My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
Did you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance and it isn’t automatic? We have to be taught that hardships develop our endurance. Our natural response to “trials of various kinds” is likely to be anything but “joy.”
David realized, like any good teacher, that knowing and doing are two separate steps. Knowing what God can do with trials isn’t the same thing as doing life with that knowledge. Second, he reminds us of our privilege to respond to God’s work by choosing joy...
~We all know there are other choices before us when hard times come. We can get angry with God for allowing a trial.
~We can get discouraged because we were expecting an easier life with Christ.
~We can even develop a bad attitude in a trial that keeps others from seeing our hope in the middle of what God is doing.
Joy is a much better choice. Not joy for the “trials of various kinds,” but joy over what those trials will accomplish in deepening our faith. White-knuckling your way through a difficulty is a certain kind of endurance, but endurance without joy is not a pretty sight. And choosing to be angry, to feed discouragement, or to push others away aren’t the kind of endurance God wants to develop in us. He longs for us to persevere joyfully.
Today when we say, “Keep going on!” To keep on means to continue doing what you have committed to doing, whether you feel like it or not. Don’t give up. In the Bible, we see this as endurance, perseverance, and steadfastness. Nothing is more essential to success in our life than to persevere, "to keep going on". This is a character trait you have to develop. Faith gets you started, joyful steadfastness keeps you going.
God is even more interested in growing your endurance than you are! Almost everything in your life has the purpose of developing your perseverance. That is why, the Bible says, your faith is tested. Not so your faith will fail, but to produce in you a perfecting steadfastness that results in supernatural joy.