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Trials – Faith – Perseverance – Maturity and Completeness
Trials are testings through experience in order to prove something. Before anything else, the trials that we are talking here is not confined with sufferings, but also simple testings of faith as disciplines. In verse 2, the author is teaching us to “consider” it pure joy whenever we face trials. Trials are supposed to be treated with joy and not with worries. Sometimes we worry too much when we face trials.
As long as we live, trials will always be there and will never go away. This is a fact that we have to understand. All things that God created are good.
There are only two things God created that rebelled against Him, some of the angels whose leader is Lucifer and man. The first trial that has been ever recorded in the Bible is when God put the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” in the middle of the Paradise and commanded Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of it. In this part, Adam and Eve is not suffering from anything. They were simply “forbidden” to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The Bible never said why he put the forbidden tree in the middle of the paradise. But whenever I look at this passage, “perhaps” he put it there in order to teach man how to have faith. This is has become the trial for them.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). We have discussed all about faith for two Sundays about some few weeks back. We have learned many things about it. Faith is more than just a feeling and more that just a profession.
Ever since God created man, God always want that His creation will trust Him just like what fathers want from their children. They want submission, they want that their children to follow them.
Faith is a big discussion, but just to give a short review about faith, let us just simply get passages from the Bible that talks about faith.
Matthew 6:28-30 – Faith is trusting God on our needs. “Do not be anxious of anything…”
Matthew 9:22 – Faith heals.
Matthew 17:20 – Faith can move mountains.
Luke 5:20 – Faith forgives sin.
Romans 1:12 – Faith can encourage.
Galatians 2:16 – Faith justifies us.
Ephesians 2:16 – It is by grace through faith that we have been saved.
Philippians 2:17 – Faith makes one rejoice even in the midst of trials.
Hebrews 11:4 – Faith can make our sacrifices to God better.
Hebrews 11:6 – Faith makes it possible for us to please God.
There are many things about faith. Thus, our trials produces faith. This is the reason why we need to consider it pure joy whenever we faces trials.
Perseverance is our endurance in the midst of trials. We already have learned that trials are just natural things that we face. It is not unusual, in fact it is more like an inherent thing along with life.
In theology, perseverance is defined as “Continuance in a state of grace until it is succeeded by a state of glory.”
However, in our passage it says; “Perseverance must finish its work..” what kind of work? What does perseverance do to our lives? Many of us probably is complaining about many things. Things that we find difficult to overcome. Certainly right now everybody has a problem. I am not just so sure if our young people have problems or they just don’t see any problem for the moment. But the fact is, all people have problems except of course those who are innocent. Let us go back and answer the questionl; “what does perseverance do in our lives?”
Romans 5:3 gives us a good answer which is very similar to our passage. It says; “…we know that sufferings produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. Here we see things that started from sufferings but was responded by a godliness which is perseverance. From that point, we can see how does perseverance work.
First, it produces a character. Our character is the one that identifies us. What kind of person we are, how do we response with circumstances, how do we respond with people. This is the first thing that people sees in us.
Secondly, from character to hope. The character that has been produced from perseverance produces hope. This hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us.
Maturity and Completeness – This is the end point of the process. As we see here, a godly response produces godliness. Thus, ending up right.
Spiritual Maturity is the state of our spiritual lives where we start thinking of becoming a blessing to others. It is the time where we start seeing things more positively because we begin to understand how God works.
When we say we are complete, we lack nothing. At this point, we are expected to have learned not only the basics but even the more difficult one to apply.