Monday, June 19, 2023

The Trustworthiness Of Your Faith

I love this short passage of Scripture, "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." (James 1:2-4)

I want to unpack this passage a bit. First of all, James says we should consider it or reckon it as "joy" when we encounter different trials. Trials = JOY! That's hard for some of us Christian folk to wrap our brains around! If we stop here, it would be impossible to understand the words of James. Truth is, we should first wrap our hearts around this. Joy is the product of the heart. Joy is conceived in our hearts when our faith reaches forward to God's promises, realizing that either now or in the future we WILL receive the promise.

The promise here states that when our faith is tested, the perfect result is that we gain the strength to stay the course to maturity in Christ. We will lack nothing that contributes to our growing up in Christ. We should consider it ALL joy when we are tried, because of the perfect result, endurance. What a joy it will be when we finish the course and receive our heavenly prize! Hence, trials = JOY!

James takes us even deeper when he says we should KNOW that the testing of our faith produces endurance. It's crucial that we KNOW this powerful truth. The word "testing" (from the original Greek) means "trustworthiness". How trustworthy is my faith? How trustworthy is your faith? We must KNOW that the TRUSTWORTHINESS of our faith causes us to stay the course to maturity in Jesus Christ! Those whose faith is trustworthy will endure through the trials and testings of this life.

So James says we must not surrender to the trials we encounter. Instead we must rejoice in the Lord, knowing that the various trials we face produce the endurance necessary to finish the course. Remember, serving Jesus in this life puts us on a course that leads us to the finish line, where we will spend eternity in the glory of God!

Be encouraged my friend. Stand strong in your faith. The testing of your faith will make your faith more trustworthy. This is one of the crucial keys to maturity in Christ, and enduring to the end. "For we have become partakers of Christ if we keep the beginning of our commitment firm until the end," (Hebrews 3:14)

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