“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)
What motivates you to persevere through difficulty? Is it your desire to maintain your reputation for having grit? Is it fear of breaking a promise you made to someone? As noble as these motivations may seem on the outset, they are insufficient, and in fact, self-centered. The Apostle James provides us with a much more solid and lasting motivation for enduring difficulty. He points us beyond our temporary reputation and fleeting accolades from friends and family to eternal reward, just as Jesus did time and time again in His preaching. Take another look at the verse above, and don’t miss the final phrase, “which God has promised to those who love Him.” As Christians, we are not called to seek some abstract reward that we’ll get to wear for eternity, but to press into the God we love, Who made us, redeemed us, and is now sustaining us through hardship—the God Who is present with us amid our trials and actually knows firsthand what it’s like to suffer in this broken world. Dear friends, God has promised to use trials for your eternal good, He has proven Himself trustworthy again and again in your experience, and He has now given you an opportunity to put your faith into practice as you endure this trial. Don’t waste it! Take these pangs of brokenness and let them drive you deeper into union with the risen Christ!