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September 30, 2021 – James 1

James begins his letter with “Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (1:2-4). He adds, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial” (1:12). James surely is writing about the suffering Christians face as they live faithfully in a fallen world. Satan is against us. The world hates us. Even our own flesh fights against us. Paul wrote that we are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down (2 Cor 4:8,9). But we are not defeated.


There's a principle here that, I think, applies to every hardship we face, whether because we suffer for our faith at the hands of unbelievers or are merely inconvenienced by some event. That principle is that we always find ourselves running to God and resting in him, whether the trial is big or small (What else could James mean by “trials of various kinds” but that some will be big and some will be small?). And every time we have a need and God meets that need, we are strengthened in our faith and further enabled to persevere in the future.


All my hope on God is founded;

he doth still my trust renew.

Me through change and chance he guideth,

only good and only true.

God unknown, he alone

calls my heart to be his own. -- Joachim Neander (1680)

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