Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday 04-20-11

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 (NASB)

I recently memorized these verses with some friends. When we recite them we normally discuss our thoughts on the verses, how they encouraged and convicted us. Per usual I drag on and on, trying to get across simple things that take me a long time. All that to say, these verses are very straight forward and I would encourage anyone to memorize them.

These verses have become a great encouragement to me over the past couple weeks. Sort of my new "fighter verses". Here's what I've been thinking regarding these verses. God brings trials and temptations so that I would not draw my joy, fulfillment or satisfaction from this world. Because God is sovereign I can trust that any 'testing of my faith' is for my ultimate good.

The testing of my faith according to verse three produces endurance. Endurance in self-control when tempted to sin. Endurance in kindness when others are mocking or belittling me for my faith in Christ. Endurance in pursuing Christ as my joy when I under go depressing times. Endurance in serving when it is most difficult to humble myself and serve others. Endurance in trusting God that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

Enduring such difficult situations by the grace of God will in return produce a life change. A life change so that in the end we will be perfect and complete, finding complete satisfaction in God Himself, not buying into the deception of the world.

I believe if we are honest we each desire the last part of being "perfect and complete, lacking nothing." If one is in Christ there ought to be a great desire to be like Him, to not be molded by this world. That said, how well am I doing at enduring the testing of my faith? Is it producing endurance which produces a life change? How about you? Can we honestly say that we are taking joy in the current testing of our faith, knowing that God is wanting to use it to produce an eternal work in each of our hearts? Before I close, I want to make it clear it is not by my work that I am able to endure and make these changes. I get to "act the miracle" of God's grace towards me (Cor 15:10 and Phil 2:12-13).

Father, test my faith that I would become more like you. Not because I have such a great faith, but rather because the object of my faith.. Jesus Christ is great. It is by His grace that I can endure to the end. Keep the deceptions of this world far from me Father, give me contentment in you. 


Anonymous April 22, 2011 at 9:27 PM  

Thank you Sam! Encouraging as always. --Grace