Consider it nothing but joy, my [b]brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4
When affliction comes into our life, we do not pray for God’s grace, nor do we ask God for wisdom, patience, or endurance. We ask God to take away the pain and the circumstance. When we suffer, we do not ask God for the mind of Christ, or the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we ask God to bless us by giving us a life free from the pain and sorrow we are currently experiencing. And in so doing, we actually miss the blessing God has for us in affliction. If suffering is meant to result in our spiritual growth, in a deeper level of commitment, and in greater intimacy and communion with our Lord, we must accept suffering as a part of God’s good and perfect plan for our lives, one purposed to result in our good, in a blessing for us. Whether God in His goodness enables us to succeed, or whether His grace enables us to endure our suffering, let us realize that God is able to make use of suffering to produce blessings. – Bob Deffinbaugh
The Greek word translated “testing” ( dokimion) means “proof.” The Greek verb for “produces” means “to achieve” or “to accomplish.” Don’t ever believe trials don’t accomplish something. They’re designed to produce “endurance,” which is the tenacity of spirit that holds on under pressure while waiting patiently on God’s timing to remove the trial. – John MacArthur
In order for spiritual growth to occur, you first need to make sure you have a true spiritual life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When you believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you and you are a new creation in Christ! Your old nature, dominated by sin, replaced with a new nature that is under influence of God’s Spirit. Spiritual growth can only occur in a person who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Saviour.
For those who practice the spiritual directions of Advent, and this being the third week, we are celebrating joy. James clearly is articulating that our Christian joy’s produced by the Holy Spirit and is not dependent on circumstances.
Although you have considered each occasion with inner happiness [spiritual self esteem], my brethren [Jewish members of the royal family], when you encountered various kinds of pressure testing [providential preventative suffering: thought, people, system, disaster], knowing [from their status in spiritual self-esteem] that the testing [providential preventative suffering] of your doctrine produces patient endurance [courage under pressure], nevertheless, let patient endurance [passing pressure tests by utilizing the doctrine in your soul] keep on bringing about mature production [accelerated growth in the spiritual life by passing momentum and evidence tests], in order that you may become increasingly mature [spiritual maturity], even full-grown [completed edification complex of the soul], being deficient in nothing [able to handle any pressure without going insane]. – Benjamin Brodie, verse-by-verse translation