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James 1:3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
The word used here for testing is the Greek word (δοκίμιον dokimion), which has the sense of genuineness, that is, not fake or counterfeit. It and means “putting to proof, testing or to prove genuineness. When a shopkeeper proofs Gold, he is establishing whether it is genuine. In other words, when we face a trial or hard time and faithfully come through on the other side, our faith has been proofed or tested as being genuine.
James was making it clear that God was allowing these trials, which were simply the result of imperfection entering into humanity, because of the rebellion in Eden. When these believers experienced trials (difficulties, hardships, problems), their faith became one that was ‘put to the proof.’ It became a ‘proved’ or ‘tested’ faith that had survived the difficulties of human imperfect and Satan’s world, with their approved relationship with God intact. When the believer’s faith was proofed, tested by trials, it was developed to strengthen, enabling them to possess the quality of endurance. This was no mere living through a difficulty, but rather one needed to have such qualities as fortitude, resolution, strength, staying power, steadfastness, and integrity when tempted to take the easy way out of the affliction by abandoning the faith.
We see this happening in the life of Job when God allowed Satan to take Job’s livestock, servants, family, and health. In all this, Job remained steadfast and never lost his faith in God; thus, he evidenced his faith. James wants his readers to understand that though God is not the cause of trials, he is allowing the trials in their lives to proof the genuineness of their faith, which leads to endurance. James states that God could produce endurance in the believer’s life by allowing the trials.
Endurance, perseverance, and Patience are fruits of such a trial, and knowing why makes the endurance come easier. The thought expressed here is also in Romans 5:3, “And not only that, but let us exult while in tribulations, since we know that tribulation produces endurance.” The sufferings of the evil that surrounds us daily on the mind of the Christian results in them acquiring more endurance, perseverance, and patience. On the other hand, the unbeliever takes on other qualities, such as being irritable, emotionally troubled, which is then more deeply engrained by continuous complaining, resulting in more and more obstinate and rebellious thinking. Sadly, they do not have any source of consolation. In essence, they have no hope beyond this brief life filled with so much trouble and toil.
However, the Christian, who has God and the hope of eternal life where He “will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things, have passed away.” (Rev 21:4) Another comfort that the Christian has is, why would an all-powerful, loving, righteous, just God allow so much suffering. We know why, which gives us more endurance. For the Christian mind, who knows why God has allowed such suffering for a time, who has faith in the wisdom and goodness of God, who understands why his own life must be tried; and who finds joy in such, knowing that it produces even more endurance.