“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
Let me be clear! The Thanksgiving/Christmas season is my favorite time of the year. I am grateful that I live in a country where our forefathers expressed there thanksgiving to God for His ongoing blessings, and though it may seem hard to believe today, elected officials of a previous day voted to make Thanksgiving Day a national holiday! However, there likely would be some today that would say, ‘We live in a different time, under different (difficult) circumstances.”’ What about the frustrations, anger, hostile words and actions; the increasing attack against Christianity and the Church? The answer to our question, and the counsel for Believers in terms of our response is clearly to be found in God’s Word! James under the guidance of the Holy Spirit gives us wise counsel in James 1:2-4.
He teaches us a systematic method of response in verse 2. The Greek word translated consider is a bookkeeping term. When we encounter circumstances that test our faith in God’s keeping, we should open our spiritual journal and enter that experience under the column titled “Joy”! Note this will not be “if” these times come, but “when” they come. The bottom line is that the Believer’s thanksgiving is not dependent on favorable circumstances, but by a free choice (Not a natural response, but a spiritual response)!
Be sure to recognize that this response is not just “hocus-pocus!” It is affirmed by eternal Truths in verse 3. The first Truth is essential. God is in control of our situations! One of the most mis-quoted, misunderstood verses in the bible is Romans 8:28. This verse does NOT say, “all things are good.” All things that happen in life are not good, but the verse says, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” The question in some minds would be, ‘Why does the Lord do things this way?’ Verse 3 gives the answer. The Lord is building character in the life of His children using adversity. He knows that we will need the quality of “endurance” in us if we are to finish the course. Christian, do you have confidence in God? You can only be thankful in the midst of trials IF you have complete confidence in God!
The Bible clearly reveals God as the God of order from Genesis to Revelation. In verse 4 He says “let” endurance have its perfect result. The Greek word translated perfect here means ended. Don’t focus on the earthly problem, but God’s eternal purpose! Of course the Lord wants an ended work so He can have a “perfect” worker. The second time the word perfect is used, it is translated from the Greek as “whole”! This is what God is after in each of His children.
Consider this bible Truth, “Jesus is Lord!” If this true, and it is, He is in control of the so-called good, and the so-called bad. The pleasurable and the painful. If you have not trusted Christ with your eternity, I encourage you to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved! If you have trusted Christ for your eternity, trust Him now with your adversity!