by Rick Warren — January 7, 2021
From A Faith That Works When Life Doesn’t
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 1:3-4 (NLT)
Knowing how the story ends should change everything. One of the biggest ways it affects your life is that it should motivate you to use adversity to become stronger spiritually.
That’s what James says you should do while you’re on earth waiting for Jesus’ second coming: “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:3-4 NLT).
You will undoubtedly face stress, problems, difficulties, and trouble in this life. In the time between now and when you die or Christ comes back, you should use those trials to develop endurance and become more like Christ in character.
Does becoming like Christ sound impossible? The Bible says God can do that work in us: “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 The Message).
Are you whole—like these verses say you can be—or are you fragmented? Are you put together, or are you falling apart? These days, we all feel like we’re falling apart a little—and that’s okay. You’re not supposed to have it all together. You’re not perfect, and you won’t be while you’re here on earth. You can’t change that.
What you can do is work on getting spiritually fit in preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ.
It’s important to stay physically fit and take care of your mental health. But you cannot neglect your spiritual fitness. You don’t have to be the strongest, fastest, or healthiest when it comes to being spiritually fit. You just need to keep working on it and recognize that the trouble you face is often an opportunity to grow in faith.
If you’re out of work, if you’re sick, if you’re feeling the weight of prejudice, turn to God’s Word and his promises. When it feels like you’re falling apart, remember that God is still working to make you more like him, and he can use even the most difficult circumstances in your life to do it.