Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~~ James 1:2-4 ESV
Last week I started a new exercise routine. Based on the results of a friend from church, I purchased a Jillian Michaels video. Since I very seldom watch television, I learned that she is the personal trainer on The Biggest Loser. And she’s known for getting results and that’s what I’m seeking—results.
Each workout in this video is only 20 minutes. When I started this workout last week, 20 minutes felt like a torture. I thought I was fit as I’m used to walking and jogging each morning. But I realized I haven’t really been working out after the first few days of this video. My body has been going through stress.
“We want your body to change as quickly as possible. In order to do that, we have to put stress on it. That’s how things change. By putting stress on your body, it’s going to adapt,” Jillian states as the workout really gets going.
Since the first time I heard those words “We have to put stress on it. That’s how things change,” it has resonated in my mind over and over again. Then in Sunday School we had a lesson on James 1:2-4 and thoughts started clicking in my mind.
If we’re too comfortable in a situation we’ll stay in it. Stress, trials, and tests all produce results. The various kinds of trials we face produces steadfastness, which according to dictionary.com means “unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc., firmly established, as an institution or a state of affairs, firmly fixed in place or position.”
We need to be firmly fixed in the Word of God through Jesus Christ. That makes us firmly established. Then steadfastness will work into us the perfection—the work that God started in us which He will complete. (Phil. 1:6) Then we’ll lack nothing because of our faith.
I think I’m starting to see a glimpse of why James said, “Count it all joy.” We must go through a process. My muscles scream, “OUCH!” But they are under stress now so they will have to change and adapt to this new routine as I persevere with it. Later these muscles of mine will be in better shape.
Now as I face the trials in my life, I realize that the Lord uses the stress to produce endurance so I’ll be firmly fixed in Christ. We can’t always understand the “why am I going through this?” But we can trust in the One who increases our endurance so we can be perfected. Let’s endure and mature for the joy!