Updated: May 10
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance..." James 1: 2a
The average firefighter undergoes training daily that would easily qualify as a college workload. Most fire departments require training sessions twice daily that encourage competency, promoting an automatic response in situations needing a calm matter of fact approach. The first responder learns early in their career that knowledge is just one of the critical legs of a stool supporting what they are accountable for. Their situations are varied and constantly put on trial their ability to be critical thinkers in crises. Whether a firefighter, nurse, or medical professional, the emergency worker chooses the tests of pressured competency, not the other way around. These individuals prepare themselves for a life of constant training that enables them to respond to ever-changing situations.
In the book of James, we are encouraged to anticipate trials. These trials encountered in the lives of believers are opportunities to learn the importance of exercising our commitment to the faith we profess. Regardless, circumstances, whether as a youth to adults, parents, single or married; the stability of a believer is based on their willingness to persevere despite being constantly challenged in their faith. Because the health and wellbeing of the believer's walk depends on not just knowing God's word but also understanding the Holy Spirit's job of presenting us as mature, competent and capable sons responding to His will for our lives. God is mindful of the trials we face designed to prepare us for our placement in His house. We like Christ are vessels of service, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given." A child's competency is not expected to be that of a son capable of understanding "maturity of responsibility". Just like fire recruits aren't sent out to perform firefighting duties immediately after hire, believers are to know that God is present in situations requiring them to "choose" to engage the training that produces perseverance of the hope we have in Christ. Daily we are put on trial by circumstances and situations that challenge our level of commitment to our relationship to God as children or sons aware of our process towards maturity in Christ. Like Paul, let us press towards a mark that places a new horizon before us. We can know for certain that trials will continue and each one can produce the competency we need to persevere.
"Pressing Towards the Mark"