Patience is a Virtue
James 1:2-4 says “ 2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
Something all Christians deal with is falling into “divers temptations” as the bible calls it here. Every Christian at one stage was part of the world and therefore part of the sin of the world before their salvation. However, once you are saved it does not mean sin instantly goes away; if anything it becomes more noticeable! I like to think of the Christian walk as a tightrope, it’s easy to fall off into divers temptations but the more times you do the less likely you are to fall off again as we are going to see.
The first thing we see in verse 2 is that we should “count it all joy” when we fall into temptations. Now you may be thinking ‘how in the world can I be joyful when I fall into temptations and participate in the sin I’ve been cleansed from?’ well if you notice after the word temptations there is a semi-colon which shows a continuation into verse 3. This verse tells us how to be joyful in temptations. It says “knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience”. So why and how can we be joyful in temptations? By knowing that it is for our own benefit! We shouldn’t wonder if it’s doing us any good, we should know it’s doing us good. The trying of our faith works patience. I like that phrase the trying of your faith. It’s like God is throwing us a curve ball every once in a while and thinking ‘I wonder how he’s going to hit that one’.
Imagine it this way: a temptation comes your way and you, being tempted, fall for this temptation. Afterwards you realise what you did was wrong so you go away and repent and pray for help in avoiding this temptation. A few days later the same temptation comes your way; however this time you pass by it but you had to fight the urge. Afterwards you realise that the desire is still in your heart so again you repent and pray and ask for help. Again a few days later the temptation comes but this time you pass by it without giving it a second thought. Time and time again this temptation arises but you avoid it. Why is this? I’ll tell you why because you have patience! (The word patience in these verses is the idea of endurance) Time and time again your faith was tried and tested, and each time you took a step towards defeating this temptation; each time your faith was put to the test you learnt to endure it that little bit more.
You may be asking ‘well what does this patience really do for me?’ The answer is in verse 4. The verse says “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” This verse is saying let the trying of your faith and the working of patience have her perfect work; just let it produce its needed effect without being hindered. Don’t obstruct it with murmurings or complaining, just endure to the end of the trials which God appoints to you. And why should we do this? That ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing! God uses trials as a de-wrinkler. God sees the desires of your heart and the temptations you fall into so He, wanting you to be perfect, sets a trial in your way. Think of it as a learning curve. God is using whatever trial you’re in to show you something. It’s through learning to endure these trials that God makes us perfect and entire, wanting nothing. When we can endure the trials God sets out for us and our faith stays strong and true, then are we perfect and entire, desiring nothing of this world.
Remember, if God brought you into it He will most certainly bring you out of it.
If you are going through a trial recently and your faith is being tested just be joyful in the knowledge that God is using it to make you perfect. Let God do his perfect work in you that you may endure the temptations you would normally fall into. Let the trying of your faith work patience that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. – Andrew.
Posted on September 3, 2012, in Andrew's Thoughts for the Day and tagged Bible, Christianity, Evangelism, Faith, God, James, Jesus, Lord, Patience, Religion and Spirituality, Sin, Temptation, Wisdom, Youth. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.