Let Perseverance Finish Its Work – James 1:2-4

Let Perseverance Finish Its Work - James 1:2-4
Let Perseverance Finish Its Work - James 1:2-4

James 1:2-4

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

The command

We are constantly faced with trials. It’s a part of life that can not be wished away. However, in each adversity we face lies a decision to either walk in the flesh or in the spirit. The letter of James commands us to consider trials to be 100%  joyful, pure delight, entirely reasons to rejoice. The term trial is loosely translated to mean afflictions, persecutions, calamities, poverty or adversities of any kind. When these trials come we must exercise the grace of joy. We can not sink into the sadness and disconsolate frame of mind causing us to faint under the trials. 

The educated minds ask people to stay calm during adversity while the scripture encourages believers to be joyful. God’s power is greatly manifested from a place of love and not anger. During the early days of the church, the disciples were brought before the council and received a thorough whipping because they were preaching in the name of Jesus. The apostles left there rejoicing, thrilled, full of joy that God had considered them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus and they continued to preach in every house (Acts 5:41). Even though joy is the opposite of your emotions when adversity comes, the scripture commands us to consider it whole joy whatsoever. 

The reason

Nothing else tries the proof and soundness of a man’s faith more than the trials he goes through. Would you still glorify God if you were in the shoes of Job? Afflictions try our faith, its truth, and refine it to be true and precious like gold when passed through the fire. To separate the gold from the dross, the ore is melted in a furnace. Dross is skimmed off the top leaving just pure gold. This is an illustration of what God is doing in our “ferocious trials.” The whole process strengthens our character and develops endurance. Some people exclaim “I will never go through that!” Even though Abraham passed the test of Isaac on Mount Carmel he failed during the birth of Isaac. God promised to give him a son but it seems He took too long. Abraham got impatient, Sarah lost her faith and recommended he lay with her handmaiden (Genesis 16:2-5). This trying of our faith produces patience. It’s one of the fruits of trials and the grace of patience is worth the afflictions it may cost to procure it. 

The result

The believer who perseveres through every adversity is made perfect. This doesn’t mean that the person is made sinless and without moral failings. To be perfect refers to the spiritual development of the believer.  The whole purpose of God bringing you through the hard times is to bring you to maturity; that we will quit acting and responding to the disappointments of life like little children; we would quit stomping our feet, walking away or throwing tantrums at God and saying “I will not speak with you anymore”. But that we will be mature, full-grown, deficient of nothing (Matthew 19:20).

King James Version (KJV)

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

New International Version (NIV)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

“My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.”

New American Bible (NASB)

“Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.”

English Standard Version (ESV)

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

The Living Bible (TLB)

“Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.”