The Crown of Life
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. ~James 1:12
The Olympic Games were one of the big events in Roman society. Athletes trained to win and receive the stephanos crown. This was a garland wreath made out of leaves that was placed on the head of the victor. It was recognition that this athlete competed among the best athletes in his event and was clearly the winner. The Lord promises a crown of life for every believer who is victorious when tested.
We see the reality.
Testings from the Lord are a reality. James said, “When he is tried….” Testing has the idea of a precious metal being assayed, or tested, in the intense heat of a fire. The fire will be heated at a temperature that melts the gold or silver. Once the metal has melted and liquefied, all the impurities, or dross, come to the surface. God sends us fiery trials to burn away spiritual dross that is embedded deeply in our lives. Testings are a reality for every Christian.
We see the reason.
God wants us to get the impurities out of our life. God wants us to be pure gold and pure silver when the testing is done. He also wants us to experience His grace at work when we are tested. When a test comes, we become anxious, frantic, fearful, and overwhelmed. We place our dependence upon God moment by moment. We draw closer to God through prayer. When we hit bottom is the time when His strength is made perfect in weakness. He gives us enough grace to give us hope and encouragement for the next step.
We see the resilience.
James said, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation.” The test is sent to strengthen our endurance. Endurance means we put up with what we are going through. The first thing in enduring a trial is that we do not quit. It’s always too soon to quit. The second thing in a trial is that God is developing us in patience. “Tribulation worketh patience.” “The trying of your faith worketh patience.” We have to wait on God and trust Him through the refining process.
We see the reward.
The Lord promises the crown of life for everyone who endures the temptation. It is the victor’s crown. It is awarded to believers who, in spite of the pain and tears endured through a trial, thanked the Lord for it and did not diminish in their love for Him. The awarding of this crown demonstrates that the victorious Christian acknowledged that the most important priority in life was Jesus. This believer made it through the fire without being consumed by the fire. I think of the three Hebrew young men who endured the king’s fiery furnace and, when they came out, they were given very high places of service in the kingdom. God cannot promote those who have not been tested.
Set your sight on enduring the trial God puts you through. Remember that there is crown of life for those who endure the trial. Don’t quit on the Lord. Have faith in God, doubting nothing.
Have a victorious God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 25-26