Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Suffering Brings Steadfastness

Just today I was discussing how trials bring about our good with a friend of mine. After I got home I realized that James already wrote about this in an incredibly clear manner...
James 1:2-4
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
What an sweet and comforting truth! We are to count it all joy when we suffer because it produces steadfastness. The reasoning here is just awesome. James tells us to be joyful when we meet trials because we already know that when our faith is tested we become more steadfast. He is rooting this on previous knowledge and experience, hence him saying "for you know". The reason this can be said to any Christian is because every new convert goes through the trial of persecution. It does not necessarily have to be grievous persecution, but it will not doubt come. So from the very early days of our faith, we have been tried and our faith has grown and increased steadfastness is the result. So, Christian, fuel your joy with the knowledge that every trial has made you more steadfast. James concludes his thought on being steadfast in verse 12...
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
More emphasis on how remaining steadfast is linked to our joy. We will be blessed and receive the crown of life if we remain steadfast. Despair is a wild spiral down from this glorious truth, and joy is a lifted head of steadfast faith.

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