Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Thames River, London

Sunday, April 8, 2012

James 1:4-5 "Endurance's Perfect Result"



James 1:4–5
4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

To fully understand this verse, we have to take a look a the two verses that precede it in James 1, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance". In these verse we see that trials can be a way of God's teaching us endurance. In order to learn this lesson, we have to remain faithful to Him and His promises, not relying on our own wisdom, resources, strength or capability but depending totally upon Him and His promise to use the things that happen to us for our good. This is the "endurance" we are to learn, trusting Him, even in trials that test us. 

In vs 4-5, we see that this endurance has a purpose, just as the trials that produce the endurance have. The endurance God wants to teach us will aid us in our sanctification, the process the Holy Spirit guides us through in making us holy. That holiness is the perfection these two verses speak of. If we embrace all this, instead of doing everything we can to get out of our trials or avoid them, we will find that we have everything we need to move along in that sanctification process.  

This whole approach can be difficult, though. It tests us in so many ways, we can have a hard time trusting in God's promises. How do we hold on to that trust? Where do we find the strength to endure? We go to God (vs 5), with contrite, sincere and trusting hearts, beseeching Him to help us. He will help and bless us readily and generously. The key, though, is "with contrite, sincere and trusting hearts". So often we ask for purely selfish reasons. Once we surrender the impulse to preserve ourselves, the desire to have our own way, the tendency to try to direct God and trust Him completely and totally, He can have His way with us. This is always a blessing in abundance. It is always the way of peace and inner joy, even in trials. It is always the perfect result of our endurance. 

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