Standing the Test

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:9–12      
Standing the Test
Too often in this life, we seek the wide path with its seductive ease and comfort. We imagine a life void of material and physical wants as our reward for being good and doing the right thing. Yet James has something else to say about that. It is not in health and earthly wealth where we find our comfort and faith. For these are simply temporal things subject to corruption. Our hope and faith lie outside of ourselves in the objective reality of Christ crucified for us and delivered through the Means of Grace. We do not cling to earthly things which are here today but wither and fall as flowers in the field the next. In faith, we cling to the cross of Christ and its sure and unwavering promise of salvation. The blessings come for those who under trial, do not give in and turn from God, but trust in Him knowing that it is His promise of salvation that is trustworthy. The trauma and pain of this life help us to not see this world as the end all be all of existence. God delivers us from this pain as our sins are forgiven and our faith is built up and strengthened.  The victor’s crown is given because of Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the devil. And He freely gives it to us.    
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