“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith developes perseverance. perseverance must complete its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” James 1:2-4
I have decided on a book study: James. I have studied this book three times in the past year . Like most passages I read, I usually get a new perspective each time I read it.
My soon-to-be fourteen-year-old daughter and I began studying James as her Bible Study before school this past week. How humbling when she astutely asks a question I have never considered. (And I am glad that she, who is a night owl, can see the value in Bible study at 6:15am!)
So, let’s get started! Let’s read James 1:2-4, listed above.
Do you get excited when you experience trials? Honestly, I do not. In fact, I mentally, if not audibly groan and complain and worry. Not that I should be anxious about anything, but often my knee-jerk reaction is one of disgust and despair. I do not usually wallow there too long, but certainly longer than I should for sure! When I can get off by myself and pray, and get to the place where I can just “Be still and know He is God” (Psalm 46:10), I am finally able to listen. I can once again relinquish reality into God’s loving hands and trust Him, claiming Romans 8:28. I know that, no matter what, God will bring good from everything.
Verses 2-3, when you cut through the commas, says ‘we should consider testing a joy because it developes perseverance.’ Why do we want perseverance? (Especially if we must journey through trials to get there?)
As we persevere, we develop maturity. We develop emotional maturity: learning not to always act on emotions, but doing what is we know is right.
And, we develop spiritual maturity: obeying God and trusting in Him to complete what He started (Philippians 1:6), so that we will not lack anything.
How humbling when we see how much further we need to journey toward a life filled with faith. But God is patient, and He does reward obedience. So prepare to persevere! One day you will be so glad you did!
1) What trials am I facing today?
2) What has my reaction been to them?
3) How can I adjust my thinking so my trials do not consume me?
4) How do I respond to the idea of perseverance?
5) Identify growth marks in your maturity over the last decade. When did the most growth occur? Now consider the concept of perseverance again.
Thank you for reading! Please share your comments on the book of James! We can all learn so much from each other! Please return by next Monday, September 4, for the next post.