Prepare – James 1:2-4
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Often when I have asked one of our kids to do something that they didn’t want to do, I would jokingly say, “it builds character!” James isn’t joking, in fact he sees joy in trials. Who is this guy? He certainly hasn’t been through the coronavirus pandemic. James did know a thing or two about trials, both his own and others around him. He has something to teach us.
Let’s start at the end of the three verses and work our way back towards the beginning. Trials reveal to us that we are each lacking in many areas, as we see James indicating that the result of trials is that we are not lacking. Think back over the last month. What has God revealed to you about yourself and what you lack that you didn’t realize fully until this disruption of life?
Whatever those things are, James indicates that trials produce the spiritual fruit of toughness or staying power. When we are discouraged or disheartened by our lack of faith, trials give us fortitude to stand in faith and develop a seasoned maturity that we didn’t have before.
Steadfastness makes us mature (perfect). It completes us. It’s hard, but it’s worthwhile. Let that understanding encourage your heart, and use it to encourage others as well.
~ Pastor Craig Johnson