#5 – The Wisdom of Suffering [James 1:1-18]: Faith

So, we have determined that the reason we face trial and difficulty is so that the Lord can develop endurance within us. That aspect of His nature that resembles his everlasting and eternal quality. Through suffering we become more like Him and can bear His image more fully on the Earth. A true reason to rejoice!

So my question for us today is: how is this done? How exactly is endurance bolted into us? Yes, it is done through the use of trial, but how exactly does that establish endurance within us? What changes?

James explains that endurance forms when our faith is tested. When it is proved and refined. When it is pushed to its limit. When it is bent and bruised and beaten. That is when endurance grows.

A good example is the human body. Back in the day when I used to gym (I know, you wouldn’t say it, would you…), I would try to build muscle by doing as many different weight exercises as I could. After a month or two, I picked up some muscle, but it never grew any bigger. I asked the gym instructor what I was doing wrong and he explained to me that even though my strength was at a certain level, I needed to start pushing my limit and begin lifting weights that were almost too heavy for me, and at the same time drink and eat a lot of protein. He explained that as the muscles tore the protein would go and fill the open spaces and that would subsequently grow my muscles. And faith is much the same.

For endurance (muscles) to grow, faith (strength) needs to be pushed to its limits. And as it tears, and we eat and drink of the Lord, those gaps begin to fill up with the protein of His life, and our endurance grows bigger and stronger. Yes, it is difficult, and for a time, while the protein is setting into the open tears, we must walk around with paining muscles, but at the end of the day the result is a stronger and more sturdy spiritual frame that is full of faith and resembles Christ. And that is another true reason to rejoice!

Lord, I ask that we will see trial and suffering from your perspective. That we would see it as you, the heavenly gym instructor increasing the weights that we exercise our muscles with. So that our spiritual bodies will not be so weak and frail, but instead be strong, fit and full of faith like Jesus Christ. Teach us your ways. Amen

5 thoughts on “#5 – The Wisdom of Suffering [James 1:1-18]: Faith

  1. I like your style of writing, and prefer it to reading pure commentary or exegesis as you call it. I particularly like your ref to things which happen in everyday life like pumping iron. When one gets to a place where you have to push past pleasure you come to the joy part of self sacrifice because you then experience what Jesus must have experienced when of His own volition He chose to walk the way of the cross and suffer so that we could benefit by it And I am thankful for His choice. He did it for my sake and I love Him for it. I was thinking the other day. I am so glad that Jesus walked the way of suffering simply because it brought a benefit to me .If I was involved in a religion of works it would be easy to backslide but for me to backslide I am forced to walk over His love for me and His suffering 4 me and that would affect our relationship I am thankful to be able to contribute the above ( It has meant something to me)

    I recently had to choose to forgive someone for giving me apiece of their mind.It was not easy but it helped me when I prayed for the person and was able to use my authority to bind the spirit that was operating against me. & I felt a lot better in taking that stance. May God bless you as you seek to know Him & do His will.

    Oupa

    1. Oupa.

      Welcome to the blog. I trust that you will find it to be a home of loving and practical truth. Thanks for your comment. I think I understand what you mean concerning the joy one can have in experiencing something of what Jesus must have when he chose to endure the cross. In fact, I believe its in Hebrews that it says that He endured the cross for the joy set before him. If only we could see that Joy that our heavenly Father is setting before us. I’m sure if we could, many more of us would endure the trials that come our way. And not just in a miserable way, but in a way that reveals the glory of God. I am reminded of the disciples in Acts that actually rejoiced when they were beaten for the sake of the gospel. Talk about considering it all Joy! Oh, that we would get such a glimpse of Christ and walk the way He did. I long for that day. I am grateful though that we have everything we need for life and godliness in the word. All there, waiting to be discovered. So I trust that as we dig deeper, the Lord will reveal more and we will be able to walk in way that pleases Him, and so bear much fruit for our Father in Heaven.

      So pucker up, pick up your shovel, and dig in, cuz we are on a mission to find gold. And every comment, thought, post, and suggestion helps us mine further down into the depths of knowing God as Friend. And I know that us young men and women will appreciate the wisdom and love you bring to the quarry.

      Love you
      Dylan

  2. The picture of the muscles tearing open to make space for more of Jesus is one I could really relate with. That’s what I’ve felt has happened to my soul recently and it hasn’t been fun. I know we’re supposed to rejoice and all that, but sheesh, in the moments, its pure agony. Just being honest here (and probably overdramatic and oversensitive). Anyway, I know it’s the truth that one can rejoice because it truely is Christ growing and transforming one’s life on the inside and outside even though it takes some aching and straining. After that rough patch, I can say thank you. But during that time I didn’t even wanna read this blog because it was too painful.

    Thank you for the truth spoken here though. I’m really enjoying the solid meat.

    Love to you friends.

    Let met share the revelation that I’ve been enduring for: what God showed me when the breakthru came. I was reading in 1 Peter, 2 days ago and saw this verse “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Now, anxiety is something I really struggle with, in fact I have a stress disorder to prove it. For the first time ever, it’s like I actually read the verse. I clicked what it said. It said that God cares for me and for the first time I could understand that because of how God has been showing me the reality of His Love for me the past couple of years. It’s only when we understand how God cares for us, loves us, that we can really give him our anxieties. This is my experience at least. Because even though I tried to give him my anxieties ‘by faith’ in the past, I couldn’t. I was still alone and in fear. Praise Jesus and praise the Father for showing me His love for me in Jesus.

    Bless you.

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