“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.  Being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  James 1:2-8 NASB

Here it says to count it all joy.  People call you a liar, count it all joy; a doctor tells you that you have cancer, count it all joy.  It doesn’t matter what situation you are in, count it all joy.  He doesn’t say in this verse to count it all joy with certain exceptions; he says count it all joy.  The word joy in this passage has a Greek meaning of calmness, gladness, and exceeding joy.  In verse 3, the word endurance in the Greek means, continual cheerful endurance.  Another name for endurance is patience.  That means that when you go through stuff, and you have joy, you are not going to lack for anything!   Then you look at verse 7, and it tells you to ask in faith, without a doubt.  If you doubt, then you do not have endurance or patience, and it says that if you doubt, you will not receive anything from the Lord.  The trying of our faith only brings patience, but not doubt.  You must be patient.  You have a choice, either live in doubt or patience.  The person who lives in patience knows that God must perform, He doesn’t have a choice, or he ceases to exist.  Do you know the moment that God would lie He would cease to exist?  That is where faith comes in, and you say, it’s not my job to honor God’s Word, its God’s job.  A doubter should not expect anything.  Don’t get out of calmness; don’t get worked up.  Stay in exceeding joy and gladness.  If you are not in calmness, gladness, and exceeding joy, you are not in faith.

 

One time when I was in Bible School, I was scheduled to preach in another town, and my gas tank was empty, and I had no money for gas.  I had three roommates, and they were all born again, but none of them believed the Word of faith message.  I knew that God had told me to go to this church and preach.  I got showered, dressed in my suit, and studied my sermon notes.  My roommates asked what I was doing, and I told them I was going to preach, and they wanted to know why I hadn’t left yet.  I told them I had no gas; they said you need to leave; it is an hour and a half away.  I needed to leave in 15 minutes to be there on time.  They asked if I was going to call the pastor and tell him I wasn’t coming and I told them no, God told me to go, so I’m going.  They asked how I was going to get there, and I told them God was going to give me gas money.  They told me I couldn’t do that, but I told them I was going to believe God.  I would have taken a bus, but God told me I was going to drive there, and that is what I was doing.  Five minutes before I left, they were saying that my word of faith wasn’t going to work this time and that I should call the preacher.  The time that I was supposed to leave one of my roommates handed me the phone and told me to call the pastor, and I told him no I wouldn’t, and he said well, we can’t sit here and let you make a mockery of the rest of us who are in Bible School so they each gave me $5.00 for gas.  I told them thanks guys for meeting the need, I told you God was going to provide me with the gas money!

I got in the car, drove up to preach, had a bunch of people that got saved, and I got an offering!  When I came back, I gave each of them a $20.00 bill and told them, see guys, I’ve been teaching you about prosperity, and you each gave me $5.00, and you each got a three-hundred-fold return.  That is the goodness and nature of God.  I was calm, and I wasn’t upset or double-minded at all.  Getting out of calmness, joy, and gladness takes you out of faith.  That is why Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith, it is impossible to please God.

 

The joy of the Lord is my strength.  I can do all things through Christ, whose joy is my strength.  Look at 2 Corinthians 9,

“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that always having all sufficiency in everything; you may have an abundance for every good deed.” 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NASB

Some of you are wondering why your tithes don’t work; it says here that God loves a cheerful giver.   I remember one time I had given my tithe and God spoke to me during the sermon that He wanted me to give an offering, so I wrote out the check while I was sitting there and when service was over I handed the check to the pastor and told him that God told me to give this offering.  Walking out of the church that day, someone stopped me and asked me if I wanted to go out to eat, and I wanted to say, I would love to, but I just gave my last money as an offering.  The moment I started to say something the Holy Spirit checked me, and I said, you know what, I’d love to, but I’m going to go home and pray and spend some time seeking the Lord, and the lady and her husband said to me, well do that after dinner, we want to buy you dinner.  So, we went out to eat, and when I got home, I prayed and thanked God for preparing my seed.  God says He wants a cheerful giver, not one who is begrudging about what he gave.  If you can’t give cheerfully, then don’t give.  Cheerful in the Greek is the word hilaros; it is where we get the word hilarious.  God wants you to be a willing, hilarious giver.  You should be applauding when it is time to give the offering.

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