“…because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”James 1:3
A story is told of a lady who was afraid about everything; afraid she was going get sick and die; afraid she was going get robbed; afraid her house was going to burn down. I call it the “maybe, possibly, could be syndrome”. One night she had a dream, and dreamed that a bright light came and surrounded her, that she understood is the presence of God. Suddenly, all the things that she was afraid of begin to appear, and she recognized that nothing but nothing could reach her life unless God moved out of the way. And even if God moved out of the way, there was some purpose in the things that came into her life. This really has helped me in my life. Instead of cursing God for the bad things that happen, I really believe that nothing just happens that can’t be used by God to make us stronger. I am NOT saying that God engineers every problem. I’m not saying it’s God’s will for all the problems that we have to face. But I’m saying this, God can take problems like He can take nothing else and turn it into diamonds that can be made out of nothing else. Because it is only when our resources are gone, that we’re forced to depend on God’s resources. What is genuine about your faith is going to be tested; faith, meaning our trust in Christ. Notice what it says, “it’s going to produce a patient mind”. This speaks of a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s something we have to look at over and over. It’s going to produce patience that endures. The word patience in Greek is a present imperative which means a command; a habitual command. This is not patience in the sense of when you get stuck in a circumstance, and you can’t get out, so you have patience. Patience here is voluntary, active, and steadfast endurance. It’s seeing a problem, it’s moving into and getting under that problem, and it’s carrying that problem until there’s no more problem. This character of steadfast endurance or perseverance is the start of the Christian’s growth chain in Rom: 5:3-5 – “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” O, to God that we had this kind of thing in the life of the church!