James 1:3 – “The trying of your faith worketh patience.”
James, the brother of Lord Jesus and a leader in the Jerusalem church, wrote this letter to the Jewish Christians, who left Israel to live in other countries because Christians were being troubled. James lived to serve God and the people of God. Thus, he is a good example to us. James called himself a servant or slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. The slaves lived to do what their master told them to do. If we are anything, it is from God. There is no cause for us to be proud.
The main point of James’ letter is that what Christians believe must be evident in their actions. He shows how to apply faith in God, to the problems, to activate real faith. Faith that does nothing is not real faith; faith without works is dead. Jewish Christians were going through trials that were hard for them to overcome. Some trials came from others and were a real test of their faith. They were hated because they believed that Jesus is the Messiah. They left their homes in Jerusalem to make new homes in foreign places. At first, it must have been very hard for them to get work, to earn money to live. Other trials came from inside them – they could not give in to temptations that came from their desires.
Trials can be a real test of our faith in God. But when we meet them with the right attitude, they prove the quality of our faith. We should know that:
- God is our Lord and He will help us.
- God has allowed the trials to come to us, for us to prove our faith in Him and to make our faith stronger.
- When trials come, we can have pure joy because we know that we can overcome the trials.
- Each time we overcome with active endurance in obedience and not passive patience, we are stronger to fight the next trials. Therefore, we must go on in our faith in God, to overcome each test this way.
- We should grow up and be mature, in the life that we have with Christ, to lack nothing.
Trials reveal our faith; not because God doesn’t know how much faith we have, but for our faith to be evident to ourselves and to those around us. How do we get this faith? “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Supernaturally, faith is built in us as we hear, understand, and trust in God’s Word. Testing of our faith through experience produces endurance that leads to our spiritual maturity and peace within. When we have spiritual maturity, we lack nothing.
In this life, none can be perfect, without sin. One day God will make all of us, who belong to Him, perfect so that we can live with Him forever.