I recently recorded an episode of the television series, “Christian Music Videos”, highlighting the portion of scripture that I’ll be sharing with you today. This past Sunday my pastor preached on it, and over the weekend as I thought more on these verses in James, I began to see an even deeper meaning in them. James chapter 1, verses 2 through 4 says:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 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.”
Have you ever heard the term “building a testimony”? If we continually remember all of the amazing things that God has done in our lives, especially in the difficult times, then when we have an opportunity to share Christ with others we have examples, or a testimony, of our experiences as proof of God’s faithfulness. As I re-read James, I began to realize that it is through trials where we have persevered that we build testimonies. If we are able to put our trust in God when trials come, and leave everything in his hands, then any positive outcome can only be attributed to him. And in that, we have built a testimony with which to share with others if they want to know why we put our faith in Christ. I’m a big believer in testimonies. I try to put myself in the shoes of the unbeliever when they are told about Christ. How can they believe without any proof? I understand that it all comes down to faith, and that ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who will draw them unto himself, but wouldn’t it be exceedingly helpful if you had examples of how God came through in your life when explaining to others why they should put their faith in him? We don’t follow Christ because of what we can get from him, but identifying times when he has come through for us bolsters our faith and helps us share with others how we have seen his hand at work.
We build testimonies in our lives by recognizing what God has done for us and sharing it with others. It is more than just bragging on Jesus, which is awesome in and of itself. But it can be a tool to build faith in others as they hear your story of how faithful God was in a trial that you went through. No one invites trials in their lives, but they are bound to come. When they do, as James says, count it pure joy. Because as your faith is tested and you persevere, you grow more mature in the faith. Another benefit is that you have a testimony to share with others during their trials, or during their search for Christ.