November 23, 2004
…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.
When I was a student, I made sure I was prepared for the big tests—midterms and finals. I got ready by cramming the last five hours, but I thought that was preparing myself enough. It was the pop quizzes that took care of me academically.
The teacher would say, “All right, everybody take out a piece of paper. We’re going to have a pop quiz.”
There were always people in the class who seemed to enjoy those things! They were the ones who had all their notes in order, their pencil in hand, and proudly announced before class began, “Did you read the assigned chapter last night? I did!” You know what we called them—geeks and nerds. You know what we call them now? Boss!
But seriously, so it is in life. That’s why James says in verse 3: “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” We should constantly be “in-the-know.” Now, let me explain that. What are we to be “in-the-know” about? The truth!
When we’re up against a struggle and our backs are against the wall, we need to make sure that we’re standing on something that is real. When we hit rock bottom, we need to know that there’s a solid foundation there—a foundation of truth.
During trials, you need to know that God is sovereign and in control of all of your circumstances. You need to know that God is providentially working in your life and that he loves you unconditionally. You need to know for sure of the work, power, and comfort of the Holy Spirit in your life. And you need to know the security and sufficiency of your salvation through Christ Jesus. Faith produces patience through the trials that we don’t understand. We don’t live by feelings alone—but by faith.
LIVE BY WHAT YOU KNOW TO BE TRUE—THE WORD OF GOD—
SO THAT YOU MAY BE PREPARED WHEN THE TESTS COME!