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…. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:2–4, 12)
My Grandpa had a stress test a while back. His cardiologist wanted to know how healthy his heart was, so he had my Grandpa get on the treadmill and increasingly applied stress and exertion to find out what was going on inside. My Grandpa learned just how strong his heart was that day. It was revealed by the physician’s test.
James tells us that our Great Physician and Loving Father uses the tests of life in much the same way. When trials come into our lives, they are like stress tests designed to reveal what’s in us. They are tests of character, tests of resolve, tests of faith. James tells us the key to passing these tests is steadfastness. Steadfastness means to firmly stand our ground. Synonyms would include words like endurance, perseverance, persistence, resilience, and faithfulness. Those character traits are revealed in the stress tests of life. Unless you go through the test, you’ll never know what’s on the inside. Our spiritual health is revealed by the Physician’s test.
What if 2020 is a giant stress test?
What if God is using this year to reveal exactly what is in us?
What if our steadfastness in this season is actually making us perfect and complete, lacking in nothing?
What if God is working all of these things together for the good of those who love him?
What if a crown of life is coming in the loving promise of God?
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Always remember: you are loved, more than you know!