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You must decide to endure.

I know a man who lives in pain every moment of his life. His spine works against him and doctors cannot operate because surgery would likely take away the ability to walk. So he endures the pain. But he learned to use a tool that made him pleasant to be around in spite of his constant pain.

The turnĀ of a phrase

It seems a little strange, perhaps, but James 1:4 says, “Let patience have its perfect work.” The word “let” is important there. That implies a decision. Allow “patience” to do its work.

I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to words and phrases we use–I love to analyze them. I have noticed that we often don’t really pay attention to the things we say or read, especially common phrases. This one in James 1:4 might not be one we use in common speech, but it is very familiar to most Christians. Think about what it’s saying though. Decide to allow patience to do its work.

What does that mean? What is patience doing when we experience trials? Obviously, “patience” is personified here. The emphasis is not upon what patience does but upon the completion of what it’s doing. In other words, we are to let patience do ALL that it is going to do.

That’s a very artistic way to say, “Choose to endure until the end of your trial.”

On the surface that might elicit a particular response: “What else am I going to do?” That’s a great question. What is the alternative to enduring when we face trials?

There are alternatives to endurance, all summed up in one word: Escape.

But the Holy Spirit through James tells us to stay with it and endure to the end.

I don’t think we are prohibited from taking medication to help the pain we might face. That’s not the point here.

Use the tool provided

Since the trials we face can improve us, we ought to be looking for that result.

When we (through faith) recognize that trials can benefit us, we transform from victim to victor. Use the painful process as a TOOL. Yes, we know that God is the One who fashions us, but we play a role in that, and to the best of our ability we need to use the opportunities He provides (allows) and do the best we can to grow.

When you find yourself in the middle of a trial, ask yourself how it can be used to bring joy to your life. No suffering has to be worthless. We can make something from it with God’s help.

Think about it.

What can you do to let patience complete its task in you? What will you become by embracing the trial and wielding it as a tool to transform your life into what God will be causing you to become?

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