About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

Trials Will Produce True Faith

How you can know if you are a truely born again christian living the christian life: how trials test us and help us know we have eternal salvation: James 1:2, 12.
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials; knowing this, that the testing of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and its flower falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. Blessed is the man that endures trials: for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him."

G.K. Chesterton said, "I believe in getting into hot water. I think it keeps you clean."
And there is, to be sure, the need in our lives for a testing to see if, in fact, we are genuine; and sometimes there is no better test than hot water, or the water of sorrows and trials. How one handles trouble is an indication of their faith, and trouble coming into your life and my life will speak to the reality of our faith, or the lack of it.

Therefore, in the purpose of James, which is to give us tests of living faith,
the first thing he wants to talk about is the test of trials, for trials will reveal whether your faith is living faith or dead faith, whether it’s genuine faith or imitation faith, whether it is saving faith or non-saving faith.
It’s a very natural starting point, for the simple reason that everybody who lives in the world lives through trials. In fact, we are fallen creatures, we are sinful creatures, we live in the midst of a fallen and sinful society, and as a result of that we experience constant trouble.
In fact, it just seems like it never goes very far away, if it goes away at all. Job put it this way; in Job 5: 7, he said, "Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward." It’s as if to say man’s fallen nature is a fire that spits up sparks. The natural consequence of the fire of man’s fallenness is trouble. In fact, in Job 14:1, he said, "Man that is born of a woman" – and that includes all of us, obviously – "Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble."
In Psalm 22:11, David said, "Be not far from me" – crying out to God – "Be not far from me, for trouble is near me."
In Isaiah 8:22,-23 God speaks through Isaiah of His judgment in the world that left men, quote: "To look unto the earth and find only trouble." And no doubt you can remember, if you’ve read that wonderful insight into human wisdom that we know as the book of Ecclesiastes, these familiar words in chapter 2, "Therefore I hated life, because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me, for all is vanity and vexation of spirit." And then verse 23, "For all his days are sorrows and his travail grief; yea, his heart takes not rest in the night." Trouble, trouble, trouble, vanity – day and night, life seems but trouble, and trouble alone.

Even for Christians, even for those of us who are the children of God, there’s a constant kind of facing of trouble, a constant facing of trial in a very troubled world. And even when we sort of get our own little world under control, somebody invades it and messes it up, inevitably, and you will know that if you’ve had a group of kids over to your house lately. No matter how you protect your insulated little world, they have a way of doing damage to it. And they are but a small illustration of how life is. We do everything we can to protect ourselves, to get the perfect peace and comfort, but inevitably, trouble comes either from outside or from inside.