“James a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers’ temptations; knowing this that the trying of your faith worked patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:1-4
James is addressing his letter to those who are members of the church. This is not a letter for the world at-large. The phrase “my brethren” carries a sense of warmth. My brethren is a recurrent phrase in James, often used when a new subject is introduced.
Perseverance is one of the crown jewels of the Christian’s character traits (steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success). If there is any quality we should be building into ourselves and our children, grandchildren, friends and each other, it is the quality of perseverance.
When the Germans were dropping tens of thousands of bombs over Great Britain, Winston Churchill addressed the Nation: “We will fight on the seas and the oceans. We will fight with growing confidence and strength in the air. We shall defend our island. Whatever the cost may be, we will fight on the beaches, we will fight on the landing grounds, we will fight in the fields and the street, and we will fight in the hills. And know this; we will never, ever surrender”.
This kind of spirit sends chills through the heart of your adversaries. This is an unquenchable spirit. It is virtually impossible to conquer a nation filled with a people who will not give up and won’t give in.
When, we develop spiritual perseverance, we can regularly demonstrate a rugged perseverance within our faith in God. Perseverance is the antidote to quitting, just as success is the antidote to failure.
We should inspire each other not to quit. We should inspire our brothers and sisters to persevere in marriages, in friendship, at work, in school and in every area of our life.
Christians ought to view the difficulties of life with enthusiasm, because the outcome of trials will be beneficial. The joy James is talking about is not just a feeling, however. It is an active acceptance of adversity.
James is not urging the Christians to seek trials; trials will come on their own. Whether you invite trials or not, one thing for sure is trials will come your way.
When we look at the life of Job, we know that he didn’t go through his struggles and adversities without any tears, pain or heartache. The truth is Job experienced all of these.
Job declared in Job 2:21, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)