About a year and a half ago I asked a bunch of friends this question: if they could give one piece of advice, what would it be? It came about somewhat randomly. I wanted to learn from what other people had experienced just as much as I wanted to learn about them.
I received great counsel over those few days, but one piece in particular stood out. My roommate, Jacqueline, said that when we are in a difficult time of life, it is easy to run through the season. Her advice: let God walk you through. At his pace. Teaching the lessons he wants to teach. We want to rush through the pain; he goes for a leisurely stroll.
It hit home at the time because I felt like I should have been done with a season. Here I was “learning” the same thing over and over. Running through.
In James 1:4, the words let it grow reminded me of what Jacqueline said.
James says that when troubles come to consider them an opportunity for great joy. Isn’t that so much like the gospel – taking some wretched situation and making good out of it?!
The book of James is all about faith. It’s the legitimacy of faith James is after. He tells us what faith is, whom we have faith in, what faith looks like in action, and how we interact with God through faith.
James equates our fullness of faith to our completeness. But let’s be real. All this faith stuff is bologna if the thing in which we believe in is not real. You do not leave your house unlocked in a city full of thieves. Verse 6 says to be sure that our faith is in God alone. The fact that our faith is in Christ is inherent throughout the book.
Let’s take Jacqueline’s advice. Is there a season – or just one particular incident – that God wants to use to develop your faith in Him? It could be something you are tempted to look over because it’s uncomfortable. It could be something that has been on your radar for a long time. It could even be a season of blessing where temptations and trials are subtle and come in the form of forgetfulness of God. My prayer for us is that we’ll take the opportunity to cultivate endurance – longevity of faith – and allow God to work in us at his pace, for our completeness and his glory.