Our microwave culture wants things done in seconds.
James 1:1-18 stands in contrast to many popular notions in our current cultural climate. People don’t want to hear about trials. No. We want to be healthy, wealthy, and happy. We want an easy button that takes away our problems. We want a magic pill that gets us healthy with no effort at all. We want to secret investment or product that will gives us the income to afford a mini mansion and other possessions of our dreams.
I say all that tongue in cheek, but you know what I mean. We don’t want trials. We want vacations and promotions.
Just like people don’t want to hear about trials, we also don’t want to hear about perseverance. We live in a microwave culture. We’ve grown accustomed to getting things our way and getting things our way quickly. We have magical boxes that we carry around in our pockets or purses that allow us to communicate with people via phone, text or video 24/7. I saw a comedian once doing a bit on someone complaining about the speed of the Internet on an airplane. Really?! If we have an argument over dinner, we can settle it quickly with a quick Google search. Speaking of dinner we have ovens but if that takes too long we have stove tops, but if that takes too long we have microwaves. If we are not in the mood for that you can get food delivered, or drive to a restaurant or drive through a restaurant.
I say all that tongue in cheek, but you know what I mean. We don’t want perseverance. We want short line and instant gratification.
In contrast to our culture, God calls us to perseverance through trials.
In contrast to our culture, God calls us to perseverance through trials. Reading the opening of James seems like a breath of fresh air in our current cultural climate. A difficult breath of fresh air, but fresh air nonetheless.
We are to consider it joy when we face trails. Why? Because the testing of our faith produces perseverance.
Now this does imply that we have faith. Our faith is in the life, death, burial, resurrection and future return of Jesus. This is not the cultural notion of “blind faith.” The cultural notion of blind faith teaches that if I just try hard enough things will work out or I’m just going to believe this to be true and move full steam ahead. Biblical faith is trusting in the character and promises of God.
The character of God, as displayed in our passage, graciously gives out wisdom to those in need. The character of God, as displayed in our passage, does not tempt but rather acts as loving Father who gives good gifts to his children.
The promise of God in this passage …
Through perseverance we achieve spiritual maturity and the crown of life.
Through perseverance we achieve spiritual maturity in this life and a crown of life in a day to come. You don’t gain Godly things through a microwave culture but gospel perseverance.
Having trials in your marriage? Don’t give up.
Having trials with your kids? Don’t give up.
Having trials in the workplace? Don’t give up.
Having trials in your finances? Don’t give up.
There trials are an opportunity for spiritual maturity. Rather than gripe, complain, stress, and worry ~ lean into the character and promises of God.