April 30 I Saturday
1 Kings 8-9
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” —James 1:12
Corrie Ten Boom, author of The Hiding Place, once said, “God has no problems, only plans.” What are problems to us are plans to God. Our trials are constant and numerous, but we must learn to persevere with such confidence in God that we can go about our days with absolute faith and trust that what He has promised, He fulfills. Fretting and worrying indicates we are struggling through our circumstances and calculating without God. Jesus said, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27).
We know we need to come to God from a genuine position of humility on all occasions, but when facing trials and asking for wisdom that comes from God, James adds something more. He says, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6).
If we doubt God will give us what He has promised, we will be on shaky ground: one day up, and the next day down. It quickly becomes a cycle that will frustrate, confuse and deplete us. James reveals, “That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do (James 1:7-8). It is extremely difficult and almost impossible to remain on an even keel trusting God for His promises when we are plagued by uncertainty. That is why we become tossed about like waves in the sea. We are only partially trusting and believing the Word of God when, on the contrary, we have a God who is totally capable, trustworthy and sufficient.
Only a person who trusts wholly in God is capable of persevering through trials, persecution and temptation. To that person, the focus is not on their present suffering or hardship, but on the certainty of Christ in their lives while they also look to a future certainty—the crown of life that God promises to those who love Him. When we love God, we trust Him. When we trust Him, we can go through our days as though our problems are already solved because in the eyes of God, they are.
“Consider it pure joy,” James says. The person who has truly experienced God knows the blessing that comes through in the end and lacks nothing, for in Christ we have everything. In Revelation 2:10, Jesus says, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (NKJV). In this life, we are already blessed in persevering through trials, but we cannot fathom the magnificent blessing in store when Jesus gives us the crown of life.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, fill me with an abiding faith that trusts wholly in You through my trials, and thank You for being all I need and for the promise of the crown of life. Praise You!