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Galatians 5:16-23 teaches that at any moment we are either walking by the Holy Spirit or according to the sin nature. Walking by the Spirit, enjoying fellowship with God, walking in the light are virtually synonymous. During these times, the Holy Spirit is working in us to illuminate our minds to the truth of Scripture and to challenge us to apply what we learn. But when we sin, we begin to live based on the sin nature. Our works do not count for eternity. The only way to recover is to confess (admit, acknowledge) our sin to God the Father and we are instantly forgiven, cleansed, and recover our spiritual walk (1 John 1:9). Please make sure you are walking by the Spirit before you begin your Bible study, so it will be spiritually profitable.

James 1:6 by Robert Dean
Duration:54 mins 29 secs

Faith Rest and Adversity/Stress
James 1:6


James 1:5 NASB "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."

The testing of the doctrine in our soul produces endurance, and the result of endurance is maturity. That is the growth process, you can't get to spiritual maturity any other way. It is not by emotion, not by experience, it is by learning doctrine and applying doctrine day in and day out in the good times as well as the bad times. Every situation in life to one degree or another provides a test, an opportunity for us to apply doctrine to that circumstance or that situation.

Sometimes we don't know the doctrine that applies. We may be in a situation where we are confused, and so we pray. This is verse 5. Wisdom is the knowledge of doctrine pertinent to the situation or tests that we find ourselves in. "Let him ask of God." Verse 5 focuses on the character of God in terms of grace orientation, that God gives to all men generously and without reproach. God does not put conditions on His giving. But there is one condition in verse 6: "But he must ask by means of faith." Prayer in order to have efficacy must be on the basis of faith alone, and it must be on the basis of a faith that is not distracted by doubts.  We need to read through our Bibles on a regular basis so that we are aware of the incredible promises that God has given to us so that we can grow by them.

2 Peter 1:3, 4 NASB "seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of {the} divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust."

So knowing God's promises is vital to spiritual growth and spiritual maturity. We must take time to learn. We cannot apply what we don't know, and we don't know when we don't take the time and the discipline and the energy to study and to learn for ourselves.

The second stage of the faith-rest drill is using doctrinal rationales. This is focusing on the underlying doctrines or reasons and principles that under gird the promise, focusing on the various aspects of doctrine that is encapsulated within that promise. The use of doctrinal rationales depends upon having EPIGNOSIS doctrine in the soul and a maturing faith. Continuing from last time we have the a fortiori rationale.  Literally from the Latin what this means is "from a stronger reason." In other words, in logic you start off and establish a strong reason, a major principle. Then you argue that if God can do X (whatever that may be), and what you are counting on Him to do is Y, and Y is much easier to do than X, then if God has the power to do X then from a stronger reason (a fortiori) you know that God can do Y. Example: If God has solved the greatest problem that you will ever face, i.e. the problem of sin, then whatever problem you face on a day-to-day basis God can also solve. If He can solve the greatest problem He can solve any little problem. Romans 8:31, 32 demonstrates how this works: NASB "What then shall we say to these things? If God {is} for us, who {is} against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"

As we have gone through this study we have been looking at building a fortress. The psalmist says over and over again how the Lord is a fortress, a shield, a bulwark. We build a fortress around our souls through the use of the ten stress-busters or problem-solving devices.

The example of the faith-rest drill and fear

1)  The more things in life that you surrender to fear the more things you will fear and worry about in life.

2)  The extent to which you surrender to fear, worry and anxiety, the greater your capacity for fear, worry and anxiety.

3)  The greater your capacity for fear the more you will increase the power of fear or worry or anxiety in your life.

4)  The more the power of fear increases in your life the more stress builds in your soul.

5)  This stress is a companion to the emotional and arrogance complex of sins, the lust pattern of the sin nature, reversionism, Christian moral and immoral degeneracy. The result of this is to become a neurotic or a psychotic believer.

The writer of James shows that the believer is in either one position or another, either operating on the basis of faith, the faith-rest drill, or not. The other category is that he is doubting, uncertain, not sure that God will answer prayer, that God is the solution to problems. The result of the latter is that the believer is unstable and will not have his prayers answered. James 1:6-8 NASB "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."

Doctrine (EPIGNOSIS doctrine) assimilated into the mentality of your soul maintains the normal, cohesive, integrated and unified soul. There is no fragmentation, it is one unified soul.

Notice Psalm 23:1-3 NASB "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want." Because the Lord is our shepherd there is nothing that you or I lack as believers. God has already provided us with everything. The root of modern psychology is that people need orienting. All the approaches to psychology function on this basis of need, that you have to have certain needs met before you can have soul health. But Scripture says that God has met all of our needs at the cross, we don't need for anything. "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters," the source of nutrition, food. God provides the nutrition we need spiritually to grow through Bible doctrine. "He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake." The word for restoring the soul is the same as used in 1 Kings 13:6 of God healing a withered hand. The only solution is the divine solution. Human solutions do not work.

Our lives are the result of the decisions we make. Who you are now is the result of all the decisions you made from the time you were about six months old. You may not have been fully conscious of the fact that you were making these decisions, of all the ramifications and consequences that might come your way as a result of those decisions, but everything that you become later in life is the result of those decisions. Some of those decisions that we make when we are quite young have incredible, enormous consequences. When we make bad decisions based on human viewpoint in our soul—always remember that the deceptive thing about human viewpoint is that it sounds so good—the sin nature dominates. We convert the outside pressure of adversity into the inside pressure of stress in the soul. Continued stress destroys cognitive ability and can impair physical function.

There is a definite relationship between stress and cognition, between stress and the ability to think clearly. Stress makes you forgetful and impairs your memory. Stress hinders your ability to learn. Stress affects your perception of reality and the ability to balance things correctly. When stress is removed cognitive ability can be restored. If a person remains in a stressful situation too long all of his cognitive ability is destroyed and he enters into a psychotic state. Under continuous stress the sin nature further fragments the soul. What happens to the unprotected soul with adversity coming on it one after another, cracks begin to appear and the soul begins to fragment. As a result of soul fragmentation there are consequences in the physical realm. There are biochemical reactions. Various chemical reactions are produced as you go under stress. As a result there is a vicious cycle. These chemicals that are produced in turn create further mental problems. Those mental problems in turn create further biochemical imbalance.

The solution is twofold. Sometimes it is necessary for people to go under medication. But this is merely a stop-gap measure so that this person can achieve a level of functionality in life so that they can begin to move in a direction of making positive spiritual decisions and apply doctrine in their life. The medication is simply to stabilize after years of problems, then the person works his way out of it through spiritual solutions. Remember, the divine solution is the only solution; the human solution is no solution. The human solution will never fully satisfy the underlying issues which are always spiritual in nature.