Blessed Are Those Who Persevere

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. James 1:12 (NIV)

This is one of those verses that could be hung in anyone’s house. It could be framed in any size frame… depending maybe on how under the trial you might perceive yourself to be!

A person who hangs in there; doesn’t give up when put to a test is holy and wonderful. Those are not simple or careless words. To be called ‘holy’ is pretty big in my dictionary! And the verse does not say that I must be ‘happy’ or ‘thrilled’ to be under the trial – I am holy when I just hang in there!

There are times I can say that I hang in there because I am just too stubborn to give up! I refuse to be beaten down! I grit my teeth and dig in my heels! Sometimes I hang in there because…I just don’t know what else to do! Going back is not acceptable and going forward is scary. So I wait. I wait for God to put His hand over mine and guide me on. I am not afraid of the dark (the unknown) when my Father takes my hand.

The reward is a crown of life. I am not familiar with royalty. I did not grow up in a country with a monarchy. I did not play ‘princess’ as a child. It’s truly a foreign concept to me. I think my imagination can begin to grab the joy of that moment, however! Going through a difficult situation (a trial) and coming out on the other side of the situation with what will be a stupendous ‘jewel’ in my life! I know it is going to be a precious, one-of-a-kind jewel because God promised it!

My concept of rewards and trials has drastically changed over the years. Twenty years ago I would have thought any perceived constraint on what I wanted in my life would have been a trial. It would have been unacceptable to me! A nice home and cars (yes, plural), whatever clothes I wanted was an expectation. Today trails are more often found as I attempt to do things my way and direct my life my own way – it’s all about the ‘I’ and ‘me’! When I crucify that ‘I-based’ flesh, I find myself looking into a reward that has been promised and fulfilled long before I knew it even existed! It is eternal and bigger than I can see!

Let us receive our blessings today…not because we deserve them…but because they are promised! Let us run the race that we have each been given with perseverance and gratitude that God will never leave us and always fulfill His promises!

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