My Brothers, what is the good of a man’s saying that he has faith, if he does not prove it by actions? Can such faith save him? James 2:14
Some one, indeed, may say–“You are a man of faith, and I am a man of action.” “Then show me your faith,” I reply, “apart from any actions, and I will show you my faith by my actions.” James 2:18 (TCNT)
Introduction:The letter of James was written to people who were already saved; who understood how to be saved. They know that someone cannot say he has faith and be saved without opening his mouth to confess Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour. That action of confessing had to be taken for salvation to really take place. Romans 10:9&10 makes it clear that believing and taking actions that prove that belief must go hand in hand before the result desired can show up.
Unfortunately many Christians don’t apply this principle all the time. They apply it in some cases and just believe in their heart alone for others. My dear brother and sister, you cannot claim to have faith that God will do something if your works (actions) cannot prove it. Your actions must be in line with what you believe for the faith to be obvious to God and man? God is a God of principles and he doesn’t bend his standard. If you really want to receive anything from God, you must have faith and the only way God can know that you have faith is if you add an action that shows that you really believe He will do that thing.
James 2:26 says as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead. This means that James was comparing the body to faith and the spirit to works. This means our works or actions to prove our faith are the spirit that can give life to the body of our faith. We all know that the spirit rules the body and therefore more important. Does it mean that works done as an evidence of our faith in God is more important that the belief inside us ?
That means confessing our beliefs and taking steps of actions in line with it are actually more important than just believing in our hearts.
If you have faith that God will lift you up, rejoice and give
Apostle James in Chapter 1:6-8 of his book said that anyone who wants something from God should ask in faith without doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. Such a man must not expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, vacillating as he is, irresolute at every turn. (TCNT). Many people believe this scripture and try to practice it but since James’ message did not stop in chapter one, you will have to practice what he said in chapter 2 for your practice to be complete. In chapter 2, he explained that our faith should involve not favoring the rich above the poor people; (James 2:1-9) and we should prove that we have faith by taking actions (works). Just as you cannot be saved without the action of confessing, you cannot receive the other packages you need from God without doing something; taking an action that is an evidence of the faith.
In chapter 1 v 9, he said a lowly brother, someone who is not rich should rejoice because he is exalted. His action in that situation that can prove that he really trusts God that he will be lifted is ‘rejoicing’.In chapter 2 v15-26, James also said that if a brother or a sister is without clothing and in need of the day’s food, and one of you says to them, go in peace, be warm and full of food; but you do not give them the things which their bodies need;you will get no profit from what you have done. In other words, all the prayers, counselling and other superficial acts of kindness shown to such a person without any action to give him what he needs are useless.
If indeed you have faith in God that He will provide for all your needs then you should be able to share what you have with others. In sharing with others, it is also important to check your heart and be sincere with yourself. What kind of people do you give a lot of money to? Is it those who have good jobs who can also give quality gifts back to you or those who cannot? If your trust is in God and not in the person you are giving to, then you should be able to give good quality gifts to the poor who may not be able to repay you in the future. If indeed you have faith in God, that He will turn things around for your poor brother/sister, you are likely to share with him, the same way you give to the rich. Unfortunately many Christians who seem to have faith praying for others do not believe that God can turn things around for them; no wonder they find it difficult to give to them.They would rather give to the rich who in the present have the capability to give back in return. In fact some Christians even prefer to give to a ‘rich’ Pastor or Ministry thinking that the size of that pastor or ministry will determine the kind of harvest they will have.
If indeed you have faith in God, you should find it easy to give quality offering any time you have the opportunity to do so. (An amount thatmatters to you). Moreover, you should be willing to support God’s project and His servants without them begging or cajoling you. Remind yourself that you are not doing a church or ministry or the set man any favour, you are only proving that you trust God. Remember that God is watching your heart.
Behave exactly the way you will behave after God has answered your prayers
The only way you can prove that you trust God is by behaving exactly the way you will behave if he has done that thing you really desire in your heart. The bible says in Psalm 67 v5&6 that when the people give praise to God, then the earth shall yield her increase and God will give them his blessing. For you, the field of play of your destiny might not be Agriculture as it was those days, it might be the world of IT, or Music, or Ministry or Law or Medicine. God says when you praise him, rejoicing and dancing; that field will yield her increase. Whatever you desire as increase will come your way this season as you rejoice in Jesus name.
I remember when I was praying for my first child, I was always rejoicing, though thoughts of sadness flashed through my mind on many occasions. I would lock myself up in my room playing keyboard, singing and dancing like someone who has just received a miracle. People were always wondering whether I really wanted a child because they felt I was too joyful to be a ‘waiting’ woman. In fact someone walked up to me one day and said I was not serious; that I did not look like someone who really wanted a baby. I just told her not to worry about me. In the world system when you need something, you should be thinking, talking and worrying about it; but in our kingdom, you should pray, seek counsel and be rejoicing that you have received it. If you have been ‘waiting’ to have a child and you have done all necessary medical investigations; start rejoicing, dancing and buying baby things that are unisex. Praise God in anticipation of what he will do and he will know that you really trust him.
In Psalm 69, David was praying in affliction, poverty and sorrow (v29) and he decided that he will praise God and magnify Him with thanksgiving. He recognized that praising God will magnify (glorify) him but being sorrowful will not be pleasing to him. He said praising God shall please the LORD better than an offering (ox or bull, which has horns and hooves (v31). He even called upon the heavens and the earth, the seas and everything that moves in them to join him in praising God because he believed that God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah( v4&35). He believed that God would answer his prayers, therefore he praised him.
If you consider David’s action in view of James 2:18; can you say he had faith? Yes, because he proved that he believed God has answered him by praising God.
Conclusion: What action do you think is necessary to prove that you trust God for the blessing you desire? Start taking the action now! If you want to be rich, find out the culture of those who are rich in the kingdom of God and start behaving like them. Stop spending money anyhowand give. In addition to that specific action that fits your desire, maintain a joyful attitude all the time. Sing aloud and dance in your house; don’t wait till you get to church. When you refuse to complain and keep thanking God for what he has done, He will show up on your behalf.