Stand Fast

2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

James 1:2-3

James did not become a Christian until after Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. He finally understood that one must trust in Jesus by faith. “8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9. Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Once James became a Christian, he taught practical ways to live a Christian life. He began by teaching how to understand the importance of temptations (trials). “2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:2-3).

  • Temptations means “trials; a state of trial in which God brings His people through adversity and affliction in order to encourage and prove their faith and confidence in Him.”
  • Trying means “approved; tried; the means of proving; a criterion or test by which anything is proved or tried; as in faith by afflictions.”
  • Worketh means “to work out; bring about; accomplish; to carry out a task until it is finished; to effect; to produce.”

Not many people consider trying times as being joyful. Yet, James wrote to encourage Christians to understand that now that they had faith in Christ, it must be tried: put to the test. Once that faith is proved by being put to the test, that Christian will gain, or have, patience. Patience means “endurance; perseverance or constancy under suffering in faith and duty.” This patience enables one to persevere or remain constant. Think of this as learning to stand fast – being steadfast through trials. Remember many times in God’s Word where we learn that we are to “stand fast” (see a few of the following):

  • Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13);
  • Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1);
  • Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27);
  • Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved” (Philippians 4:1);
  • For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 3:8);
  • Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle” (2 Thessalonians 2:15); etc.)?

Christians are encouraged to understand that with faith in Christ comes trying times – but Christians are to persevere, consistently, with patience by standing fast. See what learning how to do this gives to Believers. “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:4). In order to be an effective witness in this world, Christians must stand fast in their Christian faith by living it consistently.

James helped them understand what to do when Christians were faced with those trying times: “5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (James 1:5-6). Wisdom means “in respect to divine things: deep knowledge; natural and moral insight; represented as a divine gift, and including the idea of practical application; as conjoined with purity of heart and life.” If a Christian does not know how to live right, or what to do in a specific situation, all one must do is to ask God – for He will show Christians how to live and what to do. However, one must remember that after asking God for wisdom in a situation, and then He tells that one what to do (according to God’s Word), it should be done: “nothing wavering.” Wavering means “to separate oneself from; to contend with; to be in strife with oneself; to doubt; hesitate; waver.” A Christian’s life should not be lived as a ship on a stormy sea – tossed about from highs and lows. Do not change your mind, or talk yourself out of doing what is right. Instead, a Christian is to stand fast, “nothing wavering,” and faithful. When one continually shifts from high to low, understand the following warning of a life lived like that. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). Double minded means “doubtful; a person who suffers from divided loyalties – such as one who wishes to maintain a religious confession, desiring the presence of God in his life, but on the other hand, he loves the ways of the world and prefers to live according to its mores and ethics.” When a Christian constantly wavers, or is “double minded,” never fully committing to the Christian life, they will be unstable in everything. That kind of life is not an effectual witness for Christ.

Do you live a life where you are “double minded”, unstable in all your ways?


Have you learned to stand fast upon God’s Word, living a consistent and faithful Christian life?

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