etc. The goal would be to get the baseline down to a zero. Not saying that the trouble didn’t bring pain or hurt but through the grace extended to you by God and the fact that you know that trouble comes to test how real your faith is, can you lead out with joy. Not he he ha ha laughter but just an inner peace and contentment because you know that the Lord will work the trouble for good.

So your work out routine would be to first of all go back and listen to the message on April 28 and the follow up message on May 5. Then post the James 1:2-4 verses around the house, in the car, garage, at work etc. to remind you to lead out with joy. Then at the end of each month see if you are closer to bringing your baseline down to zero. I challenged the people of River of Life to do this. I told them I would then come back in September, Lord willing, and preach a follow up message to see how they were doing.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT) — 31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Our world doesn’t need anymore sad, angry, bitter, dour, down in the dumps people. It needs people of Real Faith. Be that person.

Be Inspired Hilltop!