As we draw this week’s study to a close, I want to take a moment and review once again three very important truths that we have discovered.
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. NIV
1) First of all we see that God often allows our faith to be tested. Someone has said that faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted. Often we do not know how much we really believe until our faith is put to the test.
2) Secondly we see that through the testing of our faith, God is able to produce perseverance. The original Greek word used here is a compound word formed from the two words: ‘remain’ and ‘under.’ Biblical perseverance is the ability to remain steadfast, even when we are under a heavy load.
3) Thirdly we see that God develops our perseverance by revealing to us His wisdom. Though our initial reaction to a problem is to ask ‘why’, God wants us to come to the place of where we ask ‘what.’ “What is it Lord that you want me to learn from this problem?”
To come to the place of where we can ask God what it is that He wants to teach us is a sign of great spiritual maturity.
I close this week’s study with a few lines from one of my favorite hymns – Trust and Obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
(John Sammis, 1887)