From Pastor’s Desk: 1-22-17
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
“…when he has stood the test…” may very well be the key phrase in this verse.
Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us, “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Some start well, but finish poorly, if at all. Life’s race is not a sprint, but a marathon. I suppose, in a marathon, the person coming in first place receives a sense of gratification for doing so, but there are those behind whose purpose it is simply to finish the race, having entered it with no aspirations of finishing first. They knew coming in their speed was no match for the speed of the first place winner.
But endurance is another thing entirely. Many who would aspire for first place position, expend their energy in the first miles thus not having enough stamina for the full course. It is those who have learned to pace themselves that, though they know they will not finish first, they WILL finish. This is what they have trained for; to finish the race, no matter the obstacles.
In verses 2-4 of the same chapter, James says, “…count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience…let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
The person who has trained well for the marathon will adjust to whatever the course may offer and finish the race. The person who has trained well spiritually will adjust to whatever the course of life will offer and finish the race.
As tests are presented along the way, it is how we stand them that counts. When the final test is presented, what matters is how we stood all the tests before.
If we test well we will “…receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”