James 1:2-4 – Count it all joy, my brothers […] knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing
Going through difficult times is inevitable if we’re alive! But what enables us to go walk through pain is VISION – knowing that hardship isn’t meaningless – but it’s going to produce something of value! Just like the person working out at the gym – the pain of stretching and straining will produce a stronger body.
We see here that our first response to a difficult situation needs to be joy! How much would our lives change if we took that one and actually applied it?! But Paul isn’t telling us to be happy for no reason…
…because the testing of our faith produces endurance. The book of Revelation is full of promises to the one who endures. We need endurance – but it only comes through the testing of our faith. It’s like gold or a precious jewel – you don’t find it lying around on the ground – you’ve got to dig, to search, to work hard in order to obtain it. So the more difficulties we face – the more endurance is produced if we hold fast to our joy and don’t give up!
Endurance is worth obtaining because it works in us to help make us perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
So the best way for us to grow as Christians is very simple – when we face difficulties in life – we train ourselves to REJOICE! We do this because it’s an opportunity to gain endurance which is the vital commodity to winning the game!