Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial. – James 1:12
Scripture reading: James 1:12
The world often persuades us that one is important if he/she obtains earthly riches. In the midst of this, one is asked whether or not satisfaction is found in Christ and what He has done for you. The rich can face the test of holding onto their wealth too tightly as if their identity is in possessions. The world around us promotes the idea that vehicles, houses or abilities set one off from the rest. When we have the latest of these or grow in our abilities in various ways, we think life is good. The test is, what is more important in your life? Is it physical riches, your talents or the relationship you have with God through Jesus Christ?
James calls us to remain steadfast in the midst of these tests. For the poor, it is to be content in who they are in Jesus Christ. For the rich, it is to live for Jesus Christ and not for the riches and abilities they have. For both, the test is whether Jesus is the real treasure in their life that motivates and directs them.
James makes a promise for all who are steadfast in showing that their relationship with God is their treasure and motivation. They will receive a crown better than the wreath an athlete gets at the Olympics. They will be congratulated by Jesus Christ at the finish line of their lives with the crown of life, with an eternity in paradise where all the disappointments, sadness and times of loneliness will be gone and replaced with eternal bliss and happiness.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that we would keep our eyes on Jesus our Saviour and so be steadfast in our love for Him, in the midst of the trials in this life as we wait for the crown of life.
Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.