Thursday, April 19, 2012

Commentary on James 1:4

We've been examinig a passage in James this week.  Be sure to go back and read my introduction to the study, my commentary on James 1:2, and my commentary on James 1:3.  If you've been keeping up, here's the first 2 verses in our study: 

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." 
James 1:2-3

Today we'll be studying verse 4.

 "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4

The resounding theme of many New Testament writers is that perseverance is a quality only suffering and trials will produce. Christians can be comforted in the fact that God is perfecting the Christian’s character through suffering (Davids 27).   

Patience is to have her “perfect work.” James seems to say in this phrase that the process of developing perseverance does not occur over night. He exhorts his readers to allow the trials themselves to have their complete affect.  James sees patience as a continual growth process.  (Davids 27-28)

Through the trials that Christians undergo, we attain endurance.  This endurance leads to the perfection which other places in scripture exhort us to attain. 

Endurance is a key element in spiritual maturity.  It is the testing of our faith that forces believers into a greater, sometimes more desperate, fellowship and communion with God (MacArthur 1926). 

If we do not allow the trials in our lives to have their “perfect work” then we are unable to become “perfect and entire, wanting nothing,” we are unable to reach the level of spiritual maturity which is required of us.  

No one wants to go through trials, but it's a great comfort to know that they have a very important purpose in our lives.  I invite you to join me again tomorrow as we continue on in this passage.

Just out of curiosity, what is your favorite passage of scripture when you need encouragement?

(I'll be citing all my sources at the end of the study in case you're interested.)

Will you learn along with me? Let's encourage one another.
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