James

by Douglas Estes

Day 4

Read James 1:12

In this short saying, James comes back to the issue of facing trials as a believer. He continues to interweave his primary topics throughout his letter, returning again and again to key issues and linking them to secondary ones.

The crown is the believer's triumph that reveals to the world that his faith is now full and complete

James pronounces believers ″blessed″ if they are able to endure in their faith while facing trials (James 1:12). Earlier, we learned that perseverance is a necessary result of living a life of faith in this world, and in turn helps to make our faith full and complete. We also learned that a believer who perseveres through trials would be made ″mature and complete″ (v. 4). Now, we learn that such a believer is blessed as well. Why are we also blessed if we endure through trials in faith?

Those who endure trials are blessed because once they have survived the trials of life, they will receive ″the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him″ (v. 12). This crown of life represents the reward given to those who endure in faith to the end (see Revelation 2:10). More accurately, in the original language, James is saying that the crown of life is promised to those who keep on loving God through the trials of life.

On his first pass at handling trials (Day 2), James said that endurance creates a fullness and completeness of faith. When he comes back to the issue, we learn that a believer's endurance not only completes his faith, but also earns him a crown as a sign of his fulfilment of life in Christ. The crown is the believer's triumph that reveals to the world that his faith is now full and complete.

Should believers congratulate themselves on their future crown? No. The triumph is a gift from God that results from His promises to people, revealed primarily in the sacrifice and gift of Jesus Christ. Believers must still endure in faith to the end of their lives, something that must never be taken lightly.


Think through:

What types of trials cause one to be blessed? What types do not?

What parts of your life have been tested and proven genuine?

COMMENTS

JOURNAL


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About Author

Douglas Estes (PhD, Nottingham) is Associate Professor of New Testament and Practical Theology at South University. He is the editor of Didaktikos: Journal of Theological Education, and is a regular science contributor at Christianity Today. Douglas has written or edited eight books, as well as numerous essays, articles, and reviews for both popular and scholarly publications. He also served in pastoral ministry for sixteen years.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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