The blessings of perseverence

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.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

James 1.12-18

Reading James’ letter clear dispels any thought that the Christian life is easy.

The one who seeks to live for Christ will meet trials but will see beyond the trials the truth that they strengthen and lead to perseverance.

Then wisdom is needed but this is freely available from the God who gives  generously to those who ask him.

Living for Christ is by faith,  for doubters will end up all over the place and receive nothing from the Lord.

Living for Christ involves turning the standards of the world on their heads with regard to wealth and poverty as we noted yesterday but living counterculturally in all these and other ways will lead to the ultimate glorious gift from the Lord – the crown of life.

All this comes from the perfect Lord of Glory who cannot be tempted by evil and who does not tempt anyone, which means that we are entirely responsible for our failures and ultimately for our spiritual death unless we seek from him the perfect gift of  birth through the word of truth.

Rejoice this day, and every day, that if you are ‘in Christ’ it is because God chose to give you birth in this way that you might be a kind of firstfruit – a living promise and example of what he will do for others who hear the word of truth and seek from him the perfect gift of salvation.

How well are we showing that promise to the world?

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