Week 12: James and the Fatherless
Day 1: The Blessings of Enduring
As we work our way through James 1 (previous posts here), we’ve reached the first heading for the “Action” column: Endure. We find that title in James 1:12. Although we have already glimpsed much of the needed action, here we find hope and a promise: “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.”
That little word “blessed” packs an amazing punch. It means:
“supremely blest…fortunate, well off…blessed, happy” (Strong’s).
When we are walking through a trial it is difficult to see it as a blessing. This is why that first step of action, back in verse two, was to “count it all joy.”
Enduring isn’t something you feel, it isn’t something you are; it is something you do. And doing it properly requires the right heart attitudes. We briefly mentioned that one of those attitudes is Joy. But notice that James 1:2 doesn’t say, “Be Joyful” or “You will instantly be filled with joy when you go through trials.” It says, “count it all joy.”
Counting is an action, and it can be a tedious one… Just ask any kindergartner. The Greek word translated as “count” literally means to meditate. It means to take the time to consider that this trial is a joy. Just the idea of meditating on these things can be overwhelming. This is why journaling can be such an effective tool in the Christian’s life. It gives you moments to stop and consider what the joys really are, even when you cannot see any at first glance.
Here, God promises that when we endure trials, we will receive the rewards He has promised. Endure means:
“to stay under (behind), i.e. remain, figuratively to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere.” (Strong’s)
It means not trying to get out or run away from whatever has come our way, but continuing on to the end. That isn’t easy. It isn’t easy at all. That’s why before we even get to this point God had already given us so many of the steps needed for endurance:
Count it all Joy.
Go to God for Wisdom.
Ask in Faith.
Understand the Temporal Nature of Riches.
These things will help us as we pass through these trials. God doesn’t want us to fail. He has given us the tools that we need to succeed. He wants us to receive the rewards He has promised…His promises never fail.