The Crown of Life

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

This one verse of Scripture contains an enormous amount of truth, yet this verse also has caused a tremendous amount of confusion for so many people. “Temptation” is in the singular because when we are tempted, the temptation most always comes one at a time.

The word “endureth” is a unique word in the Scriptures because it means to be prepared to hold your ground, to hold out through pressure when it comes. Pressure surely will come to believers from time to time, yet when we hold on to our beliefs and convictions through a temptation without succumbing to it, then we may receive the promise of receiving the crown of life.

The greatest temptation in this life is to blame God every time things go wrong in our lives, and most people do!

The word “tried” is another interestingly unique word, for it means to be approved, rather than the way it is translated ─ tried. The question that needs to be answered is: When or how are believers approved? The answer is actually quite simple once we see the truth of how greatly we are approved before our God.

II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved {this is the same Greek word for “tried” in James 1:12} unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

“Study” takes effort, studying to correctly understand the Word of truth about how greatly we are approved before God is how we hold our own ground through a temptation.

We believers are already “approved” before our heavenly Father, God already loves us, and He always thinks the best of us. Yet man, in himself, is subject to condemnation and blaming God, and at times it is extremely difficult to raise our believing up to the point of accepting the graces of God upon our lives because society itself teaches us that God punishes us through temptations to test our faith, etcetera. Yet, this is totally untrue. When we study the Scriptures, especially the Church Epistles which are directly written to believers of today, and when we rightly divide the truth, we will begin to realize that we are approved before God, rather than being tempted by Him.

As a safeguard to prevent us from blaming God, James continues:

James 1:13 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.

How often are we tempted by God? NEVER! Our loving heavenly Father never, ever tempts us in any way, shape, form, or manner! If temptations were from God (which they are not), then we could never genuinely, from a spiritual point of view, love our Savor Jesus Christ completely because there would always be a fear element lurking in the shadows of our minds.

Jesus Christ gave his entire being to the point of humiliation and death on our behalf, and in our stead, so that we may present ourselves to God being made already holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1-2).

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I {God} know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

It is interesting to me that so many people think and believe that God is the force behind all the evil in this world, and the people who propagate this lie obviously know more than God because God specifically states that He knows emphatically what He thinks, and He thinks thoughts of peace and not evil thoughts towards us. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11); this is the real, truthful pleasure that the LORD has towards everyone, that they live to receive His eternal benefits.

This is rightly dividing the Word of truth, and the more we look (by studying), the greater we will come to understand the wonderful approval we already have before our heavenly Father.

I Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer {allow} you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Through our life’s trials and temptations, we can look to God for His strength and His refuge (Isaiah 25:4) and be assured of God’s continuous deliverance (II Corinthians 1:10).

God never called us to incur His wrath (Romans 5:9; I Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9-10), but rather He called us to “an expected end” and the greatest expectation that we can receive for not accusing God for all the temptations we go through in life, is the crown of life!

To be continued in The Crown of Righteousness

God’s Word (An Expected End)

“God’s Word and His love softens the most hardhearted hearts and warms the soul as it reaches into the innermost depths of our thought processes to enlighten our inner souls. The quick, and powerful Word (Hebrews 4:2) lifts up the downtrodden, comforts the bereaved, and encourages those who have lost hope, as the penetrating Word gives men and women the joy of inspiring them, individually, to become more Christ-like. So I encourage you to spend some time in God’s Word, seek and enjoy His thoughts, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end– Jeremiah 29:11.” ~LMJ~

Work Now – Reap Later

“I Corinthians 9:10 declares, he that ploweth should plow in hope, because we do not reap the harvest at the moment we have plowed, rather the produce comes in after the ground is prepared, the seeds have been planted, the soil has been watered, the weeds have been pulled, the temperature cooperates, and the sun has supplied its energy. Still, the hope was also planted on the very day of tillage in the heart of the farmer, for he has expectation for a future crop, to give him hope in his final outcome (Jeremiah 29:11). A farmer sows and cultivates with the hope that there soon will be a bountiful harvest for him to reap while his work continues.” ~LMJ~

The Christian’s Future Hope

“Whenever we cannot believe for something that the Bible promises we shall receive, then the Bible tells us so by placing them in the category of HOPE, which is to be a future reality, a definite certainty, but we just cannot have them now. All of the hope that God reveals in the Bible is given to bring comfort to believers as we read in Jeremiah 29:11 from The Amplified Bible, *For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for {your} welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” ~LMJ~

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright (c) 1965, 1989 by the Zondervan Corporation.
Used by permission.