SPIRITUAL MATURITY

Scripture Reading: James 1:2-8

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

Have you noticed a common theme in the passages we have been working through this week? “We rejoice in our sufferings” (Romans 5:3); “In this rejoice” (I Peter 1:3); and today “Count it all joy” (James 1:2). Christians have the ability to look at suffering in a different way. We know that God uses suffering, trials, pain and difficulties to enable us to grow in our faith. God clearly tests our faith, as we have seen.

Notice what the testing of our faith produces according to this passage in James — steadfastness. We learn how to stay steady when trials come our way. We do not have to be shaken by them. The Psalmist understood this — “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8).

The key to steadfastness is our focus — “I have set the Lord always before me.” As we set the Lord before us, we know that He is at our right hand and we shall not be shaken. Why? Because the Lord has hold of us. We are in the palm of His hand and nothing can take us away from His sovereign protection and love. Jesus said, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:29). We are safe and secure in the hands of our Heavenly Father. We do not have to be shaken. We can remain steadfast.

The testing of our faith produces steadfastness. We learn how to be more solid in our faith. We develop a greater confidence in our Lord and we learn to trust Him more and more. A growing faith leads to spiritual maturity. A growing faith keeps us from being tossed to and fro by waves of doubt and uncertainties (Ephesians 4:14). God’s goal for us is Christian maturity — “to the measure of the statue of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). We can count it all joy when we go through these times of trial, for God is at work in us.

Lord Jesus, I rejoice that You are at work in my life. I know that You are teaching me through this trial. I am learning endurance and steadfastness. I can endure and I do not have to be shaken because You have hold of me. I am in Your hands and nothing can snatch me from them. Forgive me when I allow myself to be tossed to and fro by waves of doubt. When I do this, I know that I am not setting You at my right hand. I know that You are at work enabling me to be more mature in my faith.

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