We continue today, in James’ epistle and his narration on the purposes of our going through trials or testings in our Christian walk. From God’s Word, we concluded we can and should be “joyful” in any and all trials that our Sovereign God allows us to go through, if we are called by His Name. James makes it clear…it is a “good thing” because temptations/trials, in our walk of faith will result in patience.
PATIENCE you say?? Oh, I can just hear the resounding of voices crying out at this reading: ‘How can I have patience?’
‘You don’t know what I have to put up with!’
‘I’m not a patient person and that’s just who I am. I can’t help it!’
‘You don’t know my… boss/co-worker/ (you fill in the blank)!’
No, I don’t, but I know this: We, who have gone Beyond the Strait Gate, can have the kind of patience that emulates the Lord’s patience because He has equipped us to be able to accomplish His perfect will.
Paul writes in Philippians 4:11b-13 to this end:
“…for I have learned, in whatsoever, state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
We are encouraged from Paul’s writing in Philippians to respond as if we were someone looking in through a window from the outside and seeing the circumstances that are going on, having an awareness of the “trial”, but living as one who is unaffected so as not to ‘wimp out’ because in Christ, we have all the strength and ability to overcome the problems at hand.
A Christian’s walk either moves ahead or stands still and in standing still, begins to slowly die.
Let us move ahead! We ended our last post with James 1:3~
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
Continuing on with verse 4 ~
“But let patience have her perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
James tells us to “let”… As I read this, I see have a choice to make: either to accept or not accept God’s plan for me. I am to not fight against the trial, but rather to embrace it…count it all “joy”, as we talked about last time you came to visit. He is, after all, “…the Author and Finisher of ” my “faith…”, Hebrews 12:2, and all that God does is a comprehensive work; it is a complete work, and in Scripture complete means it reaches maturity.
At this writing, I’ve come to that place where I’m considered a “senior citizen”. Oh, there are times when seniors are the object of self-poking humor concerning their “moments” and their “memory”…but there really is a beauty in having reached the years that I have become. Not that trials stop. No, that would be unrealistic. There’s always more sculpting to be done by the Master’s Hand. Still, by the time we reach the senior years we can already see the work of His Hands as we have allowed Him to form us, the clay in His Hands. I’ve said, as we have allowed Him to form us…because sometimes we fight against Him; we go against the grain of what He is doing; we are in His way, if you will. We have not allowed God to have full reign with us but have insisted on our own way. When this happens, His work is temporarily halted until such a time as when we turn from our own ‘wisdom’ and relinquish our will to His will. Patiently waiting on God to accomplish His purposes in the trial/temptation/testing and just surrendering our wills to Him, until He accomplishes His “perfect work” which verse 4 says, will result in being complete or “perfect”; and perfect is reaching maturity.
Returning to the end of verse 4, once we have “let patience have her perfect work” and we are “perfect and entire“, Scripture says we will want “nothing“. Nothing = not a whit! If I skip over the parenthetical clause, “that ye may be perfect and entire” in verse 4, it reads this way: “But let patience have her perfect work…wanting nothing.” So…if I will just get out of God’s way, allow Him to do His work and will in me…I will learn to endure to the end patiently, wanting “not a whit”.
[Strong’s Concordance: “wanting” – 3007 – lai’po – Destitute (of want; of lacking)]
Seems hard to imagine us not ‘wanting’, not ‘lacking’ and I suppose as the mere flesh that we are, our first response would be to claim to not know how to go about ‘not wanting’, ‘not lacking’.
In the next verse, James answers this very question.
Thank you for coming by and visiting again Beyond the Strait Gate. On your next visit, we’ll continue on with James to see what he has to say about “wisdom”, as it concerns “wanting nothing”.