Steadily becoming Steadfast
“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 1:1-4
The book of James is very unique compared to the other books of the New Testament as it is much more directional to its audience as it reads more like a sermon. James was the half-brother of Jesus and the leader of the largest church in Jerusalem which was filled with often persecuted Messianic Jews. In this book, James teaches on many different subjects and themes.
The main point in this book is to teach the reader how to be steadfast in their faithfulness to Christ. James begins with teaching that steadfastness first comes from trails of various kinds of the testing of your faith. When steadfastness has its full effect, the believer will be perfect and complete. James is teaching the method and benefit of our sanctification given by God. He continues to describe what a steadfast believer in Christ looks like and how they live. All throughout the book, he teaches how the steadfast follower of Christ reads scripture, treats others of different financial status, how they speak to others in all circumstances and how they do not conform to the world’s views and methods, but cling instead to what the Bible teaches.
This book can be a challenge because its purpose is to shed light on the different struggles and areas where we fall short. No one has reached the goal in which James teaches of being perfect and complete lacking in nothing. The challenging aspect of steadfastness is the method by which God chooses to use for us to obtain it.
At the beginning of the book, James teaches, “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.” Our faith is often tested through trials and suffering and we see this all throughout the Bible. James uses an example of this when he references Abraham and Isaac in Chapter 2 which reads “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”.
God does not test our faith for His benefit because He is an all-knowing God. He tests our faith to reveal to us how much faith we have in Him. The moments in our life that expose the amount of faith we truly have in Christ is when we experience “trials of various kinds”. When we meet a trial, do we immediately blame God or think He is punishing us for some past sin? Do we believe He doesn’t love us anymore? Or do we run to Him with open arms and trust that He is above all things and works all things together for good for those who love Him? The moment we question God’s love in our life is the exact moment we have totally taken the Gospel for granted, forgetting that God sent His one and only Son to earth as payment for our sins. The Bible says “while we were still sinners Christ died for us”. Take heart in your trials and sufferings because God is using them to conform you to the image of His Son and your suffering is never wasted.
Pray that God reveals to you the areas in your life that need spiritual attention. Next, pray that God helps you to continue to become a steadfast follower of Him. Finally, pray that you are able to see the good from trials and are able to do as James says and “Count it all joy”.
First Baptist Broken Arrow