Perfect and Complete, Lacking Nothing

And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:4

one-dayWhat is God producing in you right now?

It stands to reason that if God is the Creator and the Sustainer of life (Colossians 1:17), then He is constantly at work in our lives.

Earlier today I was talking with a potter, and it got me thinking about Isaiah 64:8, which says,

But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
    we are the clay, and you are our potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.

In James 1:4, we read the conclusion of James’ thoughts on trials. Remember, we are to count it joy when we face trials of various kinds, recognizing that God is at work in our trials. He is doing something. Verse three told us that “the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

James encourages us to let steadfastness have it’s full effect.

How do we do that? I have never had a conversation with someone and asked, “Are you letting steadfastness have its full effect in you?”

I am guessing that you haven’t had that conversation either.

Usually when I talk about something having it’s full effect, it has to do with medication. If I am sick, and I go to the doctor, and I get a prescription to help fight whatever infection that I have going on in my body.  I need to take the proper dosage of the medication for it to have its full effect in me.

When James uses the word, “let,” in front of the words, “steadfastness have its full effect,” he is talking about a volitional act of the will. We need to embrace the work that God is doing in us and not fight it.

When I was a young boy, I used to hate getting shots. Truth be told, I still hate getting shots. I remember one particular day when my mother took me to the doctor for my scheduled immunizations. On that day, I screamed at, kicked and hid from the nurse. I hid underneath the examination table and held firmly to its base to avoid being put on the table by the nurse. I fought against my immunization with everything that I had. Finally, a doctor came into the room and helped the nurse get me on the table for my immunization. Things would have gone a lot easier for me that day if I just stopped fighting.

There are so many times in my life where I have fought what God is doing in my life through “trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). I need to let God’s work have its full effect in me.

Isn’t it cool what James says next? When God’s work is complete in me, I will be “perfect and complete, lacking in  nothing.”

That is something that I can hardly wrap my mind around. I’ve never met a person in my life who is “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Even the greatest spiritual giants that I have me this side of eternity are lacking something.

What are you lacking today?

Balance? Peace? Stability? Finances? Joy? Contentment? Purpose? Love? Patience? Friends? Assurance? Hope? Self-Control?

I could keep going, but my guess is that in the above list you might find at least one area that you are lacking in. It could be that you said, “I am lacking in all of those areas and then some!”

Here is the deal.

One day . . .

One day . . .

One glorious day . . .

              everyone who has trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord . . .

                                will be perfect and complete, lacking nothing!

That is the guaranteed future state of all who have been adopted as Sons and Daughters by our Lord Jesus Christ. That will be a happy day! But, it will be preceded by many days of trial. God will use your trial to bring you to a spot where you will stand before Him, perfect and complete, lacking nothing!

oh_happy_day_-_edwin_hawkins_singersIn 1969, the Gospel group, The Edwin Hawkins Singers’ song, Oh Happy Day, became an international hit. It reached number four on the U.S. Singles Chart, number two in the UK and Ireland, and number one in France, Germany and the Netherlands. The song’s lyrics are simply:

Oh happy day (oh happy day)
Oh happy day (oh happy day)
When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed)
When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed)
When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed)
He washed my sins away (oh happy day)
Oh happy day (oh happy day)
He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray
And live rejoicing every, everyday
Oh happy day
He taught me how
Oh happy day (oh happy day)
Oh happy day (oh happy day)
Oh happy day (oh happy day)

May you relish in the goodness of God today! He is doing a new work in you with every trial that He brings your way. Let Him do His work. Don’t fight it. Lean into it. And, trust in Him.

For your listening enjoyment, here is a video of the Edwin Hawkins Singers’ rendition of Oh Happy Day.

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