Be Steadfast in Trial - Study of James 1v12

Some friend on Facebook shared on James 1v12. It is a good trigger to study the verse in greater details. Here are some suggestions:
  1. Study in Context: Look up the preceding and subsequent verses.
    The preceding verses talk about not being of double-mindedness, riches and humility, and the fleeting nature of life. The subsequent verse tells us temptation is not of God. So we can differentiate between trial that is of God to build us up to reward us vs temptation that causes us to fall and commit evil.
  2. Let Bible interpret the Bible: Look up similar verses else in the Bible.
    This is best done using an electronic Bible such as e-Sword to easy search and cross references. We can find that there are many types of Crowns mentioned in Bible (a subject for a separate study). But we can find one Rev 2:10 that mentioned the 'Crown of Life'.
  3. Break the verse into related parts. Best done with a mind-mapping software (eg freemind or freeplane).  Here is the outcome:

James 1v12 tells us to be steadfast under trial. Rev 2:10 gives as another description for steadfast, which is to remain faithful to God... sticking to our believe in God and His values, staying in righteousness despite the persecution. 

The reward of the Crown of Life is a promised by God for all who love him. Rev 2:10 repeats the promise. We can therefore be doubly sure of this promise. The blessing is the Crown of Life. 

We may also realise that we who love God, will be blessed through the way of trial to build us up and to achieve the rewards of the crown of life. Not everyone can participate in this race of life where the trophy is the Crown of life. Only those who love God, shown in receiving the salvation of His Son Jesus Christ who died and was resurrected for us.

Salvation is not the end or sole purpose of life. Salvation is but the beginning, the pre-qualification of life for us in this race meant only for the righteous saints of God. We are saved for good works says Eph 2:10 which God has predestined for us to walk in them.

Rev 2:10 tells us not to fear because it will be short (10 days) and God has known and told us before hand. This also implies that He know the victory is ours to take. Even in death, there is the victory. The Crown is given to all who faithfully went through, whether alive or dead, they shall be resurrected in new bodies to wear the Crown of Life.

We do not what the Crown of Life entails. We know two things for sure ... there is honor and there is life. Other verses of the Bible tell us about the sitting on the thrones of God, judging the devils, ruling over many cities etc. Paul tells us that the things that God has prepared for us is beyond our wildest imagination. 

Let us therefore, have no fear, but walk confidently in trials, knowing that He is with us and victory has been won. Let us just remain obedient, faithful and trusting in Him who will walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death. Look forward to the receiving of the Crown of Life.

May the Lord give you the peace, hope and assurance in your time of trial.

Lim Liat (c) 27 Apr 2015

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