James 1:12 encourages us further on the eternal benefits of living by faith: there is a reward coming! Sometimes, I think that we focus so much in “getting people saved” and their eternal destination changed from Hell to Heaven, that we forget that the whole point is being reconciled to God, and living a changed life more abundant by faith – on that serves Him and is involved in bringing others to Him. Verses like James 1:12 help us to realize that there is much more to the Christian life than simply accepting Christ, and going on with life as before.
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.”
For Those Who Are Faithful to Him, There Are Rewards Coming!
For those who are faithful to him, there are rewards coming! This crown of life is all about Christ living through you, instead of you yielding to temptation. Consider what the Lord told John to write about the crown of life to the church in Smyrna: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10) Notice again that this reward is all about faithfulness!
Then notice what He said to the church in Philadelphia: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (11) Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Revelation 3:10-11) Notice that staying faithful was again linked to the crown.
We sure serve a wonderful God! We don’t deserve salvation, yet He sent Jesus to die for our sin! We don’t deserve it, yet we can walk and talk with God, as did Enoch! We don’t deserve a way to escape temptation, yet when we walk by faith, and seek Him, He makes a way for us to escape (I Corinthians 10:13). And in all of this goodness that God shows us, and all of this that He allows us to accomplish BY HIS POWER, we certainly don’t deserve a reward, yet there is a reward coming! I like prizes, and I want to remain faithful and receive that crown of life!