Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12 NIV).
Friend to Friend
God does have a sense of humor.
I can’t tell you how many times my schedule has fallen apart, or my carefully planned agenda has unraveled before my very eyes. I am learning that when God wants to build a certain quality in my life, He puts me in the opposite circumstance. For example, if God wants me to be more patient, He arranges the hours and minutes of my day in ways that demand patience.
What is patience? Patience is the ability to endure, but it doesn’t stop there. Patience must also have the capacity to be wronged and not retaliate. In other words, patience is love persevering and love waiting. We are not only to be patient in the way we face difficult situations but in our relationships as well.
One of the most powerful Bible passages on patience and perseverance is found in James 1:12.
“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.” (NASB 1995)
Do you want to be blessed? Stand firm in your trial. Do you want to be rewarded? Keep your eyes fixed on the Father in that tough circumstance. Be patient – because patience really does pay off.
Remember the Bible story of the man named Job? Job was a faithful servant of God, strong in his faith and unwavering in his obedience to God. Satan was not a fan of Job. In fact, he went to God and asked permission to test Job. I love that truth! The devil had to go to God like an errand boy in order to get permission to challenge His child, Job.
Satan was convinced that if Job lost everything, he would curse God. God told the serpent to give it his best shot, convinced that Job would persevere. Satan stripped Job of his health, his possessions, his wealth, and his family – everything Job held dear. Job stood firm.
Every trial contains a seed of victory, and there is a promise for every problem we will ever face. The psalmist writes, “The LORD is my strength, my shield. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy” (Psalm 28:7 NLT).
Warren Wiersbe writes, “When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat!” God will never let us face more than we can handle with His help.
An evangelist told the story of his friend who lost his job, his wife, and their home, but he held onto his faith. One day, the man stopped to watch some men building a stone church. One of the workers was chiseling a triangular piece of rock. “What are you going to do with that?” asked the friend. The workman said, “Do you see that little opening up there near the spire? Well, I’m shaping this down here so that it will fit up there.”
Tears filled the eyes of the broken man as he walked away. God had spoken through the workman to explain the trials of his life. God is using the trials here on earth to refine and purify us. The apostle Paul writes, “God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient” (Colossians 1:11 NCV).
No matter where you are today, no matter where you have been, or what you are facing tomorrow, be patient, knowing your God will strengthen you to stand firm.
Father, please help me see You at work in each trial and choose to depend on Your strength instead of my own. Help me see Your purpose and plan. Even if I can’t understand it all, help me to stand firm in faith. Lord, make me more patient so that others will see You in me.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It Is Your Turn
What circumstance in your life today requires patience? Are you willing to choose faith and obedience by trusting God with that situation?
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