“Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.” James 1:19 [AMPC]

An old man once told his grandson, “When you walk into a room, first use your eyes to see, then use your ears to hear; understand with your mind and judge with your heart; then decide whether to walk out or stay. Never ever open your mouth.”

Perhaps this was how the typology of the ‘strong silent type’ came about. Perhaps this might even be the reason why Ian Fleming often has Bond make his public appearances with the scant yet succinct opening line of, “Bond, James Bond.”

But beloved, this advice of ‘look, listen, perceive and not act rashly’ is what the apostle James gives as the qualities needed to overcome trials.

When trials come, we wish we had Batman’s utility belt, where there would be one solution for every problem. But you know what? If you ask our Father for His utility belt, it will only have one pouch, and that would be filled with patience.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

Was James drunk? Did he just hit his head? How are we to count it as joy when we fall into various trials? Not only that, The Message presents these verses this way,

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4 [MSG]

Our trial is a gift? So the more dire our circumstance, the more blessed we are? Not only that, we are not to try and get out of it prematurely. Wow, whoever said the Christian life was easy? Well, beloved, no one did. Not even Jesus.

“Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain,” Luke 22:31 [AMPC]

Remember how Satan asked for Peter? Satan asked for Job too. So if Satan asks for you, what does that say about you?

“Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”” Job 1:8

Yes, beloved, our Father thinks mightily highly of you. Is that not cause to find joy?

And whilst Satan is out to prove our Father wrong, while he is trying to sift us like wheat and make us and God look bad,

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32

Yes, beloved, Jesus has got your back, and as for the test, Jesus Will Ace It For You.

So when we are faced with a trial, we listen, we assess, we told our tongue and our tempers and what is the end result?

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4

But if all this passive resistance and Standing Firm in Jesus gets a little bit lost on you, if you do not see how this all will end and how it could possible work in your favor, then James is clear,

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.” James 1:5-6 [MSG]

Now, this is not James brushing off our concerns. No, James is merely echoing the promises given by Jesus,

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

Think about it, Jesus Paid A Hefty Price So That We Can Freely Receive His redemption, His protection, His provision. So since

“He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him, also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

So if you are going through a difficult patch right now, and you do not understand why, ask. Our Father will give you all wisdom, for when you are patient in waiting for our Father’s guidance,

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4

You will be complete, perfect, and lacking nothing.

Does this therefore mean that we are tested by God then? Well, beloved, no, They Did Not Come From God. For remember,

“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:13-15

Look in the mirror. There is where your testing came from. Because you are fallible,

“…sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:7 [AMPC]

And how do we master it? How do we not let sin in? We answer the call of Jesus.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

When Jesus is in your life, sin can’t enter. But as you have found out, that does not mean it cannot create a ruckus and distract you. And when you are distracted, you are drawn away. But take heart beloved, when Jesus is in your life, He will pull you back onto the straight and narrow. And that is why you need to be patient. Not because Jesus takes a long time, but because you take a long time to get back on track. And because,

“For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14

That is why,

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
So guess what? It is not God who is slow. It is you.

It is very tempting to think that if only God gave you everything you think you need, all your problems will be solved and you will live happily ever after. Indeed, some of us think that God is like “a mean kid sitting on an anthill with a magnifying glass, and I'm the ant. He could fix my life in five minutes if He wanted to, but he'd rather burn off my feelers and watch me squirm.”

Beloved, here’s news for you. God could zap you into instant compliance, in much the same way you could force a bent branch straight. But think of the pain you would have to endure? You could even snap. No, beloved child of God, our Father is a loving Father. And more than that, He is God.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

Jesus Blesses As You Are Able. Not everything you think is good for you will actually benefit you. Jesus Is Not Done With Us Yet. Let Him lovingly guide us and lead us through our trials for when we let Him run the full course in our lives, we will indeed be,

“…perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4

Because, “…I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.” Philippians 1:6 [AMPC]

Rest in the confidence that Jesus is working behind the scenes, making sure that

“…all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Just be patient.

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