|James 1:4 |
4 But let steadfast endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.1 ["By your steadfast endurance do you possess your souls." Luke 21:19. Note! If you lack nothing, then you have everything possible, (including fellowship with Christ and the Father, raised to heaven, sitting with Christ in the kingdom, in union with Christ and God, free from even the desire to sin, pure, holy, permanently perfected, protected from ever sinning again — all while still alive on earth), as Paul wrote the perfect man does: Until we all come to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; Eph 4:13. If you are a perfect man and possess the fullness of Christ, you have everything possible.]
1 My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials; knowing this, that the trying of your faith produces steadfast endurance. But let steadfast endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Trials, tribulations, and afflictions from the hand of God are necessary to bring a man to perfection. God humbles a man, allowing the adversary, (Satan and his fallen angels), to sift and try a man, just like he did Peter and the disciples.
The trials produce steadfast endurance, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing, which means you have everything possible, (including fellowship with Christ and the Father, raised to heaven, sitting with Christ in the kingdom, in union with Christ and God, free from even the desire to sin, pure, holy, permanently perfected, protected from ever sinning again), as Paul wrote the perfect man does: Until we all come to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; Eph 4:13. If you are a perfect man and possess the fullness of Christ, you have everything possible.]
Because narrow is the gate and compressed is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Mat 7:14. (Tribulation and suffering is the pressure; as you approach the gate, the pressures and trials intensify).
Therefore, since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind because he who has suffered in the flesh is finished with sin, so that you should not live the rest of your time in the flesh in the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 1 Pet 4:1-2. Tribulation is not a hard day at the office, a car wreck, a death in the family, a divorce, or some natural difficulty; it is unmistakably, supernaturally imposed.
Jesus said to Peter: Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has demanded to have you all, that he may sift you like grain. They were all turned over to Satan for testing. If you are a serious seeker of God, Satan will be allowed to test and sift you, (a slow process), as well as inflict suffering upon you to test, try, and develop patience, faith, and love within you. You must suffer with faith that the suffering is part of your cross, but your cross will be nowhere as painful as the cross of Jesus; your pain will be far, far less and does not result in loss of blood. Remember, the Lord allows Satan to afflict you in order to chasten and scourge any son whom he accepts. If you think you are a son of God, without having suffered, having been chastened, and having been scourged, you are not; you are instead, illegitimate: For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and scourges every son whom he accepts. Endure your trials with suffering as a discipline [not punishment, but training from God to improve your virtue]; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom the father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all [true sons of God] must share, then are you illegitimate, and not sons. Heb 12:5-8
Fear none of those things that you will suffer. Behold, the devil will cast some of you into prison, so that you may be tried; and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you a crown of life. Rev 2:10
It is only when a person is besieged by a supernatural enemy, sent by God, which he is helpless to fight against, that the person discovers how he is so easily resentful, angry, impatient, doubtful [loss of faith], and profane. Under the pressure of the adversaries, a man discovers what a low, selfish, angry beast he really is. It is a necessary humbling process. It is a necessary suffering. A man must see over a significant period of time how low he is, how selfish he is, how profane he is, how evil he is — and he must learn this so that he never forgets it. A man must be humbled, and it is impossible for a man to voluntarily humble himself; any such voluntary attempts to humble one's self only increases a man's pride. Only the hand of God can truly humble a man. His only hope has to rest in God's mercy; there can be no other escape. His only objective must become to be rid of his selfish, cursing, profane, hating, resentful self; so when it is finally taken away, he hates evil so much, that he would never even consider drifting back into selfish behaviors again. A man must be broken by God: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17; and then he accepts him: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor [in Spirit]; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted [who mourn due to their slavery to sin], to preach release to the captives [of sin], and recovery of sight to the [spiritually] blind, to deliver [free] those who are oppressed [in slavery to sin]. Luke 4:18, Isa 61:1
After passing a few of the Lord's tests, to see if a man will return to sin, the Lord in his mercy rewards a man with the seal of the Holy Spirit, the down payment of the final reward to come: salvation, union with Jesus and the Father, and the kingdom.
I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service and worship. Rom 12:1