James 1:12 KJV
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
The first 11 verses all lead up to this one. The blessing that comes from enduring temptation is nothing short of amazing. We will talk about the crown of life in a moment, but let’s take a look at the other blessings that come from enduring temptation.
The word endureth here is a very interesting word. It literally means to remain under, speaking of staying under a load which has been put on you. This means we have born the burden of the load until it is finished. It does not mean that we escape the load, or that we pass it on to someone else, or that we decide to only go part way through a find a means of escape. It means we carry the load until it has been taken from us – in this case by God. It also means to persevere, which is to continue in a course of action even if it is difficult or there seems to be no solution. It is translated endure throughout the New Testament.
As you loom at that definition, does that define how you go through temptation and trial? Remember, James told us to count it joy when these trials come. When you enter into a difficult, almost impossible area of temptation or trial, are you determined to go through it all the way to the end? Or do you look for a way of escape? The blessing comes with enduring to the end. God is with you every step of the way, even if you don’t feel Him there, even if you can;t sense His presence. Many times, God is working the hardest on us when we don’t even know He is working. the blessing comes when the test is over.
What blessings do we receive? Joy comes when we realize we have gone all the way through. Our faith grows because we know if God brought us through that trial He can do it again. We gain peace because we know, with God’s help, we are through with that battle. Hope is restored that God is with us in every situation. Our patience is stretched and therefor will be able to withstand more in the future. Our testimony is alive and vibrant because we can tell others God can help them through their trials as well. We gain wisdom, knowledge and understanding into the ways of God. because of what we learned as we endured. We have a deeper sense of how much God loves us, and experience an extra dose of His mercy and grace. All of these things come as a result of enduring through the trial.
Then there’s the crown of life. This crown is mentioned here and in Revelation 2:10, where it is promised to those who are faithful until the end, similar to the terms given here. The crown of life is not associated with eternal life. It is a reward given to those who endure through trials and tests, those who persevere despite the odds, who trust God to bring them through. It is given at the end of the trial or temptation. I believe it is worth the effort. I plan to remain faithful and receive that crown from Jesus! How about you?
Working through the trials that come our way is one of the most rewarding things any Christian can do. The blessings that come to us once the trial is over are well worth the battle, no matter how long it takes to get through it. I pray that every one of you will not avoid the various trials and tests you will face, but will work through them with the strength of the Lord holding you up, and with your faith and patience fully on display. This is a testimony that will speak to others in a most dynamic way. Endure to the end, my friends!