Our Problem with Rejoicing
The Crown of Life
Scripture Reading: James 1:13-18
Key Verse: James 1:12
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.
In our society the words “blessed” and “trials” don’t seem to go together! Yet the Bible connects them on many occasions. If we are going to live within our right to rejoice, we will need to understand this paradoxical concept. James states the paradox more clearly in James 1:12: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Our world would never grasp this concept, living outside of God’s grace.
This first chapter of James basically gives us two reasons to rejoice even in the midst of our trials. First, we rejoice because trials produce perseverance. We desperately need and want perseverance because we want to finish our life strong in the Lord. James tells us that when we have perseverance we are mature in Christ, which makes us complete in Christ, not lacking anything! That makes any true Christ follower smile! Our greatest goal in life is to be complete in Christ! Therefore, if trials produce all this for us, we will consider them “pure joy.”
Secondly, our printed key verse for today tells us that the crown of life is awaiting those who persevere through the trials. James is describing our inheritance, the glorious hope waiting for all who overcome this world. Yes, there will always be challenges to “rejoicing always” in this life. But realizing that the crown of life is going to be given to us, we can rejoice even when trials come!
Father, when tough times come upon me, please remind me of the good they will produce and that I can rejoice in them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.