We have been planning on teaching James for over a year now, but to be honest I was more excited to teach the series coming up in February. After reading James this past week I realized why, James isn't something I need to preach as much as it is something I need to learn.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Have you ever said or heard someone say "my life is just missing something"? Or maybe you've said "I just want my faith to grow deeper." Look at how James says that happens…trials, adversity!
Does it change your thoughts?
…that the testing of your faith…
Trials our like a stress test for our faith, it is God's way of showing us where we really are, to show us our deficiencies.
I have a history of heart problems in my family, my father passed away of a heart attack at the age of 46, the age I am at now. I should be getting regular check ups and stress tests to see that I'm ok, but I am a man and we tend to think we're ok, we don't need it.
Now before you start judging me, think about you and your faith. Here's what I see about most of us who call ourselves "Christ-followers", we think we're basically okay, except for our sin. Hey, we got Jesus for that, so we're good, not much else needs to change. "I don't need a check up."
In fact, don't we get prideful thinking we're ok and those "other" people aren't? There it is again, the pride of life; you know the status/position thing.
When we think we are okay and we don't need anything from God, but those people do, we deceive ourselves. Trials bring us humility, which is the antidote for pride; they bring us front and center in our need for God and we cry out.
Can you see how the trial in front of you right now might be making you complete?