Patiently Perfected

James 1:4 KJV

4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Okay now I think James is gone off the deep end. I mean let’s consider what he said so far. He said that we should have joy when we fall into temptation. We all hate temptation but he tells us to have joy. And the reason he tells us that is because we should know that faith when it’s tried produces patience. So in essence what he’s telling us is that when trouble comes be patient. That’s a hard thing to swallow.

Verse 4 comes tells us why we should have that joy in those trials. James tells us that when patience is done working in our lives we will be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. WOW. Doesn’t that sound like a place where you would like to be? A place where your life feels full and you seem to have everything you need? If that is where you want to be then here is your answer. Be patient.

But brother Pete. I thought that love was the key thing that we need! I thought that the most important thing was that we love our neighbor as ourselves and love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. I don’t see anything there about patience.

That is where it gets interesting. Where do most of your troubles come from? Do they come from your own mistakes and your own lack of wisdom in certain areas?  Or do they come from the things that other people do and say? Do they come from worrying about what’s happened to somebody else?  Or is it troubles that come because we don’t have the discipline we need in certain areas of our lives? Where do temptations and troubles really come from in our lives?

I would submit to you, as James does here, that if we can learn to have patience in all of these areas then our lives would be drastically changed. If we would learn to wait on the Lord and take these situations as a matter of faith, then how would they change and how would our prayer life change? Can we learn to remember that God’s timing is perfect in this microwave society, where we want everything right away. God always knows us better than we know ourselves,  and He knows what we need. If he has not answered your prayer in the way you expect him to then patience is the most important thing you can have.

I did a little word study on that word perfect this morning.  It means pretty much what you think it does. I would compare it to a fruit on the vine that has matured or a house a building that has been completed and is ready to be used for the purpose that it was made for. When we become perfect in the Lord we are ready to be used for the purpose we were made for.

As I dictate this on Tuesday morning the Lord is just filling my spirit and I’m weeping before God as I catch the true meaning of this verse. You have to know that when I do these blogs I rely on the Holy Spirit to give me exactly what to say at the moment that I’m tying or dictating it.   I don’t go out and study things ahead of time and try to figure it out I give it to God. And right now He showed me this truth – that our trials and tests bring us to the point of maturity so that He can use us to fulfill His plan for our lives  It’s just overwhelming me. I’m wiping the tears from my eyes.  What an amazing God we serve.

Can I share with you why this struck me so deeply? I hope you answered yes because I’m going to. When I look at my life I see so many trials and tribulations that God has brought me through. Some have been through joy when I took James 1: 2 and applied it and some not. Ten years ago I had a huge battle against pride that almost ruined my marriage. I lost my job of 20 years because of it.  I went to a ministry in Kentucky called Pure Life Ministry for 8 months to try and get my life straightened out. That test was a phenomenal test for me and for my wife. But God brought us through even though the joy of James was not too evident. This diagnosis of cancer in March of 2016 came and if you don’t think cancer is a trial and a test of your faith then you don’t know cancer very well. I approached it with joy this time. I knew that God would bring me through it., so I accepted it with joy and trusted God There was never any doubt in my mind.

When I look at this verse and apply it the way James has written it, I plainly see these trials I went through were there to try my faith so that patience would be produced.  Patience in both cases brought me through as I waited upon God. And that patience is there to perfect me, to help me become mature in Christ, so that I can fulfill the call He has put on my life. Through this battle with cancer I can’t tell you how many people have been affected by the writing that I’ve been doing. Between the poems on my Psalmist page to the study through Psalms, I have had hundreds of people tell me that they were touched and moved and affected by the words that God has given me. I’ve even had one young man who accepted Christ because he read one of my poems.

I don’t say these things to boast. I say these things to show you that even in the deepest test our lives can go through, God is at work. God is perfecting us in our faith as we wait upon him with patience to go through the battle. He is with us every step of the way and  patience will bring us through to the other side, a vessel that is ready for His purpose and His use. What more could a person want? How can I ask God for any more then His perfect will in my life? It is only arrived at by waiting upon Him and having the patience and the faith to go through the trial with joy.  Always remember that just because we can’t see God working doesn’t mean He isn’t working.  He works the hardest when He is silent in our lives!

One the thing about patience.  We are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves, right?  Then He tells us our neighbor could be the person we despise (Good Samaritan).  I would submit this is only possible if we learn patience.  Our neighbors can put us through our most difficult tests, and our response should be to pray that God will change us where He needs to so we can understand the pain they have in their lives.  People aren’t mean just to be mean – there is an area of hurt in their lives that we can’t see, and they lash out at those around as a means of protection from being hurt more.  When we learn to empathize with them, and have patience and pray for them, we truly learn to love them.  Here is patience at work perfecting our love!

What are you going through today? What trial or temptation has you bothered or upset. I adjure you to find the joy of the Lord in the middle of that trial. Know that God is at work in your life through that person or that incident that’s going on. Know that God is perfecting you even though it seems like you’re falling apart. We have joy when were tempted because our faith will produce patience and patience will perfect us.  It perfects us because we learn to wait on God. Then, as we’re perfected, we won’t need anything else because we have God – and He becomes all we need.  Then we will be perfect and entire wanting nothing.

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13 thoughts on “Patiently Perfected

  1. SR

    You are just so good! I will admit “patience” is not one of my greatest “virtues.” (Not that I have that many “greatest ones”) 🙂 Through the years of many trials and tribulations I have far greater patience today, then I did say 20 years ago.

    Maturity or more faith in God, maybe a combination of both, I don’t know? I guess as we mature our faith does grow.

    It’s always a learning and growth process with God, isn’t it, Pete? Do you ever think we will get out of “school?”

    Just like Scripture. I can read the same Chapters over and over, from year to year, and they speak something so different each time to me. I always see something else I needed to know, that was not there before.

    Great post and God Bless, SR

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  2. Path Without End

    These articles continue to be powerful. And surprisingly, I couldn’t help but think about my study of Christian Mystics the whole time I read. The point of patience working towards a level of maturity, a certain perfection, so to speak. It seems that was the big issue with these mystics, taking on as much as possible the characteristics of Christ. I think most people today don’t think Christ really meant “be ye perfect” when he said “be ye perfect”. They think it just means mature only. Yes it means that, but I studied it and it seems to indicate that God does not want us to be afraid of the word “perfect”. It is our destination in heaven, and seems to be the mark God wants us to desire, even if it does take our whole lifetime and heaven to get there. Know what I mean? I’m currently deep in study of the Antiochian Theology and the Alexandrian Theology, as these two schools of thought seem to have a lot to do with the journey our early church made. It’s a real challenge to sort out. So I’m a little swamped right now and not even writing any articles of my own until I get a handle on this, but I didn’t want you to think I had lost interest in your James series. I’ve slowed down, but I’m still here.

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    1. Pete Post author

      Thanks for filling me in. I will be looking for your articles on these two, as I have no idea what they are. But do me a favor, will you. I have a friend who keeps insisting that these early saints, like Peter and Paul, were always catholic, ve]because the Catholic church was the only one that started anywhere near that time.

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      1. Path Without End

        Yes, I’ve run into that so much, and it is so wrong. This is one of the reasons I’m doing this. I want to see, if possible, how and where the early church really did take on the Catholic system as we know it. So far, Ignatius, Polycarp, Clement, were all bishops even up to as late as 150 AD., but there is still no system of a Pope. Each bishop was over their own church. Clement happened to be the bishop in Rome. Now I’m reading Irenaeus, bishop in France. (130-202 AD.) Still got a lot of the puzzle to piece together. I suppose it makes sense there would have to be a highest position eventually established, but if that high position begins to steer the ship wrong, then somehow someone has to confront that authority. How long do you stay with a bad helmsman? We can all trace our spiritual heritage back to the Apostles, but who has stayed on course as to what Jesus did? I’m still trying to picture Jesus in all the pomp and ceremony. I don’t see any of that in the Lord’s Supper, or anything else he did. I’m trying to figure out where all this came from, and I got my problems with modern Protestants too. So yes, this is a very serious quest for me. Where is the simple and personable ministry of Christ?

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      2. Pete Post author

        Inside the believer, who makes up the church. Not inside the buildings called churches.

        I keep telling my Catholic friend that just because the Catholic church claims Paul and Peter as the start of the Catholic church does not mean they were Catholic.

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      3. Path Without End

        Yes, this is the deception they have managed to promote all these years now. But somehow we all went down that Catholic river until the Orthodox split, which still are very ceremonial, and then almost 500 years later Marten Luther finally stood up. I find it rather confusing. I need to know if the early church fathers really did steer us into such ceremony. I don’t think they did. I suspect Constantine had a lot to do with it. But I still got a lot of reading to do. My hope is that each article I write is another step of the journey, and another piece of the puzzle, until we have some kind of a picture we can make sense out of. Keep me in your prayers. I need them.

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      4. Path Without End

        Hey just wanted to let you know I’ve started getting into the meat of this early church history. It’s getting VERY interesting. Last two articles written. Thought you might want to check it for you friend. Anyone should be able to see I’m a pretty average guy just trying to find honest answers. So maybe it might connect with him?

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      5. Pete Post author

        I will try to get to them tomorrow been real busy. And then I will tell my friend that you would like him to take a look at them and give you his thoughts. Would that be okay

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  3. Pete Post author

    Sorry, hit send by mistake. Anyway. I keep telling him the church mentioned is those who believe in Christ, not the Catholic church. What do your two theologies say about that, if anything?

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    1. Path Without End

      The two schools mostly debated theological points, such as the natures of Christ, divine, human, etc. It all seems to get away from the simple message of the Gospel. But my interest was in the difference of what it meant to be mature, or one in Christ in a deep way, in which you become the living sacrifice. Alexandrian was more mystical in that. But the other school eventually ran into problems, and kind of went both ways. So far I have not yet found that one firm thing I need to find that begins to make sense, unless it turns out to be Constantine. I’m still working that direction. lol.

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