I was reading this morning in James using my favorite translation, The Passion Translation, and was caught by the simple yet powerful words in chapter 1 verses 3 and 4.
“For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things.
And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.”
You’ve heard of Gold’s Gym? This is GOD’S Gym!
The Amplified Bible says it this way:
“The testing of your faith (through experience) produces endurance (leading to spiritual maturity and inner peace).”
God never lets anything in our lives (experience) go to waste. He does what only He can: He helps us build our faith muscles as we are walking through difficult times.
He is the “author and finisher of our faith”. It is a gift from Him. We can’t make ourselves have faith. He pours it out into us.
And while He loves to give good gifts to His children (faith, strength, endurance), He knows that working through hard times develops our faith because He carries us through. He walks with us and we see His presence. He gave us faith in the middle of it to believe in Him.
I like these words from Elevation Worship Music in the song, Water is Wild:
“Start living in the promises like you know who your Father is.”
We can ask Him for the faith to believe things will turn out alright. To believe in His promises. He will give us the faith needed. It may not go as we wish. But He has promised to work it out for our good if we love Him and allow Him to.
“Allowing Him to” is a pretty tough part of that equation. Waiting and not trying to make something happen or work out.
But this is where our “faith muscles” are important. If our faith muscles have been built up because of being tested, if endurance has grown because we walked through trials, if we know that God did not fail us but brought us through with His comfort, His presence, and strength, then we have the “power to endure all things”.
Because we have faith (we know in our “knower” I like to say) that God will do it again.
Faith passes the test –> stirs up power –> endurance is stronger
We know that God did it. He will do it again. We can endure.
Luke 11:13 “If you, imperfect as you are, know how to lovingly take care of your children and give them what’s best, how much more ready is your heavenly Father to give wonderful gifts to those who ask him?”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”