James 1;12-Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he is tried, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Endure- in greek=hupomeno' which means to bear up against, persevere. remaining under (the load), stand my ground.
To endure under pressure and temptation is not easy, but it is the place where we are being called to come to in our lives when faced with trials and tribulations.
Indeed, the path of a Christian life is not an easy path to walk. No, it is not a cake walk nor a walk in the park. Life itself is full of all kinds of temptations, test and trials that can either leave us feeling up or down, depending on our view of them.
I am sure there are times in all of our lives when we are burdened down with cares, worries, fears and troubles.
It is often during those times of testing when it seems that every circumstance of life is stacked against us, the answer is taking too long to come and the temptation to give up and quit seems to be the best offer at the time, but, do not take the bait at this vulnerable time.
Instead, get in the Word of God, pray, trust God, take Him at His Word and press your way through.
Today, we are being called to view temptation, test, trials, suffering and tribulations from God's perspective.
The good news about temptations, test and trials is that we do not have to be surprised when they come for Jesus warned us in John 16:33 "In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
The Apostle Paul declares in 2 Timothy 3:12-yea and all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
What is my point? Test, trials and tribulations is everyone's lot, saved or unsaved. But, blessed (happy) is the man that endures them through a personal relationship with Christ for He or she shall receive a great reward at the end of their life journey.
As a personal testimony, I believe that God allowed my sufferings, test and trials to grow me into the likeness of Christ, which was His original intent when He created us.
The pain from the testing did not feel good, but it produced in me a spirit of humility, increased faith, trust, hope and dependency on God like never before.
I could not and still can not endure the fiery dots that life throws at me without the help of God's Word, prayer and His Holy Spirit. If it was not for the Lord's help, I probably would be in a mental institution, not knowing who I am. BUT GOD!!!!
What God allowed and what the temptations of life brought against me, God worked it for my good. Did it feel good, NO! Romans 8;28 And we know that all things work together for the good of them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.
Scripture declares in James 1:3-Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
There is an old adage that says "no cross, no crown. No pain, no gain." Have you eve heard these statements before? I am sure we all have.
I believe the thing that we all need to take notice of is not so much of what we are going through, but what is it that God is trying to show us and do in and through us by allowing us to struggle and suffer.
No, none of us want to think on these terms when we are going through because we want whatever it is that we are suffering to end. But, that does not negate the fact that we should consider what God is doing and saying to us.
The writer of this text reminds us of the reward for those who endure the testing of their faith for He said "blessed is the one that endures for he or she will receive the crown of life from God which is promised to those who not only endure, but those who love God."
When trials and temptation comes we must be persistent in prayer and study of the Word of God.
The help of God through His Holy Spirit is our only true source of help for endurance in the time of test, trials and suffering. Every other source is temporary help.
We need everlasting help to remain steadfast and immovable in this world of uncertainty in which we live.
Things are constantly changing by the minute, but scripture declares that God changes not for He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
To endure in the midst of test and trials requires that we sharpen our minds through the word of God because it is the Word of God that will sustain us in it.
There is a prize to be won called the "crown of life" for those who endure to the end. Those who choose to keep moving forward with God and refusing to give up in spite of the struggle.
Are you being tested right now? Are you feeling the effects of your battles? Do you feel as though there is no way out?
1 Corinthians 10:13-No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, and He will not permit you to be tempted above what you can endure, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Not sure how to bear up under trials and tribulation? Ask God! James 1:5-if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
People of God, the choices we are left with on this morning is praying or losing heart, going on with God or giving up on God.
Happy is the man or woman that endures temptation, for when he or she is tried by the fires of life they not only pleases God, but they also receives God's approval.
Remember the promise! THE CROWN OF LIFE IS GOD’S REWARD FOR THOSE THAT PERSEVERE UNDER TRIALS and not those that give up and quit.
James 5;16b-The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.