Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, because the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its full effect, so you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2–4
In the best sense of the word James is a pragmatist. He is concerned that we survive long enough in the faith to mature. And he knows we will not survive if we don’t teach ourselves to look at our everyday circumstances from the right perspective. We must remove ourselves from the immediate distress of difficulties by using our minds as an observation platform. From this vantage point we can see the good result possible; we can see beyond the difficulty to the joyful future we will experience if we remain faithful. Therefore, we can think of tests of faith as causes for joy rather than causes for sadness. As a Navy SEAL looks beyond the miseries of BUDS to his service to his country; or as a woman in labor looks beyond the travail of delivering a baby to the experience of motherhood; so we must look beyond every trial to the Christlikeness endurance will build into us. If we take the time to ponder, to weigh, and to appraise the result of continuing to trust in God just as Jesus did, we will flourish when our faith is tested. Seeing the joy of fellowship with God that will be ours will feed our souls so we can endure until the Lord fulfills his promises.
Thank you Father for providing enough resistance to my faith that it might grow stronger as I press forward to the eternal joy promised in your Word. Amen.
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