“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)
If you read last week’s Word from Your Pastor, then you’ll notice we’re looking at the same verse again this week. That’s intentional as we continue to consider how God uses suffering for our benefit. In James 1:12, we learn that God has blessing reserved for the person who endures a trial, and not the shortsighted blessings we naturally seek, but eternal blessing that will reach its fruition in Heaven. We also see that this blessing comes after we begin enduring the trial. “Remains” implies that we must firmly fasten our hope to God before we encounter hardship. Think of it this way: a boat is fastened to the dock much more easily in calm water than in the middle of a raging sea, and it will remain secure only if it has already been secured. In the same way, our endurance is greatly affected by the fastening we do when we are at ease. So, if you are experiencing a time of ease, then take these steady, clear-headed moments of calmness to secure your faith and hope to God’s promises. If you are currently experiencing a trial, as I know many of us are, then keep your grip on God’s promises, and when you feel it slipping, call on Him out of the midst of your troubles and ask Him to fasten your faith and hope to Himself. And please don’t forget that remaining steadfast is a community effort! The church is here to help you!