I have a confession. I often get stuck in the first part of the faith and deeds passage in James as it relates to being charitable (James 2:14-17). I suspect I’m not the only one. Maybe it seems easy because we can serve in some capacity and congratulate ourselves for demonstrating faith. While we must help those in need, that is just one part of vibrant faith, and to prove it, James examines the story of Abraham (James 2:20-24).
In James 2:21 we are reminded Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice after God’s promise of an heir and offspring more numerous than the stars (Genesis 15:4-5). God’s instructions to Abraham to sacrifice his son probably made no sense, yet Abraham demonstrated his faith and did what God asked (Genesis 22: 1-18), which is why James tells us in 2:22, “his faith and his actions were working together.”
This lesson on faith and deeds makes me consider issues in my own life. I think of things God wants to do, and I have to ask myself the following questions:
Do my thoughts prove I believe God?
Do my words indicate I believe God?
Do my actions show I believe God?
I sometimes fall short, especially when God doesn’t work in the way I have imagined. Nevertheless, I want my thoughts, words, and actions to demonstrate vibrant faith, even when God’s ways don’t make sense. In Genesis 15:6 we are told, “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” I want the same to be said of me.