“because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance..” James 1:3 NIV
The Christians being spoken to here, understand many things about coping with pressure on their faith. If you are a Christian, your faith will be tried. This is a universal truth in our Christian lives and is wholly necessary if we are to thrive in our spiritual walk with God. To enter into the life of faith without counting the cost, will cause the person problems. If we expect a rosy-tinted future, we will be very disappointed. If we are involved with counselling people to come to God, we must not cover over this issue.
The Christian life is full of sacrifice, loss, choosing the lesser thing on purpose, and enduring great hardships of all kinds. We follow the suffering Saviour, and our way is no different. There are plenty who preach and teach the meeting of all needs, desires and the fulfilment of all dreams if we come to God. This is a falsehood. It would be so detrimental to our faith to take to ourselves the blessings of this life. The culture we live in is not conducive to sharing, giving or inconveniencing ourselves for the sake of anyone. Making prayers and sacrifices so that my enemies are blessed, is not a human mindset.
James tells us that if we take our sorrows and persevere in our lives to the glory of God, it will bring deep spiritual blessings. Only a true Christian will appreciate this view, because our human nature does not recognise this way of living. The Christian swims against the tide of this world’s culture, and we must expect more trouble than those who are heading down stream.
To go against the mindset, atmosphere and practice of this sinful world and it’s systems, will produce a good spiritual effect. With each progressive trouble the soul will grow and the spiritual muscles will develop and the Christian will carry on – persevere. To know this in advance is a great blessing because we will not be expecting an easy life as we serve God. As our faith grows, we begin to see God’s work in our lives and we understand His work and rest on His promises to us in the Word He has given.
To know this truth gives us backbone and stamina to walk a straight and narrow path with Christ.