June 23, 2021·Shaina Webb
James 1:2-4 —
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
“Consider it” — I’ve always loved that this verse begins with a consideration; seems as though James knew we wouldn’t naturally consider joy in difficult times. However, he calls us to not only consider it a joy, but he also challenges our perspective on the trials we face.
James is one of my favorite books in the Bible. No matter where I am, it always stops me in my tracks and forces me to look inward; to look at the areas lacking, the areas hardened, the areas not considering joy. Reading James this week has been no different. I read the first few verses of James, chapter 1, familiar verses, and yet, verse 4 spoke to me, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James instructs us to let perseverance finish its work. I have never thought of the trials, the pain, the hurt, the sorrow, as a finishing act. I always thought of them as the next mountain to climb, the next season to get through; instead, we are encouraged to let perseverance finish what it started, so we may be mature and complete.
I know trials are not something we hope for, but as humans in a fallen world, they should be something we expect. However, our perception of our trails can change: Instead of anticipating hard times with resentment, may we be a people who expect trials in joy. Trials and testing can be filled with loss, sorrow, and pain, but they are used as a purification of our character and our spirit. The Lord never promised a carefree life for those who believe. However, He has promised to never leave or forsake us. Even in our trials!
This week, may we let perseverance finish its work, so we may look upon our trials and testing as moments of joy, as purification of our character and as intimacy with our Father God.
All for His Glory, may we consider it joy.