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 ESV
In this section of James 1, James is talking about the testing of our faith. He goes on in verse 13 to remind us that God does not tempt us with evil. When we are tempted to sin it’s generally because of our fleshly desires. When we are able to overcome temptation we develop spiritual maturity, not through willpower, but through dependence on God.
While this verse is addressing the reward of being steadfast in temptation, I think it’s equally applicable to remaining steadfast in the storms of life. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10) Then, he tries to twist the narrative and blame God for his destruction.
God loves His children. He isn’t up in Heaven thinking of ways to make our lives miserable, to see if we will remain faithful. Life’s miseries are the result of living in a fallen world. God will test our obedience, but He will never tempt us to sin. Any parent who loves their child sets healthy boundaries for them (rules of obedience). And every parent will tell you, children will test those boundaries. They don’t enjoy having to discipline their children, but they must, if they want to raise healthy, well adjusted adults who function well in society.
Prayer: Lord, when I am faced with temptation, give me the strength to overcome, so that I can become steadfast in my faith. When I do sin, help me to be quick to repent. Father, I know the boundaries You have given me are for my good. I know You are trying to protect me, not deprive me.
Lord, when Iife throws hardship or pain my way, remind me that You are with me. I never have to suffer alone. Protect my heart from anger and bitterness. Help me to respond in ways that are life giving, knowing that this is just a season, it will pass.
Nothing I have endured can compare to what Jesus willingly did for me, so I will strive to endure with patience. Thank You Lord for giving us the perfect example for how to navigate this life.