James 12:2-4 – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
A fighter enters the ring, hardened and trained against a formidable opponent. Sweat is dripping from his brow, his eyes focused and alert. The bell rings, and both fighters go head to head in one of the biggest fights of the year. Punch after punch, kick after kick, his opponent is strong, elusive, and fast. Our fighter is getting hit over and over again, occasionally falling to the mat. He shakes it off and gets up again. After three rounds of this type of suffering and loss, he finally gets the knockout blow. He has won the fight. He has persevered and is the champion.
Let’s be honest; life can be difficult. Tragedies such as experiencing a miscarriage, or loss of a job can really take it out of us. Difficulties happen even in our spiritual life. We see where we come up short consistently and at times, it can really make us question who we are in Christ. On the surface, it would be easy to just throw in the towel and give up on your faith, but for the long term, it has truly devastating consequences.
When you feel like you are close to giving up, remember Christ when He gave His all for us and took our sin upon Himself. He could have given up, but chose to do the Will of the Father and finished. Let’s keep going strong, not to lose heart and keep Christ as our example.