James – Monday, March 9
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16), James gives his readers another of the New Covenant beatitudes (see Matthew 5:3-11 for a comparison). In this passage, the blessing is promised to those who persevere under trial. Since the word for trial (peirasmos) seems to be used in two different ways, Albert Barnes’ comment helps us:
“It denotes anything that will try or test the reality of our religion; and it may be applied, therefore, either to afflictions or to direct solicitations to sin…”
Therefore, whether we are facing pressures stemming from trying circumstances or from evils which are threatening us in sin’s direction, we need to persevere. We need to remain, to endure, to be strong.
In other words, we need to be like Jesus, who “for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
The reward will not only be discovered in this life; in eternity, those who endure will receive the crown of life. It will be a heavenly reward.
Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions
1. What sort of tests regarding the reality of your religion are you facing in your life right now? How are you handling them?
2. List some of the benefits you’ve experienced from having endured or persevered in something in the past. How have they encouraged you to “keep on keeping on”? How can your trials benefit others going through their own trials?
3. How should the promise of James 1:12 influence your life towards godliness and spiritual maturity?