“Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, 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.” (James 1:2-4 (RSV)”
Finishing the race is a very important theme in the New Testament. Paul writes about finishing the race, and here James challenges us to finish life in Christ in a steady and strong way.
Life keeps us all so busy, we sometimes barley have the energy needed to make it through. We are up early to make it to the jobs that help us to buy all of things we and our families need. We try to get home in time to see our families for at least some time in the evening. If you are raising kids and they are in school there are often sports, programs, or parent meetings to attend in the evening. Then we have to fit in time for physical exercise, or getting to the gym. Many bring part of their work home on the laptop, so they can work on part of their job after the kids have went to bed. Then we have to start it all over again tomorrow.
In the stress and chaos that bring daily trials, where do we find the steadfast security and peace that sustains the soul? James says we are steadfast in our faith, which often grows in these stressful times. When the world is going crazy around us, we can stand secure in Christ and the love of God to remain in control. He will never move away, or fully leave us. Instead He gives gentle guidance through His Spirit, and wisdom from His Scripture to continue facing the challenges of life.
It may well stretch us beyond what we thought we could do, but in His strength we grow to stand firm even in the harshest trials. I have seen some of the calmest and most serene people I have met, who were facing cancer, going through divorce, or burying a loved one. This steadfast peace came not from a moment’s strength in God, but from walking day by day, week by week, and year by year in relationship of trust with Him.
— May you be strengthened in your journey with Christ.