By Sandra Sheridan
James 2:14 “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?”
Faith is an everyday commodity in some circles. “Just have faith” or “Keep the faith” are thrown around every time there is crisis or need for encouraging words. But what exactly is faith? What does it mean? We use the word glibly but rarely do you find someone who courageously acts on his or her beliefs. If you want to demonstrate viable faith, then you should “live like you are trusting!”
I really love country songs. In my opinion, so many of the good ones are ingenious. The way the composer turns a phrase to send a message shows a lot of creative talent. “Live like you are dying” is a phrase from a popular heartrending song that always gets me thinking. If I knew I were dying, what would I do? The lyrics speak of a whole bucket list of activities the singer would seek to accomplish while alive and healthy knowing that someday he won’t have the chance.
As I thought about the phrase “live like you are dying” it got me wondering about the Christian life. I thought a more appropriate expression would be “live like you are trusting.” So often we live each day proclaiming our faith, but never acting like it’s real.
James challenges his brothers in Christ to think carefully about what they confess. If their beliefs don’t result in action, then their faith may only be a quaint saying with no real meaning behind it. Salvation is the product of faith alone, but that faith must be genuine. Actions stemming from faith prove the reality of what a person says they believe. In other words, you must “live like you are trusting” by responding to God with action.
If we find comfort in tossing around the word faith, we must consider whether ours is genuine. Do we obey God’s instructions immediately even when they don’t seem to make sense? Are we engulfed in anxiety or paralyzed by fear over circumstances we can’t control? Or are we sure of the things we hope for and convinced of the things we can’t, see? True faith firmly believes that God is who He says He is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.
So don’t solely focus your attention on trying to complete a bucket list before you die. Instead, carefully consider the validity of what you believe. And if you say you have true faith in God then “live like you are trusting.”