“Contemplate the Reward of Your Trials”
James has made us aware that our trials produce patience and maturity and cause us to seek and follow God’s wisdom. But adversity is also riveted to the future, for trials guarantee future blessing as well.
Jesus also promised a reward for those who are faithful under persecution in Matthew 5:10, 12.
The reward that James promised is a “crown,” from the Greek word “stephanos.” This word was used to identify the woven thorns that were placed on the head of our Lord as He was prepared for crucifixion. Paul referred metaphorically both to the Philippians and the Thessalonians as his “crown.” Writing to Timothy, Paul described his future reward as “the crown of righteousness.” Peter called it “the crown of glory that does not fade away,” which will be given by the Chief Shepherd when He appears. The apostle John called it “the crown of life” and indicated that it would be among the crowns cast at the feet of Jesus in heaven. We are saved by trusting in Christ, but we are crowned when we are tested by fire and continue to love Him.
Andrew Murray was suffering from a terribly painful back, the result of an injury he had incurred years before. One morning while he was eating breakfast in his room, his hostess told him of a woman downstairs who was in great trouble, and wanted to know if he had any advice for her. Murray handed her a paper he had been writing on and said, “Give her this advice I’m writing down for myself. It may be that she’ll find it helpful.” This is what was written: “In time of trouble, say, ‘First, He allowed me to be brought here. It is by His will I am in this strait place; in that I will rest.’ Next, ‘He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.’ Then say, ‘He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.’ And last, say, ‘In His good time He can bring me out again. How and when, He knows.’ Therefore, say, ‘I am here (1) by God’s appointment, (2) in His keeping, (3) under His training, (4) for His time.’”
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
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