His Promise (James 1:12)
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. —James 1:12
The person who is blessed in the Lord is one to whom God has given eternal life through Jesus Christ and when tested, has remained steadfast. What is the meaning of “under trial”? Some Bible versions translate it as “when tempted” or “when provoked to do evil” and that gives us a good understanding. Think of a time when you were weak in the fight of faith. Perhaps you were facing something very difficult or maybe you were carrying on in life but lacked joy and purpose. Suddenly you felt pressed upon with various temptations to sin. What form did the temptation take? Did you doubt God? Were there thoughts of stepping out of His will and doing something on your own to “fix” the problem? Were you tempted to stop praying or reading your Bible or spending time with fellow Christians?
In James 1:13, we read:
Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself does not tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire.
When we are tempted by our own desires to make decisions that may seem right in the moment but are not God’s way, remember God’s love in the gift of His Son and remember the blessing He bestows on those who patiently endure the trial. When we remain steadfast in love and trust in Him, it is irrefutable evidence that we truly belong to Him. Though temptations still come, by His power we will stand firm, see them for the evil that they are and trust in God. In this, we will have stood the test and remained steadfast. His Word encourages us frequently about this:
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. (James 1:2-4)
As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (James 5:10-11 )
The crown of life is God’s promised reward for those who have shown their love for Him by persevering through trial and remaining faithful, steadfast, and true. Through faith in Him we are empowered to stand the test, no matter what temptations may come. This will be glorious evidence that we do believe: He will keep all His promises—eternal life with Him, the gift Christ has won for us and, the crown of life, God’s reward and recognition of the Christian’s victory over sin. That victory is won only through Christ Jesus our Lord. "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory" (Romans 11:36).
Are you weak right now, tempted? Perhaps you have given into temptation to sin. Oh, there is such wonderful assurance from God that if you will turn to Him and confess your sin, He is faithful and just to forgive your sin and cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Will you come to Him today? He will restore you and give you strength to stand. Philippians 1:6 reminds us that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
These have been difficult times in our world, times of testing and temptation to doubt God. Keep yourself in the love of God through prayer, and by memorizing and meditating on His Word. Hold fast to His promises and place your trust in Him, then turn and encourage others who are enduring trials.
Read through the book of James this week. Write out what you find there about the proving of our faith and the perseverance of believers.