The Crown of Life
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:2-3
James, the brother of Jesus and Jude, in his letter to the “twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” wrote about temptations or sin. We are to count it as joy when we face temptations or sins. He reminds us that our triumph over sin is to be rejoiced and as we continue to follow the precepts of scripture and learn from our mistakes we will develop patience or endurance.
“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.” James 1:12
James said that we are blessed if we are tempted or sin, and endure or persevere past that sin. These trials that we face and repent from win us victory over sin. If we love Jesus as Lord and Savior, these wins earn us the “crown of life” which we will receive when we get to heaven.
“Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:16-17
James said do not err or be deceived. All good comes from God and is bestowed on those that keep the commandments. God never varies or changes and never changes His mind, even though there are several passages in scripture that make it look like He changes his mind. Please note that those occasions are to drive forward a point, not conclude that God changes His mind. His master plan was set from before the beginning of our universe and God knows the end from the beginning, so He never changes His mind.
So, what do these verses conclude? They share that our unchanging God wants Christians to have victory over sin and when we achieve that victory over sin, we will be rewarded in heaven. We are also often rewarded while we are here on earth, through God’s blessings.
Sin is sin and we must strive for victory over it. God gives us the tools to have that victory through prayer, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God in our lives. The “crown of life” is awaiting those that love the Lord and have victory over sin. Let’s strive for victory!