“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4 NIV)

The verse above is one of those quotations that sounds good, but it is easy to walk away without figuring out what it really means. The key to unlocking this verse, of course, is to go back and discover the context. Here is what the preceding two verses say:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3).

So, if perseverance is produced by “the testing of your faith” then how do we “let perseverance finish its work?” I think the answer here is by accepting the trials and the tests when they come. When difficulties come we need to be reminded that God is in control, and that He is allowing it for a reason. Sometimes, instead of spending all our energy trying to escape from a situation we don’t like, we need to stop and think why we are in that situation in the first place. Is God trying to teach us a valuable lesson from the trial? What kind of blessing could He be giving us through it?


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