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Sunday, July 31, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
James 1: 1-12

BLESSED is the man who ENDURES temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life…” – James 1:12a

ENDURING HEARTS are BLESSED with Divine Approval and Eternal Rewards: “BLESSED is the man who ENDURES temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (Jam.1:12). Enduring hearts can also be described as patient, persevering, and steadfast hearts. We’re encouraged to be “Patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Rom.12:12b). When, by the Grace of God we’re able to endure trials, persevere and remain steadfast through the world’s troubles, we become divinely approved to receive eternal rewards. The Lord further revealed that all that the world offers is “tribulation” but believers can “be of good cheer” because He has “overcome the world” (Jh.16:33).

Trial is part of life in this fallen world. Being Christians does not preclude us from facing trials or passing through divinely-permitted sufferings in life. The Lord Jesus Christ concluded the Beatitudes as follows: “BLESSED are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. BLESSED are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. REJOICE and be exceedingly glad, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Mt.5:10-12). Christ Himself suffered: “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Heb.2:18). Suffering has been portrayed as the pedestal to Glory: “Ought not the Christ to have SUFFERED these things and to enter into His GLORY?” (Lk.24:26).

Hebrews 5:8-9 says about Jesus: “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” The apostles also endured fiery trials. Paul wrote to Timothy: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus WILL SUFFER persecution” (2Tim.3:12). Peter mused about suffering for God’s Glory: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery TRIAL which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but REJOICE to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His Glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you’re reproached for the name of Christ, BLESSED are you…” (1Pet.4:12-14a). He however cautioned that while the Believer should not suffer as an evildoer, “if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1Pet.4:15-16).

The theme of patiently enduring trials runs throughout the Bible. James 1:12 particularly unveils these pertinent truths:

“Blessed is the one…” – We should not see a trial as a curse. Trial, for the Believer, especially when not brought about by our own actions, is a blessing from God with great purpose. James encouraged believers: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (vv.2-3).

“…who endures temptation” Trial itself will not offer us anything but misery if we do not persevere through it. If we melt under trial, then we are like the dross that the trial is meant to remove from us. But if we withstand the trial and allow God to burn off what is not of Him, we will be purified by it: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various TRIALS, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory as the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Pet.1:6-7a).

“…he will receive the crown of life” – However mysterious this might sound, it is simply an Eternal Reward promised to those who love the Lord. Ultimately, the righteous will never lose out!

All Praises to Almighty God for sustaining us successfully through the Month of the BLESSED HEART: the hungry, thirsty, seeking, pilgrim heart; the generous giving, merciful heart; the rejoicing, instructed, obedient heart; and the patient, persevering, steadfast heart!

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, let our patient, persevering, steadfast and ENDURING HEARTS be BLESSED with Divine Approval and Eternal Rewards, in Jesus name.
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