#8 – The Wisdom of Suffering [James 1:1-18]: Without Defects

In the amplified version of the bible, there are little [brackets] that give extra information about a specific word or topic. They help clarify the concepts in English from the original Greek. They are very helpful and indeed do [Amplify] the meanings to give greater understanding and insight.

Right in between the words fully developed and lacking nothing in the Amplified, we find the following words in brackets – [with no defects]. In the Greek, the words that translate to “fully developed” also mean without defects. Isn’t that fascinating? Being fully developed and lacking in nothing, also means, to have no defects. To be void of mistakes and weaknesses. To be made whole and perfect. Like a diamond – Flawless.

There was once a time that man was flawless. Perfect in every way. A time when he had complete unhindered fellowship with God. A time when he knew nothing of weakness or mistakes. Nothing of suffering or trial. Nothing of depression or fear, confusion or strife. Only perfection. Only complete wisdom and knowledge. Complete understanding and maturity. But, something happened that changed that. Sin came into the world and filled man with all kinds of defects. Chinks in the perfect chain. Holes in the solid armour. Cracks in the strong foundation. And since that day, we have been plagued with defects that hamper our unity with God and harmony with life.

Like a car that won’t start. Or a fridge that doesn’t get cold. Like a printer that prints skew. Or a computer that reads “not responding”… We are faced with our defects all the time. Those things in us that just don’t work. Like our tempers flaring up, or our emotions running wild. Like our hearts going astray, or our minds thinking disruptive thoughts. We are constantly faced with our flaws. Constantly frustrated with an under-performing piece of equipment….

But surely there is hope. For if we were once perfect, without any defects, then surely there is hope to be perfect again… Surely we do not have to endure these malfunctioning bodies forever! Surely our God has made a plan! A plan to ‘fix’ us… A plan to make us whole again. A plan to remove all flaws. A plan to make us complete and perfect, without defects.

And indeed He has. He has sent Jesus Christ to be a perfect offering. A substitute for our defects. A replacement for our lack and weaknesses. A perfect and completely whole person in whom we may find perfection. A redeemer in whom we may be made whole again. A saviour by whom we may again become – Flawless.

However, the question does beg: What does suffering have to do with becoming perfect again? I mean, isn’t suffering one of the outcomes of our defects? Didn’t it enter the world because we were defect of obedience? Defect of wholehearted love for God? Isn’t suffering in direct partnership with our sinful defective nature?

These are all good and valid questions. And so, next time we will look at this a bit more closely and try to understand how exactly suffering, something born of sin, can actually help remove defects and help make us whole again…

Father, thank you for your love for us and for your determination to make us whole again. You are such a faithful and loyal Father. Show us how you use suffering to help us change to look more like your perfect son, Jesus Christ, who is flawless, and without defects.

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