{"devotional":{"title":"Oct 26 God’s purpose in suffering","content":"

\"oct-26-jas1-4-endurance\"<\/a>James 1:4 \"And let<\/b> endurance have<\/b><\/i>~~<\/span>\u00a0its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.\"<\/i><\/p>\r\nIn high school football, none of us enjoyed running ten to twenty laps. It was agonizing.

Our coaches appeared to be unconcerned about the pain they caused, but there was only one way to be ready for the big game. Similarly, Christ knows there is only one way for the believer to mature and become like Him.

Trials and conflicts condition us to demonstrate the grace of God.

In James 1:4, the present active imperative of \u201clet\u2026have\u201d implies continual submission to progress toward the ultimate goal of Christlikeness. God cannot complete His \u201cperfect effect\u201d (from a Greek word for the \u201ccompletion of a process, or reaching full grown\u201d) in us without teaching us \u201cendurance\u201d (lit. being \u201cunder pressure,\u201d or the \u201ccapacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances\u201d).

Alan Redpath said, \u201cFor every discouragement has been allowed to come to us in order that through it we may be cast in utter helplessness at the Saviour\u2019s feet\u201d (Christian Quotes.com).

The objective of God\u2019s \u201ccoaching\u201d is to make us \u201cperfect and complete, not deficient in anything.\u201d Paul\u2019s use of the word \u201cperfect\u201d does not mean moral or spiritual absolute perfection; it refers to what is fully developed or matured.

Even James admitted, \u201cWe all stumble in many ways\u201d (James 3:2). Paul confessed, \u201cNot that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on\u201d (Phil 3:10, 12).

Paul referred to the analogy of suffering the pain of childbirth as part of the process of producing Christian maturity when he wrote, \u201cmy children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you\u201d (Gal 4:19). The word complete means \u201ca totality or entirety.\u201d

This is not a superficial conformity to legalistic standards, but it means that your thoughts, beliefs, values, motivations, discipline, habits, reactions, responses, ambitions, and goals all reflect the principles of God\u2019s word. Having learned the application of the word to every one of these areas, each of us is tested until the right responses become more instinctive. Then we will not be \u201cdeficient in anything.\u201d

This we know: \u201cAfter you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace\u2026 will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you\u201d (1 Pet 5:10). He knows what each of us needs. Trust Him as your coach.

\u201cLord, why is my maturity so important to You? If becoming like You is good for me, then I\u2019ll take whatever circumstance You send me today.\u201d\u00a0<\/i>