2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
That last verse kinda hurts. It really highlights that we’re here for God first, then he’s here for us. I know that for that vast majority of my life I’ve wanted God as my co-pilot, the approver of all I do, not my pilot who takes me to great places. Is God your pilot or co-pilot?
Life presents challenges, painful challenges. We can walk through them in anger, sneering at God, or we can embrace them and know they are strengthening us, strengthening our faith. Do your challenges just suck? Are they inconveniences to your life? Or are they opportunities to grow in strength and wisdom, things to lean into, to unpack and gain foresight? I’ve learned a lot through my life experiences, there’s very much I wish I could undo, I can’t, yet I can take those things and turn them to good.
Verse 4 says let perseverance finish its work (or perseverance must finish its work) so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Steel is hardened by fire and folding and beating and shaping and cooling and fire and folding… until it’s strong, ready for battle, ready to hold its effectiveness in all situations. Face your trials with pure joy? That’s different and yet….