Meditation: James 1:1-4
1James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.
2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
4But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
This passage of Scripture is very applicable to our everyday life. So often, our natural human tendency is so contrary to God’s way of thinking. In Scripture, when God says things like, “…count it all joy when you fall into various trials…” (v.2) it really makes me realize how far I am from being like Christ. When is the last time that I went through a truly hard time and counted every bit of it JOY?? Looking at joy in the world’s terms, Merriam-Webster tells us that we should have “a feeling of happiness that comes from success, good fortune, or a sense of well-being.” In my thinking, a trial is definitely not synonymous with a good fortune or well-being. True joy that James is speaking of in this passage is, “the happy state that results from knowing and serving God.” (Holman Bible Dictionary). What a privilege it is to serve the King of kings and Lord of lords! Do I praise Him in every thought, word and action?
In verse 3, we find that when we do go through trials and times of testing, it produces “patience” in our lives. Patience in this verse is derived from the Greek word, “hupomone,” which also means to be cheerful, to have endurance, or to have constancy. When I think of this verse in terms of some of these words, it gives me a better understanding of its meaning. When I read this verse using some of these words, it gives it a whole new meaning.
“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (v.4) Wow, what a powerful verse! Is it just me, or did James just fill us in on a major key to life? This verse goes beyond our human capabilities and requires God’s intervening. I really don’t know the kind of “patience” this verse is speaking of, because it said that if it is real in our lives, that we’ll be perfect and complete. All I can do is ask God to give me this kind of patience in my life.