James 1:4 (CSB) Let endurance have its full effect so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing
(Moffat) Let endurance be a finished product, so that you may be finished and complete, with never a defect
James got a little late start as the brother of Jesus, having grown up around him, yet didn’t believe in him as Savior and Lord until after the resurrection. When he finally believed, resurrection proven, he was all in and his letter is like, “Hi, I’m James…” then he gets right to it.
As an athlete, I relate to this, vv2-3 “consider it a great joy… various trials… the testing of your faith produces endurance.” But they have a purpose… v4 Let Endurance have its full effect… or Moffat says be a finished product. Gaining endurance is important for every athletic endeavor, but not just for the sake of endurance.
So that… you HAVE endurance? NO. So that you have endurance FOR THE TASK, the full effect. The finished product is NOT endurance, but so that you may be mature, be complete, be lacking nothing.
I’ve always been an athlete, but I was never a fan of running. Then a few years ago things happened, I had some surgery, and couldn’t work out or do anything with my shoulder, so I started running on a treadmill. I got into a routine, and it became part of my life. My brother is a marathoner and an ironman, I asked him a few months in, “am I a runner, even though I only run on a treadmill?” He said, “well, you run…” About 10 months later we chatted on Facetime and he said to me, “you look great, you are more fit than ever, and you have ‘runner’s face’”. And I said, “so you are saying, ‘I am a runner.’” He said, “yes, you are a runner.”
My endurance is producing something bigger. So, “let endurance have its full effect.”
Churches are full of people who know a lot and have been through hard struggles, and developed endurance, but is the endurance having its full effect? Is the work moving toward results so that you may be mature, complete, lacking nothing? You may be positionally “perfect” but has it completed something in you? The work has a goal, the endurance has a by-product. What does 2 Corinthians 1:4-7 say? You have affliction and God takes us through it, comforts us in it, “so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction… just as sufferings overflow to us, so also the comfort overflows… affliction is for comfort and salvation… which produces in you patient endurance. Then if you read on Paul says, don’t be unaware that it was more than our strength could handle, and we even thought we might not make it. But we DID… for you, for others, for maturity, Christ has delivered us, and we have hope that he will again! Back to James, he says if you don’t know what to do, ask God and he gives answers.
Brethren, fellow travelers, let this struggle, trials, work, effort, give you endurance… but let the endurance have full effect. Let it reach its end, its purpose, making you what God intended, that you might bring someone along the way with you. God has a finish, and the endurance you have had built in you by what God is taking you through will get you there.
Let God Take You… to the end