Are you in the midst of a trial right now? Remember, if you persevere, it will make you mature.
A true story is told of a man who decided to make a career change. When he was in his mid-thirties, a father with two young sons, he decided to become an attorney in order to utilize legal channels to bring about some needed changes in his community. Keeping his regular job, he began attending law school at night. Several years later, upon graduation, he took his state’s bar exam, which he failed. Undaunted, he took it again . . . and again . . . and again. While he continued to try to pass the bar exam, his sons grew up, graduated from college and law school, and started their own law practice. The father went to work for the sons as a legal assistant, still unable to practice law himself. Finally, in his sixties, after taking the bar exam 51 times, he passed—and set out to accomplish his original goals as a duly-licensed attorney.
How many people would have endured this man’s trial? Some might have retaken the bar exam three times, five times, even ten times before throwing in the towel. But how many people would have taken it 51 times, or 151 times, because they were wise enough not to let trials keep them from achieving their goal?
The apostle James, in the earliest years of the first-century church, wrote to Christians who had fled to scattered places in order to escape persecution in Jerusalem. Even in their “safe” cities, they soon came under attack as a religious and ethnic minority. James’ advice to his readers could have been taken from the life of the latent lawyer: Tests develop perseverance, and perseverance leads to maturity. Because he had persevered, how much more meaningful would the attorney’s counsel be to a client who felt like giving up? How much more mature as a Christian will one be when perseverance has finished its work, and faith has been proved genuine?
Are you in the midst of a trial right now? How many times have you come close to giving up or giving in? Remember that trials, if you persevere, will make you mature. And when you have maturity, you are “complete, not lacking anything.”
God’s Promise to You: “If you persevere in my tests, maturity will be your reward.”