James 1:1-4New King James Version (NKJV)
Greeting’s to the Twelve Tribes
1) James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. 2) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Notice, in this section of scripture, how James introduces himself. FIRST, a bondservant (a slave) of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then he’s a brother to those who would read his letter. He has the foundation firmly set in the Lord Jesus.
Let me share with you though, it wasn’t always so. You see, James was closely related to Jesus (some speculate a half brother or cousin) and though he grew up with Jesus, he did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah while He was alive. Imagine the guilt James must have felt when he realized the potential of all of those years that he chose not to grow and follow Christ. Satan could have used that to destroy James like he did Judas Iscariot.
Instead, James began to teach what he learned first – find joy in the midst of trials you face. How on Earth can we find joy in a mess?! That’s just it! You CAN’T find joy on Earth, it comes from the Lord God above… so ASK Him for it! However, you can squelch the demonic attack that seeks to wear you down! How?
James tells us in verses 3 and 4.
By knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. Had any trials that seemed pointless lately? Well that’s a lie straight from the pit of hell because we know that when trials come it is to produce patience in us. What does that mean? Well, maybe, just maybe God wants us to be so dependent on Him that we can’t even walk without holding His hand. Maybe His desire is not for us to handle our own problems but to turn to Him IMMEDIATELY when the trial starts, not as a last resort.
When God gives us instructions, if we follow them, He will also give us a blessing. In this case, if we have joy in trials we will develop faith and produce patience! Oh how we need patience! But not just patience. If we will allow patience to have its perfect work, God says that He will use it to make us perfect and we will lack NOTHING. We will be filled with a spirit of contentment! We will feel full! Oh how I desire to feel full in Christ! When I spent time with Him, He fills the empty voids in my heart.
When that trial comes, smile and say, “Thank you Lord! I know that You are growing my faith to perfect patience in me so that I may be perfect and complete in YOU, lacking NOTHING!