What does it profit if you have faith but don’t show it in what you do?
The way faith is talked about in churches is like it is the only thing that keeps us from giving up on God completely. We have hard times and what are we told? Hold on to your faith. Or God will see you through.
Is our faith only relevant when we feel like giving up in life because we go through something difficult?
The more I hear churches talk about faith, the more I can see that we know nothing about it.
To most people, faith is only used when we get saved and accept Jesus to be our Savior. After that, it is put up on the shelf next to the Bible and only picked up again when we feel like giving up on God.
But what does the Bible says about faith?
James is writing to people that think the same way most Christians do today. He compares their faith with nothing beyond believing in God.
He goes on to say, first and foremost, that your faith should be profiting you something. It should be working and producing results in our lives.
So let me ask you, has the statement “God will see me through” ever produced results in your life? No, it hasn’t. It’s the lazy Christians way of saying they don’t really know God, so I am going to invoke his name to explain something I know nothing about.
Faith is supposed to profit. Faith is usually talked about like it’s some magic wand that will change your situation just by saying it. This verse paints a much different picture.
Paul is saying that when you have problems, just hearing a pastor say have faith in God will not do you one bit of good. He says that even the demons believe in God, but it doesn’t help them out.
And neither will just saying I have faith in God.
It takes very specific and deliberate action to prove our faith.
You say you have faith without works, but I will show you my faith by my works.
Unless you can point to something specific that you are doing, you aren’t really in faith. By putting action with your faith, you are showing God that not only do I believe what I am saying, I am expecting a result and I’m acting to prove I believe it. It can be simple things like saying things in support of what you are in faith for.
Maybe you have a big decision to make and you are in faith that God will show you the best way to go. The action would be to say that I have the answer and I know just what to do. Even if none of that is true yet, it is an action that proves you are in faith. And it is biblical. Jesus said “when you pray, believe you receive and you will have what you say.” If you really are in faith, your actions will show it.
Abraham showed his faith by his willingness to sacrifice Isaac. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations through Isaac. When God told him to bring Isaac as a sacrifice, Abraham did it. He had faith in what God told him about being a father of many nations, and in the new Testament we are told that he had such faith in what God said that he believed that God could even raise Isaac from the dead. His action of offering his own son showed his faith.
Noah showed his faith by building the ark when there were no visible signs that there was going to be rain. He spent years and years building this huge ship based on nothing more than the words of God. His faith was in those words. He had faith that what God said would happen was true, and his actions proved it.
What if Noah said “God, I believe you when you say there is going to be a flood, but I’m not going to build an ark. I just don’t see how. But I will keep believing in you and in your goodness, even though I don’t understand it right now.”. He would have drowned with the rest of the world! Saying you believe and acting on what you believe are not the same thing.
That’s exactly what this verse is saying. For me to say, I have faith, then do nothing, is the same as not having faith at all.
I hear so much of this in Christian churches and circles, it is staggering. Our own pastors will stand up on Sunday morning and tell you, “hold on to your faith”. They say ” God is working things out for you”. But saying these things doesn’t mean they will happen. The words are meaningless and will produce nothing. But it sounds nice and it temporarily makes people feel better about their situation.
That’s not what we need. When you go home Sunday afternoon and still have the same problems you did last week and last year and 5 years ago, you wonder if God is even listening.
There is a better way. And God is listening. But not like you think. He only responds to faith. If you truly reach out and step out in faith, you will experience his presence and results in your life.
All of this talking and feel good preaching is good for nothing in the long run. We need to grow up and move on from the basics and start being doers of the word.
Hearers like what they hear and go away, forgetting even what they heard. Doers get results and walk on the path God has laid out for them.
Which one are you? Are you one who has faith and shows it by his actions? Or are you one who talks about faith, all the while having none at all?
Get this truth in you and make the change. Put your faith to work, and be deliberate and specific about what your faith is looking for!
It’s the only way to please God and it’s the only way we are told to live. It’s all by faith!
Put some action to what you are in faith about, and watch how much your life begins to change.
Faith without action is dead.