“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1: 2-4
What happens when the water gets hot in our lives? Unfortunately, most professing believers in America have no real idea. Too often we spend so much time trying to get the temperature down or trying to escape the heat that we never see what happens when the water gets hot. Let’s be honest here, none us of want to be uncomfortable or unhappy or experience a loss of control. In fact, we are all taught the “American Dream” of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have even made that a promise of the gospel. Come to Christ and he will meet all your wishes and you can have all that you have ever desired, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The problem is this that is not what the bible teaches. In fact the bible tells us that coming to Christ means death, submission to God and the pursuit of holiness. That is why passages like this don’t end up on billboards or on T-Shirts, because we want to avoid the hot water. But James wants us to hang on when the water gets hot and wait to see what happens when the Lord allows the water to get hot. In fact he does more than say hang on; he says “consider it pure joy.”
James is either a mad man or he knows a little something about what God can do when the water gets hot. What does James know that he wants us to know about the benefits of hot water in our lives? Think about it this way, water that is contaminated must be boiled before it can be purified. We might say it like this, “Consider it pure joy when contaminated water is allowed to boil because you know that boiling water produces purified water and purified water then is able to be used to accomplish its purpose.” Here’s the thing, the only way we can know whether we have faith is to have that faith tested. Trials do that work for us. If we endure/persevere in the trials which God allows to test our faith then we know that the perseverance has done the work of demonstrating our maturity in faith.
The next time the water begins to get hot, look forward not around or behind and be joyful that God considers you worthy of testing. Persevere through faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior and know that this testing of your faith will produce perseverance and perseverance will lead to maturity in your walk with God.