God’s Gym – Part V
A Mental Habit
Scripture Reading: James 1:2-4
Key Verse: James 1:4
So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
If we can develop a mental habit of seeing our troubles as being in “God’s Gym” and let that mental picture give us joy, our endurance grows strong.
James lets us know the result of developing our endurance: we become “perfect and complete, needing nothing”.
What was James is thinking when he wrote those words? Most of us doubt that we will ever be perfect and complete and in need of nothing. It might help to start with what James does not mean.
James did not mean that any Christ-follower could ever get to a point that they would never need to pray, because they “need nothing”.
Nor does James mean that we could be so complete, that there will be no more need for growth in our walk with God.
And certainly, James did not mean that we could ever be perfect in our judgements and behavior in this life, even with Christ in our lives.
There are many examples of imperfect judgement in the Bible, but one is the Apostle Peter. The Apostle Paul was the one who caught Peter showing a lack of judgement. Read Paul’s words about the Apostle Peter:
When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. (Galatians 2:12-13).
Remember, Peter was with the group that was filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Peter preached to hundreds that day and dozens were added to the church. And Peter is the one that we read about that performs amazing healing miracles. After all that he had experienced, he still was not perfect in his judgments or behavior! So, we know that James did not think that any of us could be perfect and complete in our judgements.
James must have been thinking of what God sees in us once we allow our troubles to grow our endurance. Remember, what we see in ourselves and what God sees in us is radically different; what He sees in us is all that really counts.
Father, thank You for seeing something in me that I cannot see in myself. Please continue to do Your work in me! In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.