The following advice comes from a man who was a half-brother to Jesus Christ, so he knew Jesus as his older brother and saw Him both as man and God. This man also became the leader of the main Christian church, in Jerusalem, after Jesus’ death and resurrection. He was godly and exemplary in his life.
His name is James and he wrote a short letter to Christians which has become part of the New Testament. Here is the first chapter of that letter, updated into language that is easier for you to comprehend.
Now, pay attention to this advice from an early church leader.
James Chapter One
The various tests of who and what you are should be something to be glad about.
Know this, that those frustrations bring about patience in your life.
If you allow the process to be complete you will become a fully complete Christian.
One of the problems for you will be lack of wisdom. (You may misinterpret the situation and fail to respond properly). So ask for wisdom and your generous God will give it to you.
But remember that the basis of your whole life is faith. So be convinced in your heart.
If you are unsure you will get tossed around like a wave in a troubled sea.
If you don’t have a settled faith as your starting point you won’t receive from God.
Doubt means you are trying to hold two different ideas at the same time and that will make you unstable in everything you do.
Now to some other practicalities which are a part of your journey into completeness.
Recognise that socio-economic factors have been dissolved by Christ. The lower class have been exalted and the rich has been brought down, knowing that his wealth is transient. All should rejoice in the transformation Christ brings to their estate.
There is blessing to the one who survives testing. He shall receive a crown which Christ promised to those who love Him.
Now realise this, God does not create those horrible testing experiences you go through, so don’t blame Him.
God does not trade in evil, is not put under pressure by it and doesn’t awaken evil in anyone to put them under pressure.
Everyone is tested by the process of their own lust trying to lead them off in the wrong direction.
Lust tries to lead you off. Once you have yielded to your lusts, entertained those lustful thoughts instead of resisting them, you become pregnant with sin. You will carry that sin around inside you and without fail you will commit an act of sin in due time. And, of course, your sin produces death.
That is why it is imperative that you do not swerve off course in any way.
Remember that every precious thing comes from God, who is holy, he does not get drawn the slightest degree off course.
It was His will to cause us to be born again by His word, so we would be a special creature among all He made.
So, in order to keep on the right track, every one should be a keen listener but very slow to speak, and certainly slow to be angry.
Man’s emotional responses do not achieve God’s righteousness. So don’t act out of passion of any kind.
Put aside all impurity and the abundance of ill-will man feels toward other men and in a spirit of humility allow God’s Word to be grafted into your life, so your soul will be saved.
Christianity is not a theoretical experience, but one that involves you acting on what God’s Word says. If you hear but do not translate that into action you are deceiving yourself.
Hearers forget what they have heard.
Only when you put something into practice does it become part of your life. This is when you get blessed.
A clear test of a man’s religion is his tongue. People who have a loose tongue have a deceived heart and all their good deeds are worthless.
Pure religion in God’s sight is to care for those God has special care for, the orphans and widows in their difficulties, and to keep clean from the world’s moral pollution.