James – Sun – 21-11-28

Many years ago, I was an athlete on my high school team. After football or basketball practice, the coach would line us up for a drill called wind sprints. It sounds like such a pleasant term! But they were not pleasant. The coach would blow his whistle, making us run in short bursts. Then we’d do it again, and again and again. He didn’t stop until we had no wind left! They should have been called “windless sprints” because he left us gasping for air.

Why would the coach put us through such agony? Because he wanted to build our endurance. We needed to be in condition for the real game. So, he put us through the drills.

The same thing is true about our spiritual endurance. It requires testing to develop. Listen to what James 1:2-4 says, “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.” (NIV)

Do you see the big picture? It can be unpleasant, even agony, to go through the trials of life. But they are useful for creating in us perseverance and eventually maturity. And, as verse 12 says, if we persevere under trial, we will receive the crown of life!

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.