”Consider it all joy my brethren,
when you encounter various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Endurance. Perseverance. Hanging on. Not letting go. Pushing through. Having stamina. Going the hard mile. How do we develop this endurance? James says that it through the testing of your faith. Faith is like a muscle. When you strengthen it, it is able to be strengthened further and it makes you stronger. When you are asked to pick up a hundred pound weight of frustration, circumstances, anger, etc…, you can if your faith muscle has been strengthened with smaller weights and you have continued to show up and do the reps. I lift 3 and 5 pound weights each morning to strengthen my arms and keep them from getting flabby. I won’t win any competitions this way, but as I continue to strengthen my arms, they will have more strength as I get older and I will be able to use them for the long haul.
The testing of your faith produces endurance. Ever wonder why God allows the hard things in life to come in and challenge your faith? Here’s your answer. He wants you to be able to hold on through the long haul. He wants you to stand firm in the hard times and be strengthened to withstand the weightier times of life. He wants you to endure through the fire and the flood and be found faithful when you stand before His throne and enter into His kingdom.
As faith leads to endurance, endurance leads to your “perfection” or maturity, your completeness. Colossians 2;10 says, “…and in Him you have been made complete…” This is our eternal reality, nothing else is needed for us to be complete in God’s eyes. Jesus’ death accomplished it all. But in our temporal bodies and existence here on earth completeness is a process. It is becoming more like Christ. It is living in holiness. It is walking so close to the Savior that even the difficult situations of life don’t crush you. You are able to endure because you have exercised faith and learned endurance. You know the Scripture promises of God and you walk in that reality with Jesus every moment of every day. That is the perfect result. God desires relationship above all else. Let you hope and joy and peace stem from being in His presence.
Endure. Know what you believe. Stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Delight in the presence of God through praise. Put you faith in His word, not in life’s circumstances. Eternity will come and this world will pass away. Put your apples in the right basket!