My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James 1:2-3
When difficult times come into your life, what is your response? While it may seem easier to “quit while you’re ahead,” this is not the kind of attitude God wants us to demonstrate. Instead, we are to hold our heads high and press on through the pain.
This comes as a shock to many new believers. After placing their faith in Jesus, they are often surprised when some unexpected hardship appears. This reveals a terrible misconception. The Bible does not promise an easy life once Jesus Himself declared that if we are found in Him, the world will give us great trouble (John 16:33).
In James 1:2, we are instructed to consider our struggles as a source of “pure joy” (NIV). This makes sense only when we see our difficulties through God’s eyes—as opportunities for growth. An untested faith is weak and ineffective. Just like our muscles, our faith must be exercised against some resistance. When we face these trials with wisdom and endure them with godly determination, we will find blessings we never though possible.
At the end of the struggle, we will see God standing with our reward: the crown of life (James 1:12). This is an athletic reference—essentially, the “crown of life” is God’s gold medal for a job well done.
Do you want God’s recognition of your spiritual victory? Then press on through the hardship with assurance and perseverance.
Help me persevere with assurance, Lord. I want to receive a crown of life!