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Testing of Your Faith

Image of a stone in the sand with the words "know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:3"

“Know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” ~James 1:3

James jumps into this book with guns ablazing! The beginning of this sentence is: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various trials,”. Wow, he certainly doesn’t waste any time getting to the point. He has a lot to say and it’s as important today as it was in the first century.

Life is hard. James is teaching that we should be happy when we face trials - he emphasizes that often we create our own obstacles, but that’s not what he's talking about here. It’s the “undeserved” troubles that we all face from time to time. Be happy? That sounds ludicrous. BUT, when we live through them with hope and assurance, knowing that it is making us stronger, we will gain from that. Old Testament example - Joseph was falsely accused of rape and was imprisoned for many years (10-12 according to scholars). But this was in prepration for becoming the leader and savior of the world. A current example would be boot camp for the military - they go through punishing drills just to build up their endurance in prepration for war.

Speaking of endurance, many translations use that word instead of perseverance. The Greek implies that it is a cheerful endurance. That sounds impossible, but knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) can keep a flame of inner joy burning. Jesus is our example to follow: “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” ~Hebrews 12:2


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