Bearing Up Under Trials
Verse 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
After a brief pause to talk about how we tend to be double-minded, we forge on ahead with the reason we need to ask for wisdom.
None of us look forward to trials. If we are honest with ourselves we don’t even like to deal with tough days. Remember James is writing to people who were very familiar with trials. These people had been uprooted and were living in other nations as foreigners. This wasn’t an easy change. We know from various stories in the book of Acts that the Jews had been known to send people to where these people had settled to continue making trouble for them.
James doesn’t say to his readers, “Blessed is the person that faces trials” but rather says, “blessed is the one who perseveres under trial.” This isn’t about living though the trial. He isn’t saying that we are going to be blessed if we can stay above the trial. No, he says that we will be blessed if we persevere under the trials of life.
This concept of being under the trial gives us the image of someone that is being bogged down by their trial. We aren’t over it, we aren’t walking through it or even beside it, we are under it. This is something that is a real load in our life. But the point he is making isn’t about the trial as much as it is about the going through it.
We tend to view trials as something that we need to get through as quick as possible but James is pointing out that the one that is blessed is the one who perseveres in the trial. It isn’t about who can fix their trial the quickest. Nor is it about how much we avoid trials. It isn’t even about who can suffer through the trial the best. It is about learning to live through the trial with grace and courage.
The truth is that trials will come. We can’t avoid them in life. In fact Jesus told His followers that they were to expect trials to come their way. James had known trials and so did the disciples and Paul. One of the ways that they reflected Jesus was the way that they persevered through their trials. If we want to be blessed in our trials, we too need to persevere.
Making It Personal
What trial are you facing right now? How are you handling the trial? How can you better persevere through it?
Making It Personal Kids
What kind of trials have you faced? How did you deal with them? What does it mean to persevere?
Father, thank You for reminding us that we are not called to just bear through our burdens but to live lives that reflect Your forbearance of them. In Jesus’ name, amen.