Perseverance and Faith

James 1:2-4 (RSV)
"Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, 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."

In this world we face various troubles and trials that sometimes stretch our faith in God to the breaking point. Often we ask God, "Why did this have to happen?" or "Where are you God? Why am I going through this?" In this sinful world, there is no safety from evil, no immunity from hardship or harm. But we have the hope that Jesus is always with us, and will help us through the worst of times in our lives. Also, like the person who works out in the gym experiences aches and pains as his/her muscles develop, so we endure the trials of life with Christ's help our faith develops and transforms us into the kinds of people God wants us to be.

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing. If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man's religion is vain. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." (James 1:22-27)

People will see Christ's light shining in us if our faith is alive and causes us to help one another. For a dead faith is worthless, but a faith that lives tells the world that we are followers of Christ. In spite of our troubles and trials in this world, let us not forget to remember to lend a helping hand to those in need. Not just to widows and orphans, but to AIDS patients, prisoners, and those who find life burdensome. In this way we will be loving others as Christ loves us.

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