“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations: 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1.2-4
Make no mistake about it as followers of Christ we will face trials. These trials are not meant to break us but to make us. I know we find this difficult to comprehend but remember who is writing this book. In my opinion, James is perhaps the most practical book we will encounter when reading the New Testament.
How do we count something as joy when we are struggling just to get through the next moment, not to speak of getting through the day? We looked at the answer in a previous blog. In 1 Thessalonians 5.18 Paul gives this advice: “In every thing give thanks: for this IS (emphasis mine) the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” On numerous occasions I have had this verse misquoted in my presence, i. e. “For everything give thanks … ” Paul did not say, “Give thanks for your cancer.” Or “Give thanks for the accident that took someone’s life.” He DID say, “In everything … ” My communion with God when I may seem to be at death’s door (and I have been there) is not one of complaint, but one of giving thanks because IN that situation God is STILL with me and still in control.
When your faith is pushed to the limit, does your anger flare up at God because you do not understand, or have you learned to WAIT until God chooses to move? THAT is where patience is being “worked” in our lives. James continues: “let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. ” This word “perfect” speaks to spiritual growth that leads us to spiritual maturity. When a baby is born, they are totally dependent on us. But when they reach that stage of dressing themselves, and feeding themselves, we begin to rejoice because AT LAST they can do some things on their own. The same principle applies to those who are spiritual babes. If they NEVER grow beyond being spoon fed, there is a problem. Let’s take James at this word here and “let patience have her perfect work … ” Just my thoughts …