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. – James 1:2-4
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
We have not visited with our pragmatic friend James in a while. What I noted today was “steadfastness”. A lot of translations will render the word as “patience”. It means “to stay under” as with a load one is carrying. Staying under a load of trouble strengthens our faith as lifting weights strengthens our bodily frames and muscles.
And, just as building our muscles through resistance training is not an end in itself, the power to be patient and stay put in adversity is not an end but a means. What is the end? It is that we may be “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”. That is, we will have all the attributes of the Christian character fully developed. We will become utterly Christ-like in our attitude, in our trust, in the certainty we have about the Father, His goodness and His loving, perfect will.
In the end, the solid patience and faith we learn here in this life fits us, molds us, and transforms us into creatures of another world. The more we become like our Lord, the less this world will seem like home.