For some time now, I’ve been saying to myself “I love living by faith.” It’s been a faith confession in and of itself as I’ve not always loved the process of growing in faith, with its challenges and tests. But I know deep in my heart and from Scripture that a child of God who lives by faith pleases the Trinity. And oh how I want to please the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit through doing life their way.
Because God’s way, though a narrow road, always brings His loved ones to the desired outcome, to the destination that He had in mind from the beginning of the world. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) declares His mind toward us saying “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
So when the Holy Spirit instructs in James 1:2 to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials,” we know there is a supernatural reason to do just that. James says further in verse 3 that we should know “that the testing of our faith produces patience” (or endurance or perseverance, as it is also translated). It is at those times when I say to myself, “I love living by faith.”
More recently I have also been saying, “I love letting patience have its perfect work,” because in verse 4 of James chapter 1 it says if I do so, I will “become perfect and complete, lacking nothing (NKJV).”
The very thing we are impatient for is what we gain through patience—to lack nothing.
The Passion version of James 1:4 says “And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.” This is the perfection that we “press on to possess…for which Christ Jesus first possessed me (Philippians 3:12 NLT).” Paul admonishes us in 2 Corinthians 13:11 to “grow to maturity (NLT),” to “strive for full restoration (NIV),” to “be made complete” (NASB),” and in the King James Version, to “be perfect.”
Life provides us with many opportunities to choose to let patience, endurance, perseverance have their perfect work. Probably we will get the chance daily to practice our patience in small and large situations. Lately when one of those circumstances pops up in my life, I will make my declaration that I love letting patience have its perfect work, and I then notice how my attitude shifts from frustration to hope. I have just given that circumstance a prophetic option of working something fruitful in my life instead of it stealing my joy, robbing me of God’s best. I’ve chosen the higher road, and God will add His grace to that choice, enabling me to follow His leading.
Knowing that God is working redemptively in our lives at all times helps us cooperate with Him and His ways, such as counting it all joy when we fall into those various trials, to love letting patience have its perfect work, and to love living by faith overall. Our choices plus our attitudes in those choices made will be the determining factor of how close we come to that mark of being perfect and entire…lacking nothing.