JAMES – Are You Crazy?

James 1:2-4 – “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” NASB

Consider or count it ALL Joy when…   It would be easy to think that James had to be stark raving mad to suggest that we are to count it ALL Joy when trials and troubles come our way.  We work so hard to avoid conflict and difficulty and here one of the disciples tells us to consider it a good thing. 

James tells us:

The Testing or Trying of our Faith produces ENDURANCE.

If we are going to run a marathon, we must have endurance.  If we are going to harvest a crop, we must have patience and endurance.  If we are going to hold true to the end, we must have endurance.  Therefore, endurance is desirable, and James says that it is produced by tests and trials. 

Let ENDURANCE have its perfect result making us COMPLETE.

If we need anything it is to be complete in Jesus.  When Jesus went to the Cross He said, “It is Finished” or “It is Complete.” The work has been done.  So, I ask “How complete is complete or how finished is finished?”  There is nothing that needs to be added to what Jesus did on the Cross.  There is nothing to be added to His Grace.  So, endurance enables us to move into the Grace of God and become spiritually mature.

As we encounter tests and trials how we respond to them is critical with regard to what they produce in our lives.  If we resist and fight, kicking and screaming all the way we will miss what God is allowing to happen.  I am not suggesting that we passively and eagerly look for trouble to come into our lives – HEAVEN FORBID!  

However, when the difficulty or test comes, we need to constantly be looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.  We need to be continually lifting our eyes to see the hand of God move on our behalf.  We need to be taking stock of the Power of God in our storm and that will enhance our faith, bolster our courage, and shore up our resolve and those are good things.  It will give us landmarks to look back on and say, “I encountered this or that storm and God was faithful.”  It will be a benefit to us and to those we influence.

So, as you go through this day instead of becoming frustrated by the tests and trials that you encounter, lift up your eyes to the hills and know that your help is coming from the Lord.  He has promised to not leave you orphaned so rejoice the trials and tests are just bumps to help us climb higher and give us traction. 

May God be with you today!

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