Right after beginning with this greeting, James moves on to the topic of facing trials, which reveals the very reason he sent the letter. "By discussing trials so prominently in the letter, James suggests that the tough times the believers were facing were a key reason for his writing to them," Douglas J. Moo writes.
A significant question Christians ask many times is why even the righteous must wrestle with suffering? Why does God allow His people to undergo times of trials? Although the writer does not give an explicit answer to this question, he exhorts his readers to hold faith and joy in God who eventually fulfills His good plans for all believers who endure suffering. According to James, even suffering is under God's providential control which will conclusively produce fruits in His children.
James writes, "whenever you face trials of many kinds." "Trial" in Greek is peirasmos, which means "believers run the risk of falling into these trials, which has as their purpose the testing of faith and need to be endured" (Moo).
The testing of faith is God's work to refine one's existing faith to be truly pure and innocent by eliminating any impurities. What is produced through this process is perseverance. The original Greek word used for perseverance means, "remaining under" which pictures "a person successfully carrying a heavy load for a long time" (Moo). Such is a value required for all Christians which reveals patience and steadfastness. This important characteristic of believers follows God's enduring love which forgives all sins, even the murderous hatred towards Jesus.
"Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Perseverance accomplishes the final goal to let you be "mature and complete." This is the word translated to "perfect" in Greek, which was also used in Matthew 5:48, "Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect." It is important to note that James thinks "perseverance" makes us perfect as "our heavenly father is perfect."
It is sad and even bitter sometimes when believers face trials and hardships. The Bible makes a clear explanation in regards to this issue through Hebrews saying, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful." (Hebrews 12:11) However, it is a necessary process that God equips His children bear fruits of righteousness and peace through their perseverance. It is to train and rebuild our character to imitate God's perfectness in His love and truth.
James exhorts all believers to endure trials. The apostle emphasizes the reward that comes after enduring hardship saying, "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
We are built as true inward Christians when we endure hardship and learn the true nature of the cross and sacrifice. The suffering of the righteous one is led to the greater world of God's glory and blessing. Therefore, we can rejoice even in the suffering according to the apostle. Suffering is a sign for opening of new dimension and new future for all believers. It is worth examining perseverance in order to reach the promised blessing and reward God prepares for us.