I am notoriously horrible at memorization, so scripture memory is really a chore for me. But because it’s so good for me, I dedicate myself to work on it. Recently I was engaging a section of scripture (James 1:2-8) and called it out to a group of Revolution5 Leadership Institute students during a workout, as encouragement. This stood out to me:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
As we pounded our bodies in the hot sun, I asked myself, “Is this what the verse is talking about? This is, of course, a trial of a various kind, but is it testing my faith?” For a bit, I chewed on this as steam billowed from my mouth and sweat dripped from my brow.
This particular workout was emphasizing the importance of allowing our personal mission statements to be the higher goal in all that we do; that the goal, for example, wasn’t to endure a tortuous workout. Instead, we aim to be willing to go anywhere and do anything to fulfill God’s call on our lives.
We each took turns declaring our mission statements to each other with confidence. Each student’s statement was powerful; full of life, love and potential. But what did it really have to do with faith?
With the mountains all around us and the majestic red spires of the Gard of the Gods coming out of the ground in the distance, I attempted to catch my breath for a brief moment as we held plank position together. Then it occurred to me:
“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Our “mission statement” was, indeed, full of faith. Each of our personal missions were lofty, proclaiming the potential which God had called us to. The mere words were invoking confidence in our hearts, for things hoped for and potential not yet claimed.
In a way, we were living out James 1:2-3 as we trained our bodies and minds to endure trials while focusing on things hoped for — the fulfillment of our mission.
It was an encouraging moment, realizing that God was refining us through the steadfastness of our workout and meditation on the heavenly call upon our lives. All the effort of exercise, mission statements and memorizing scripture would one day have it’s full effect on me, that I might be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.