I read this scripture this week during my morning Bible time, 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. from James 1:2-4.
I have read it before, several times, but today I underlined and zeroed in on this line: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
I can't speak for anyone else, but even in a season where my life feels in order, my heart and mind are "together" and my soul is at rest, or at least the most rest it can get in the circumstances of my life, it's still hard to feel as though I lack nothing. There always seems to be something we need, desire, hope for, or wish would change about our current state. But God's words says, "But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
I think the line before these is where it's all at. "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." This testing of our faith...isn't that where we tend to fight? To wonder if God has forgotten us? Why me? Or, what good could possibly comes from this? Isn't it also where we finally surrender and begin to see His hand in our mess? Isn't it in these times that we can begin to see the strength He's given us? The path He is working out for us? So often our trials weed out a little of our messy selves to let more of God in, and we can begin to see who He made us to be.
I can give you plenty of examples from my own life of this playing out through trials I've faced, but I'll instead challenge you to think through you own trials. Where has God brought you through those difficult circumstances? Have you allowed the testing of your faith to produce patience? Have you submitted to God's will for your life, or are you still fighting against Him?
After contemplating these things, I noticed the commentary from my Women's ESV Bible concerning vs 4:
The potential a Christian woman has for maturity relates to the realization of her God-given destiny. She is striving to reach a goal that only God can enable her to achieve.
Often commentary speaks directly to the passage, but I feel like this is a more subtle connection.
Perfect and complete, lacking nothing = God-given destiny
Do you see? I don't think it is the setting aside of ourselves that God is necessarily after. I think He's helping us perfect our true selves, enabling us to reach this goal of our God-given destiny. There, in that place, we are lacking nothing. Not that life becomes perfect or easy, but there is peace (I'm not there yet, but I can see hints of it) when we are living out our destiny, not as we presumed, but as God intended.