“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).
Things are not always as they appear. Though life’s diverse trials may appear to be detrimental to your spiritual well-being, God’s penmen say otherwise.
The first blessing of trials identified by James is the production of hupomone. Literally, this compound Greek word means “to stay or stand under”. Trials do for the successful spiritual athlete what grueling physical conditioning does for an elite professional athlete. They result in that mental toughness which hardens your determination into a granite-like refusal to quit or surrender.
This stick-to-it-iveness or spiritual “grit” is the determining factor in producing spiritual growth because:
The good soil keeps the seed of God’s word and bears fruit with hupomone (Luke 8:15).
Eternal life is given to those who do good with hupomone (Romans 2:7).
The only soil in which joyful hope of the glory of God grows is the proven character of one who has hupomone (Romans 5:2-4).
The race of spiritual victory necessitates hupomone (Hebrews 12:1).
There are no spiritual shortcuts or substitutes for hupomone. It is essential to victory. It is only forged in life’s diverse trials.