James speaks bluntly, “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). You may have faith in Jesus, but if you do not put it into practice, if you do not work at it, you will have nothing to show for it. “The one who looks into the perfect law,” James continues, “the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25). God’s Word is beautiful to hear, but it is meant for action.
I loved hearing Jack play. Jack’s fingers flew on the frets, the guitar sang, and it was beautiful. “Do you want to play like this?” Jack was my guitar teacher and I was 10 years old.
I nodded, “Yes.”
“You’ll need to practice an hour a day, every day.”
“An hour!” An eternity for a 10-year old. “Isn’t there an easier way?”
Jack glared at me, “How would you like to practice?”
I shrugged, “When I feel like it.”
“That’s the hard way, Dave. The easy way is the hard way to do anything well. If you pick the guitar up whenever you feel like it, it will take you years to play. If ever.”
“The testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~James 1:3-4
“But an hour a day and soon enough, you’ll be playing like this,” explained Jack. “Practicing hard is the easy way, It’s the only easy way to do anything well.”
My God, I trust You with my life. May everything I do display the faith I have in Your wisdom and goodness. Teach me Your ways, O Lord. Test me and try me, so that I may live a life holy set apart to You.
God, thank You for caring for me to develop and strengthen me. I know that nothing will come before me that, in You, I cannot endure and conquer. I can do all things through You because You give me strength. There is a joy I have found in suffering for Your Name’s sake.