“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.“
– James 1:2-4
It’s very crazy to say, “Congratulations!” to someone who’s going through a lot in life. You’d be termed wicked and heartless. You may even be accused of being the brain behind their problems. But our text here gives us a serious reason to believe that you wouldn’t be wrong if you said that to a Christian.
Patience in trying times is what makes us “perfect and entire, wanting nothing”. Growth in the Christian race ain’t possible outside experience. My experience, which James called “works” in 2:17 of his letter, is what gives life to my faith. Work means acting out my faith! If we, as Christians, must grow, we must get patience. And that virtue, my dear, is not honed in your comfort zone.
Be glad when you are tempted. Rejoice when you suffer setbacks and neglect despite your best efforts.
Share with me this post from Amazing Facts “dot” org:
AN AMAZING FACT: It’s hard to make heads or tails of the oyster. For starters, it has no head or tail. Yet in spite of the fact that it lacks a brain, the oyster has extremely acute chemical and tactile senses and other resources that enable it to survive even though it seems one of the most defenseless creatures in the sea. The oyster has a small heart that pumps colorless blood and a pair of kidneys. But it has no brain! It draws oxygen from the water through gills, similar to fish. The oyster “eats” by using an intricate pumping system coupled with a filtering system that sifts food from up to eight gallons of water per hour. Some oysters can even alternate their gender, male one year, female the next! And they can release over one million eggs in a season, but only a few of these eggs will likely survive to maturity. The oyster has a powerful central adductor muscle that can open or shut its shell very rapidly. It also has a “catch” inside that can keep the shell closed for a long time, apparently without getting tired. One of the most amazing achievements of an oyster is how it makes a pearl. This brainless wonder creates a perfectly formed iridescent jewel from an irritating grain of sand. Oysters evidently used to be much bigger. A few years ago geologists found some enormous fossilized oysters that measured up to 10 feet across and weighed 650 pounds. What’s even more amazing is where they were found—high in the Andes Mountains! About 500 gigantic fossilized oysters were discovered 13,000 feet above sea level in a province approximately 250 miles southeast of Lima, Peru. Can you imagine the pearl that might come from one of these monster oysters?
In describing the New Jerusalem,
John saw something fascinating that boggles our minds. “The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl” (Revelation 21:21). Notice, each gate was not made of thousands of pearls, but of “one” pearl. How could that be? There must be gigantic oysters in heaven! But perhaps there is a deeper message for us to learn. If pearls are made through “trials” that come into the oyster’s life, through little irritating bits of life that are made into something beautiful, then perhaps we too will enter the gates of heaven because we have persevered with the trials that have been our lot.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
– Matthew 13:45-46.
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