My wife and I have been through our share of “ups & downs.” Both in our single lives before we knew each other, as well as our life together. These last couple years haven’t really been great years, but they haven’t been terrible. They have just been years spent together, and we make the most out of what the world has thrown at us, and what God has allowed us to endure. Truthfully though we have seen way more “downs” than “ups” since December. We thought we were easing our way out of a tough season, then the pandemic hit.
I started reading through James again. I thought this might be a good time, considering the world feels like it’s going straight to hell and stuff. Something definitely hit me in a different way than it had in the past. I feel like everybody is pretty familiar with James 1:2&3:
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
We see this verse everywhere. It’s been posted all over social media since the pandemic started. It’s a nice verse, a comforting verse. It’s the kind of verse that feels like a warm hug on a cold day. (I don’t know where that analogy came from, just deal with it.) What hit me hard however, was the next verse. Verse 4. I have read it so many times, but this time, man, it cut deep.
But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
That verse does not feel like a warm hug on a cold day. The condition for being “mature and complete, lacking nothing,” isn’t just enduring trials, but completely enduring trials. Do you know how many of my friends have jumped ship because they decided that life following Jesus was too hard? I mean, honestly, who hasn’t thought about it? It is too hard. That is why that verse is important. Endurance must do it’s complete work.
I don’t know what the immediate future holds. My wife and I are having to learn a new way of life, just like you are too. However, we have seen God move recently in ways we have been praying for, for so long. Life is a marathon of various trials, and our faith being tested, is producing endurance, so that once it has done it’s complete work, we may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.