Turning a Trial into Triumph- Part 3 (Our Results)April 5, 2017
“Fiery trials,” said Spurgeon, “make golden Christians.” Perhaps this is what Job had in mind when he pronounced, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Fire authenticates, it refines, it makes palatable. It produces a better product. The fire of faith is not the most hospitable of circumstances to endure, but I assure you, like the three Hebrew boys, you are always better off for having gone through it.
Consider what James said about this truth in his epistle, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
A Perfect Work of Patience
Can you imagine what those early Jewish believers felt when they read the tender words of this apostle? Their faith was being tried by “divers temptations.” Perhaps like many of us, they experienced moments when they wanted to quit. But then they were reminded that the trial they faced had a purpose. God was doing a “perfect work” of patience through their fire.
The word James used for patience is hupomone. It means to abide under pressure. It means to produce staying power. James taught that the trials we face will produce something in our lives that will cause us to want to stay the course. Those who have genuine faith will survive the storm. They will endure the battle. They will walk through the valley. And as a result, God imparts unto them patience. Patience for what, you may ask? Well, I believe it is patience for the next trial. There are some trials we would have never made it through without facing the previous trial. And there are trials we are facing now that are preparing us for future trials. James said, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (v4).
God Changes our Development – “Perfect”
The word perfect does not mean to be without error or fault; it simply means to be fully developed. It has the connotation of being a full-grown adult. This makes sense. A child wants something and screams for it because it lacks patience. An adult understands that he doesn’t receive everything he desires. Even as a child must develop to obtain patience, the child of God endures trials so that God can accomplish patience in his life. The idea here is that God causes us to grow (and to grow up) in the midst of our trials. The truth is, you would not be the person you are today without yesterday’s fire.
God Changes our Deficiencies – “Entire”
He then used the word entire. This speaks of our deficiency. The word implies being complete and whole. It means not to lack in any area of life. Christ makes us whole. Paul said, “Ye are complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10). Christ supplies all our needs. We find everything we need in Him. The accomplishment of our trials reveals that we are deficient in and of ourselves, but that Christ completes us and makes us “entire.” Sometimes this can only be discovered through a trial. It’s an ironic thing, is it not? At the start of many trials we have this sense of inadequacy and insufficiency, yet in the process, God provides all that we need to make us complete. When the Lord is your shepherd, you will discover that you “shall not want.”
God Changes our Desires – “Wanting Nothing”
Finally, he said, and wanting nothing. Strangely enough, the trials we face cause us to desire the right things. We may enter the trial wanting everything, anything, or something, but when we come through the trial we are left wanting nothing. We may enter wanting something of the world, or something of the flesh, or something we do not need. But during the trial, we find Christ – and He is enough. The truth is, having the wrong desires often brings us into the trial to begin with, but God burns out those things and creates in us godly and righteous desires.
We may not like going through divers temptations, but it is certain we will like what they produce. There are many things we may not know about our trials: why they came, when they will leave, how long they will last, etc.; but we do know that God is working through them to mold us into “golden Christians.”