James 1:2-4 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James states that perseverance is the product of faith being tested with many trials. While nobody likes being challenged on their faith, James says to “Consider it pure joy”. He says this because perseverance makes a soul “mature and complete”.
This is the necessary food that will help you grow spiritually. It can change you from a spiritual baby to a spiritual soldier, that does “not lack anything”. But in order for this to happen, you must face trials and when you do, you must have faith in God, for only faith can produce perseverance. What is faith then? Faith is trusting in God without doubt and believing that whatever trials you face, God will always be there to bring you through. This does not mean that you can sit down and float through the trial however. In order to overcome a trial, one must act in the defense of one’s faith. And in order to defend your faith, one must be armed with the Armor of God that is listed in Ephesians 6:10-18. Whenever you face a trial, use Ephesians 6:10-18 as a checklist to make sure you have all of your gear (truth, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and righteousness). When you are armed, go out there and face your trial. When you have overcome every obstacle, you have persevered. This is one more step to becoming “mature and complete, not lacking anything”. REJOICE when you persevere. Don’t take trials as the world does. Be joyful at the chance to prove that God is the Almighty, the All-Knowing, and the Faithful.
Perseverance is the frame of mind and character which persists in doing what is right even though doing so may produce difficulties, suffering, and sorrows. Perseverance is the commitment to suffer in the short-term in order to experience glory for eternity. Perseverance was exemplified by our Lord:
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3).
Perseverance also includes patience. In the light of eternity, suffering is light and momentary (see 2 Corinthians 4:17), but when our Lord’s tarrying seems to be endless, we desperately need patience to persist in the stewardship God has given to each of us. The false teachers point out that our Lord has not returned as proof that He will not. They urge men to live for the moment and to pursue fleshly pleasures, doubting the reality of a day of judgment or even our Lord’s return as told in Scripture (2 Peter 3:1). Knowing that in God’s economy one day is as 1,000 years, and 1,000 years is like a day, we must patiently persist in doing what is right, looking for our eternal rewards when He returns.
I challenge you to apply perseverance to your life and grow spiritually as you do. Be saturated in the Word of God. “Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18). If you want to apply perseverance to your life, pray and ask God to help you. God is good, and will “meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 4:19).
Scripture of the day: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
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