November 25, 2019

Faith Endurance

Devotion for the Week...

I have written about endurance before, based on Paul's words in Romans 5:3, but today I want to look at it again, in a slightly different way. James wrote "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing" (James 1:2-4).

I tend to think of endurance as being either a physical thing, like when we do some kind of hard activity and our bodies are able to continue doing it, or an emotional thing, like when we have the patience to get through some hard circumstances. James' words, though, seem to be addressing a different kind of endurance. He writes about our faith being tested and endurance growing, which sounds to me like it is the endurance of our faith that needs to grow. Our faith in God is our firm belief that God not only exists, but that He cares for us and is in control of everything, which certainly sounds like something we should have in abundance.

The hard-to-face truth is that endurance only grows when it is used and practiced. We can't will or wish it into being and no one can gift it to us. My running endurance grows the more I run. Our patience grows the more we deal patiently with difficult people or situations. Our faith grows when we trust God through hard things.

As I said last week, we all want the hard things to happen to other people - preferably ones we don't know. We don't want to have to deal with anything that will test our faith, but those things will happen whether we want them or not. James tells us that when hard things do happen, we should consider it 'an opportunity for great joy' because they will make our faith endurance grow. Not because the circumstances themselves are cause for joy, but because the growth of our endurance is cause for joy.
Our faith grows when we trust God through hard things |
Background quilt is Divided
Jesus said, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). When things are going well we can forget to look for Him, to notice the evidence of His provision for us and to rely on Him. When things aren't going well we are reminded that our own strength is not enough and that He is always there.

Is your faith being tested by hard things right now? If it is, take comfort in knowing that, whatever you're dealing with, God is with you through it all. One day (hopefully soon!) the trouble you face will be over and your faith will be stronger because of it.


  1. Thank you. This helped me to understand endurance more.

  2. Another timely devotion, thank you!


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