Bible Studies Devotional Words Of Encouragement By Phyllis Corbin / last year Share Tweet Pin Share James 1:1-4 (KJV) 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:12 (KJV) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Trials Have a Purpose in the Will of God There is a process going on in our lives. You encounter the “various trials” which test your faith and produces “steadfast endurance.” This steadfast endurance produces spiritual maturity. In fact, there is no other way to produce it. It is certain that these trials will come to the believer and we should make up our minds before they come how we will meet them when they come. They will come in all kinds of varieties including sickness, persecution, isolation, poverty, etc. The word “testing” in verse three is the word for sterling coinage that is proven genuine and unalloyed. It was pure gold and pure silver that had been tried and tested to be true. Trials have a way of separating “lip service” from the real thing. James says you have come to know (ginosko) by experience “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” (vv. 3-4). Notice how James states this purpose in verse three, “The testing (peirasmos) of your faith produces endurance.” This “endurance” is literally an abiding under, the ability to turn trials into greatness for God’s glory. Out of this testing comes unswerving constancy. The steadfastness comes as a product of the trials. “Patience” is too passive here. This is a frame of mind that endures with steadfastness. When we see these trials or thorns in life as tests designed by God to stretch our faith and cause us to grow we will have the right attitude toward them and God. They are messengers sent from God that help us to grow in our faith and in our likeness of Jesus Christ. God’s purpose is to cause us to mature and grow spiritually. Pistis or faith is used in an active sense of believing which is directed toward God and Christ. It is the basic attitude of the believer toward God. The foundation is our justification by faith in Christ. Out of that intimate personal relationship with Christ comes this rich fruit. This “testing” comes from the word, dokimos meaning “approval.” Archaeologists in the Near East have discovered pottery that had a mark on it that proved that the pottery had gone through the furnace without cracking, and therefore was approved. They were approved after testing, or as we would say, “tested and approved” and were then deemed genuine. God’s purpose is to encourage personal and spiritual maturity. He puts us in the furnace so these old clay pots of ours will mature in the trials of life without a crack. What does God see when He holds our lives up to His holy light? God’s purpose is to produce “endurance.” The original word for endurance is hupomeno, literally meaning, “to abide under.” Hard times make us “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (v. 4b). James has in mind the Old Testament idea of perfection as a right relationship with God expressed in obedience and unblemished life. They make us mature or reach the intended end that God desires for us. You could translate the word for “perfect” (teleios) as finished, complete, perfect, maturity, fully developed. It is the perfection toward a given end or goal. God’s goal is that we become like Jesus Christ, perfect, full grown, mature in Christ (Col. 1:28). This steadfast endurance has its task to accomplish in the believer. It provides the atmosphere in which other spiritual virtues can grow. The steadfast endurance leads on to complete perfection of Christ likeness. If we are “complete” (holokleros) we are sound in every part, entire, perfect through out. It was used of animals that were brought before the priest to be sacrificed, and of men who were fit to serve God. These sacrifices were “complete,” that is without blemish. Thus the mature believer is whole, complete, undamaged, intact, and blameless. The trials bring to our awareness our weak spots so we can allow God to apply His grace and power to those areas of our lives. God uses trials to prove our faith in Him is genuine. Our character is refined in the pressures of life and we see its beauty and likeness in Christ when He blows away the ashes (cf. Job 23:10; 1 Peter 1:7). Sisters and Brothers many of us are going through trials and testings , some are physical , emotional , financial , spiritual and family situations. There are days when we wonder if we can make it through but let me assure you that with Jesus by our side we will be victorious and each time we go through a trial or test our faith will grow that much stronger in the Lord . That has and is happening to me in my personal life .Lets praise the Lord when we face things that seem to be so difficult to overcome and we will soon fine that we will overcome and draw closer to our Lord. God bless you today and I pray that this little message will help us all as we face life’s stresses.