September 23, 2019
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he as stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised those who love him. James 1:12
Today I chose this question from the study guide: If this is in the New Testament, how did his knowing Jesus affect this section of writing? Was this passage related to Jesus’s teachings or time spent with Him?
I get so self-absorbed in my trials I forget the context of this book and who is writing it. I wonder if Jesus is who James has in mind. He witnessed his brother’s ministry, mighty and yet at the time mocked even by James himself. Jesus was misunderstood and mistreated just as his followers experienced in those early decades of the Church. James saw what Jesus endured from a front row seat. And, he saw Him receive the crown of life, the resurrection of the dead. He saw the end of the story for each of us!
Through the years, when thinking of trials, my mind inevitably turns to my dad’s being sick with Multiple Sclerosis. It was three decades of losses, grief, and questioning why God wasn’t healing him, through my teens, 20s and 30s. This past year, his faith became sight. He persevered and I believe he received his “well done,” and crown of life. I imagine him dancing, finally healed and free, his body and soul both able to fully praise our Lord.
Lord Jesus, thank you for going before us in our struggles. You are well familiar with the difficulties we face each day because you became one of us. Help us to hold onto to you in the trials so that just like you we may receive the crown of life that will make all our trials pale in comparison.
What verse jumped out at you in this section today? What questions came up for you?
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October 10, 2019
October 10, 2019