Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
Mark well, beloved, these words from James: There is a special blessing from God that can only be found on the other side of burden. God will meet us in our place of deepest need, whether we find ourselves in sunshine or storm.
The trial of burden that God sends our way is not designed to bury us under its weight. Rather, the fires of affliction purge from us all that is counterfeit to our Christian faith. And what is not consumed in God’s heavenly fire emerges both blessed and built up as a testimony to having stood the test.
God is faithful to those who are His. He will not allow any of His children to sink when the waves of challenge come crashing down; He will provide all that is necessary to rise above the storm and emerge on the other side standing on the Rock of Ages, fully blessed with divine approval: the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
Notice that James tells us that only those who love God will receive the crown of life. Is this the condition and cry of your heart? Does your heart beat with love for your Lord . . . truly, deeply, passionately, wholly? Then fear not, regardless of the burdens you are facing . . . regardless of the obstacles that currently stand in your way . . . regardless of the problems that are present in your life right now . . . you are His and His crown of life is yours. No weapon formed against you can prevail because God has promised to preserve you.
Just a cursory glance through sacred Scripture makes it clear that all the saints of God are tried in the fire of affliction. From Joseph in Egypt to David in the desert to John the Baptist in the Herod’s court to Paul in Rome, God’s people stand the test and receive the crown of life. Remember, God is working all things together for your good and His glory. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), and a love that is not tested and tried is no love at all. The love of God in Christ Jesus was tried in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the hill Golgotha, and it proved to be genuine. Jesus refused to shrink back from the unimaginable burden of His crucifixion; He not only stood the test, but He strode out of the grave that first Easter morning with the crown of life.
Like Savior, like saint. He stood the test and so shall you, because greater is the power in you than any power that comes against you. True love must be tried and it must be tested, and it must persevere, because it is His love that strengthens our love all the way into glory.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!