Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Being Complete

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4

This verse comes on the heals of James telling us to shout with joy when difficulties come (my paraphrase.) None of us wishes to go through difficult times. As a matter of fact, most of us don't like to see someone else go through difficulties.

Right now, I am witnessing great pain and trials in the lives of several people around me. It is painful to watch, but no where near as painful as it is for them to be going through it. These people are on my prayer list, they're on many prayer lists, as well as others who are dealing with illnesses, surgeries, job losses, separations, etc. My tendency, as is I hear with others, is to pray away these trials.

However, James is telling us to pray through them. In 2 Corinthians, Paul gives us a glimpse of a thorn in his life: To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (vs. 12:7-9a)

There are four reasons trials come - our own sin, someone else's sin, being a part of a fallen world, and God doing a work in us. Our response, though, should always be the same - to seek Him. Whether we need to receive forgiveness, give forgiveness, or learn a lesson, it will come from Him. Keeping on trusting and believing Him helps us to persevere. The result is that He guides us to a more mature faith and completes in us what is lacking in our natural self. If we look to God and His will in everything, then we will recognize that we have everything we could ever need.

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