The Testing Produces Patience

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4

When we are tested, we have the impression of being inside a crusher that breaks us. Certainly, in the natural, all we want is to pass the bitter drink as soon as possible and to tread a more secure terrain. In the Christian life, the tests are inevitable and continuous. If we pass a test successfully, we must be prepared for the next one, which will be more difficult because we will be on another level. With each new test, we will be strengthened if, with patience, we approve it.

We can make an example of life to illustrate what James 1:2-4 says. Let’s say at 5 years old they take us to our first day of school. From that moment we begin a process of learning. First we learn the letters and numbers and that way we are getting ready to learn reading, writing and basic arithmetic operations. After the lessons learned, we are tested to check our progress in learning.

And gradually we are advancing and leveling up in school. We are exposed to higher levels of complexity in both language and mathematics. Now we are challenged to be creative in the composition of written texts and to the basic operations are added more complicated ones including algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Then we are taught the social and natural sciences, such as history, geography, chemistry, physics and biology. And every new topic of learning must pass through tests that measure our degree of understanding.

If we want to be more productive in our lives, we will not settle for a high school diploma, but we will go to college to study a career. Many colleges have the requirement for a rigorous entrance test. In some countries, it is the State itself that provides equally challenging national tests. Only those who successfully pass these tests are admitted to the best programs of the most prestigious universities. The others could pass through technical institutes in order to be considered later.

If we have chosen a career in science or engineering, our training will include increasingly complex subjects such as: calculus, differential equations, statistics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, materials science, hydrodynamics, economics, and different types of design depending on the specialty, among others. And in each of these matters we are tested. At the end of everything, we get an engineering degree or a bachelor’s degree in science, but that is not the end, as some will continue towards a master’s degree and a doctorate.

Throughout this process from the first letters to a doctorate, we must go through numerous tests, which will strengthen our patience. It is patience that helps us not throw the towel without having reached the goal. Likewise, in the spiritual world, we are not going to stay in Christian kindergarten, but we will go from test to test for the Lord to bring us from glory to glory until He returns. And the test of our faith will give us the patience necessary to await the hope of glory that is Jesus Christ. God bless you.

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