“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” –James 1:4 (NIV)
There is an interesting word at the beginning of this verse, “Let.” This means we have a choice. As we’ve seen, we can choose how to respond when trials come our way. We can look for the easy way out, rely on our own strength, run, or face it with God’s help. The choice is ours. If we choose God’s way, perseverance will finish its work. We will grow in holiness, maturity, and Christlikeness. These are all goals of the Christian life.
When it comes to maturity, it is sad to see so many Christians still act like baby’s years after they are saved! Imagine having to spoon feed a 23-year old who is physically capable of feeding himself (or herself). When our daughter was born, she was completely helpless. She relied on us for everything: food, clothing, shelter, comfort, diaper changes, everything. As she is growing older, she is relying less and less on us. Her favorite saying these days is “All by myself,” which she says about everything!
Similar to our physical life, our spiritual life should become less and less dependent on man (always recognizing our need for our Heavenly Father and the importance of growing in community). I often tell folks that if you tried to only eat one meal a week, you would physically die. The same goes for our spiritual diet. If you only feast on God’s Word once a week, you are starving yourself. You must learn how to feed yourself!
What about you?
Do you want to mature in your faith?Do you want to grow up into a vibrant follower of Christ?
If so, look at your trials as seasons of spiritual growth; let God stretch and mold you into His image, into His child.