And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. —James 1:4-5
James gives us a second command in James 1:4 — “And let steadfastness have its full effect.”
The Whole Thought
We should consider it joy when trials come our way because these trials test our faith and such testing produces steadfastness (James 1:2-3). And let that steadfastness be real. Let it have its full effect so that we may be complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4).
We’re not supposed to stop at verse 3. Steadfastness is not the goal. Trials test our faith and sharpen our trust in God, but sturdy faith alone leaves us dissatisfied. And James doesn’t want us to short-circuit the outcome of our difficult circumstances—let steadfastness have it’s full effect!
There is a Purpose Here
The purpose for letting steadfastness have its full effect is that by it we become complete. This perfection and completion is not a degree of moral excellence or abstract maturity. The completion towards which we move and yearn is conformity to Christ’s image—it is “mature manhood, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
The goal of our steadfastness is that we become transformed into the image of Jesus. This is why our faith endures, this is why trials are put in our lives—we are being changed.
This reality totally revolutionizes how we see difficulties, whether it is suffering, spoiled hopes, or stressful assignments. They test our faith, our faith endures, and this endurance makes us more like Jesus Christ.
Ask for Wisdom
And we need our perspective revolutionized. James 1:2-4 may not make sense to us, but we need it to. So if we don’t get it, let us ask God for wisdom. He gives generously (James 1:5; Colossians 1:9-10; 2 Timothy 2:7).