Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Peter continues to build a plan to participate in Godís nature with methods to strengthen our resolve to be more like Christ. To faith add goodness, to goodness add knowledge, to knowledge add self-control and to self-control add perseverance. Combining all of these qualities will make you a more effective person not only for this life, but also for Godís glory.
Those who become Christians at 5 or 6 years of age do not grasp the understanding that they have made a commitment to serve God. Others hear the preached word and believing the word seek God. Unfortunately, he greatest cause that Christians die from is spiritual malnutrition. Lacking spiritual food keeps Christians in a childlike state for years and they neither grow nor act as a child of God outside the church.
Commitments speak of reliability of the person and the agreements you made based on trust. With agreements there is a dependability factor that the agreement will be fully kept. Your agreement with God is not totally one sided as some people think, God is the other half keeping his part. There within lies the problem between the mature Christian and the believer who does not act as a Christian outside the church. There appears to be no connection with God and you see no difference between the Christian and the rest of the world.
"You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD." Joshua 24:22
You chose to serve the Lord with a vow that said you would serve the Lord the rest of your life. Whoever commits his or her life to God should be quick to keep the vow. Due to the reason that God keeps his promises he expects you to keep the promises you make to him. God is determined to accomplish his word when you remind him of his promise. God will save you when you ask believing in Christ, but it is still your responsibility to prove that you have become his child through obedience.
Peter is building his case about being a partaker in the divine nature by adding perseverance to knowledge and self-control. Perseverance can be described in spiritual terms as clinging to a belief, and working a plan of action to its completion. Christians say hang in there, keep going and donít give up as their way to tell you to persevere. Basically after the plan is drawn up, perseverance is working the plan at a steady pace until you reach your goal even when it takes your lifetime.
Being born again is the first step towards maturity in Christ Jesus; it is the first step of a lifetime plan of action that will last well after Christís coming. At the time you are born again you are reconciled to God, the sins of the past are forgiven as if you had never sinned before. Your spirit has been regenerated and in Godís sight you have become holy so the fullness of God may dwell in your heart.
But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusationóif you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. Colossians 1:22-23
In the above passage Paul writes, if you continue in your faith, not turning from the hope of the gospel, takes a determined effort to persevere. The good news is that Jesus Christ promises you would not be alone.
I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20
On the onset of your salvation you asked Jesus to come into your heart. God wants to dwell in you and develop a personal relationship with to grow closer to God. This relationship with God will fade with time if nothing is done to serve the needs of God. Your Relationship with God and his son will grow when you continue by faith to believe, seek, and trust in Jesus Christ to get you through the trials and tribulations of life.
Continuing in your faith is a required condition to persevere in a world corrupted by immoral behavior. The pressure of the world will entice you back into a life of sin. For this reason you must endure trials and the temptation not to revert to the way of the world. When you continue in your faith God will respond to his promises to strengthen you and not allow you to be tempted more than you can bear. Peter said that God gave you his promises so that you may partake in his divine nature. God wants you to taste his goodness and sample his ways to know and understand that his way is superior to that of the world.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,Ē declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
Through these promises, God is sharing his thoughts and ways so you may taste of his goodness. Just as the taste of good food will convince you to eat more, you need to taste Godís word from your perspective. When you taste Godís promises for yourself you will know whether or not Godís ways are better than your own. Trying Godís word develops your loyalty to God and by continuing in your faith you will become rooted and grounded in Godís word. The proof of Godís good and perfect will for your life can be firmly establish in you to where you are convinced by the hope of the gospel.
No one has ever been hurt by Godís purpose to live in a prescribed manner. As earlier stated, in spiritual terms perseverance is described as clinging to a belief and working by a plan of action to its completion.
The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, "'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.' Luke 8:10
Godís word teaches the prescribed manner that he expects each of his children to learn and apply.
Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32
Godís word gives you the power of the truth that sets you free from the slavery of sin. Godís word also gives the prudent person a course of action, where you and Jesus Christ can work the plan of salvation and overcome the world. With Jesus Christís help you learn to persevere, overcoming the trials of life.
Some of the trials you must conquer will come from the kingdom of darkness. You never know when they will come or what they specifically attack until they occur. On any given moment you must know Godís promise and be able to access the promise through Jesus Christ. Through the precious promises of God you can stand being fully equipped to struggle in battle to maintain your faith.
But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." Hebrews 10:38
Satan is out to break your confidence in God and to utterly destroy your loyalty to the truth of Godís word. God has given man the responsibility of resisting the evil in the world and submitting to God. God will not allow Satan to tempt you more than you can bear.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
God has made a way to overcome the temptation through his promises. Through his promises, God provides a way to trust in him and avoid sin in this present life.
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:8
Possessing these qualities in increasing measure speaks of the effort required to make these qualities lifetime skills. Everyone is a creature of habit that has problems to solve with a similar way to resolve them. However, to persevere before God you need to develop spiritual habits that improve the quality of your life to be acceptable to God. Then it is a matter of repeating the new habits as needed. Practice makes perfect, if you donít succeed try, try again, and do it until you get it right and after learning them use them for the glory of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God that we may understand what God has freely given us. 1 Corinthians 2:12
To help you to persevere, God has given you his spirit to teach you his spiritual precepts by guiding you into the truth of Godís word. God wants you to persevere and looks forward to the day he can say he is pleased with your life.
Persevering is a course of action that works for your benefit but it also requires you to watch everything you do and say. It is a minute by minute, second by second vigilance of controlling your life to please God in every way. It is better to live by a plan God has given you because life is like working around machinery. A second of carelessness can cost you an arm or a leg and maybe your life.
Those who persevere need to acquire wisdom and discipline. Through the scriptures you will understand Godís insight, and learn to live a prudent life. Christians learn to listen to the wise and are constantly learning new ways to be productive. In addition they pass their knowledge on to those who will listen. Finally, they develop personal morals to interact with others that will not intentionally harm anyone. Persevering also takes into consideration that God does all of these things and has persevered over the ages in the past. A prudent person would consider God as a role model and adopt his disposition to rule his or her own life.