Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:4
I’m not fully mature. I’m not fully complete. I’m definitely lacking in many things God would like to see more fully developed in me. And I’ve got many things God would dearly like to work out of me. God’s just not done with me yet. And, if you’re reading this rather than living in the full presence of our Heavenly Abba, I’m pretty sure God’s not done with you yet either!
Our Lord loves us and is with us. God calls us to trust that His work, His loving and powerful work of perseverance in our lives, is to grow us continually to be more like our Lord Jesus. More loving. More forgiving. More wise. More patient. More compassionate. More courageous. More peaceful. More thankful. This is maturity. This is completeness. This is lacking in nothing.
Choosing to faithfully persevere in each of life’s circumstances is exactly what our Lord Jesus calls us to do. This isn’t our most natural response to many of the challenging circumstances we face. Choosing to trust God, choosing to receive and grow in His powerful perseverance is a lifelong, day-by-day work. And this is God’s lifelong, day-by-day work within us – to grow us to completeness. We are to be co-laborers with Christ by allowing Him full access to transform our minds and our lives in order to bring us to maturity. We need to recognize that it truly is God’s job to do this. What a freeing truth that is! We can’t do it on our own. It’s God’s work within us that makes us mature and complete, that makes sure we are not lacking in anything of eternal value. It isn’t up to us to make this happen. Our job is to willingly invite and allow our God, His Word and His Spirit to do His good work within us day-by-day. And we can be…
…confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6
Inviting God to do His good work within us is so much less painful and exhausting than is ignoring our God – ignoring God’s love, ignoring God’s good purposes for us – until we find ourselves in absolute confusion, frustration, disillusionment and utter brokenness.
Persevering in our own strength, in our own wisdom, in our own will power, and in our own way can get us pretty far. There will be some amazing things we can do, some amazing obstacles we can overcome. We were created as image bearers of our God, and God wants us to use the strengths and gifts He has given us, but never to the point of ignoring our God. Never to the point of denying God’s love and power in our lives – since God gave us life in the first place! Allowing God to lovingly, powerfully work within us to grow us in perseverance, to completion and maturity, is far more amazing than we could ever imagine!
God…is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… – Ephesians 3:20
Persevere! God’s just not done with us yet! Let’s each allow God to finish His good work within us. Day-by-day. Each day of our lives.