Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Because, you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
To Persevere – Going on with a fixed purpose in spite of difficulties
Earlier this month, I was studying this passage with a group of ladies I love dearly. When we talked about what James could have possibly been thinking when he wrote this, we diverged into what we may have written to make the same point. So this is what the consensus was with regard to what I would probably have written.
“Hey friends, listen up. Life is gonna get hard and messy so expect it. But don’t get bummed out. You’re just gonna have to suck it up and put on your big girl panties. The longer you do life with God, the more natural it will become to trust in God’s plan and obey even when you don’t understand. That’s how we roll when we are walking side by side with Jesus. It’s all part of growing up into the girl God wants you to be. It’s a process. It’s a journey.”
I have to admit, this made me smile. These women knew what most of my words would be, and didn’t hesitate to offer them up J They know me. They know my heart.
James knew his audience too. In this book he offers up practical advice on how to do life in a way that is pleasing to God when life gets messy. God’s way isn’t easy. Sometimes there are tests. And my test may be different than my friends. God is going to stretch me. Life will give me the chance to decide “do I go on with fixed purpose in spite of difficulties?” Do I keep my attitude in check? Do I check my ego at the door? What is my motivation? Do I keep my mouth shut when speaking is not what is needed? Do I offer up honor and respect to those in authority over me?
Today God, help me to let perseverance do its work. Help me not to rush the process, but to instead draw close to you. Amen.