James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worth patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
Why on earth would we be happy about being in a temptation or trial, as Christians? How is this even possible? Isn’t it a terrible thing when we find ourselves in less than perfect situations? After all, as believers, aren’t our lives supposed to be beds of roses?
I love studying God’s Word because it lends a broader perspective than our present circumstances ever could. We learn to look beyond ourselves and see the bigger picture.
No one is naturally happy about trials and tests of our faith. However, when we see through God’s lens of eternity, one day we will be able to look back and realize how all the puzzle pieces fit together to form God’s plan in our lives. It’s about trusting God’s plan and moving beyond what we see in front of us.
James talks about letting patience have her perfect work because some tests and trials (okay, probably most!) last longer than we would like. If we can stop fighting God in the midst of our trials, we might actually learn something that would build our character and serve a greater purpose in bringing glory to God.
We have been led to believe that we should never encounter difficult times but such is life. Life is full of ups and downs and both require trusting God to continually work all things together for our good and ultimately His glory. It’s just that it’s easier to trust God in the good times. Somehow in the bad times, we feel as if He’s forgotten where we live. He hasn’t forgotten. He knows your name and mine. He sees all. Nothing is being wasted as you go through tests and trials. I read this a long time ago: “God doesn’t waste pain, tears or scars. He uses them all for His glory.” I absolutely believe that!
Everything we go through in this life serves a greater purpose than we often see at the moment. If we can see through eyes of faith, a time in the future where we’ve moved beyond the present circumstances, perhaps we can get a glimpse of the good that it will bring. If we will be patient and learn to be still, we will eventually see that God’s hand was, in fact, with us during our darkest days.
“Be still and know that I am God.” ~ Psalm 46:10a
“But let patience have her perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” ~ James 1:4
So, at the end of your tests and trials, the goal is that we would be mature and complete, wanting nothing. The word perfect here does not refer to our English word perfect, but more of a complete faith, a maturing in the Lord.
If we only fed our children sugar, what kind of adults would they become? As Christians, we cannot only experience the good things in life. For there would not be an appreciation for them if that was our sole reality. A balanced life causes us to fully appreciate the red letter days and times of our lives.
The challenges in life also serve to magnify our desperate need to trust God more fully. We can say that we trust God, but when the rubber meets the road, do we really? When you lose your job? What about then? When the doctor’s report comes back bad? Still trust Him?
In my nearly 42 years of walking with God, one thing I have learned … and that is, that the Word of God is my true source of strength for whatever situation life hands me.
When I don’t know what to do, it is my compass. When my heart is distraught, it is my comfort. When I am wrong, it is my correction. And when I am down, it is my courage.
The Word of God truly is:
Praying that as we enter 2017, it will be for you also! Blessings, my friend!