James 1:12 —– 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.
“To endure” means not just to get through the trial. A man can survive yet fail to endure. “Endure” means to stand firm in faith and testimony.
The prime example was Job. His trial was perhaps the most severe any man has suffered. He lost his possessions and family and finally his good health. The devil took everything but left his wife so she could tempt Job. Her faith collapsed under the weight of her anger against God. She urged Job to curse God and die (Job 2:9).
But Job did not follow her example. He endured the trials of life with total faith in the goodness of God. The steadfastness of his faith brought him the blessings. These blessings will come to any man who endures temptation. At the end of Job’s sufferings, God repaid him double for everything taken away (Job 42:12-13).
As we go through a trial, the promise of blessing helps us endure, for whatever we lose, we know that God will, in His own good time, whether in this world or the next, give us compensation. Not only will we receive blessings, but blessings with greater value than anything we lost. In God’s kingdom, there are no cheap victories.
Philippians 4:10-11 —— But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now, at last, your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
St. Paul rejoices that the people care so much about him and he is grateful for this opportunity they have gotten. St. Paul has learnt to get along with whatever comes against him and has learnt to be content with whatever he has. He is totally relying on God and thus he draws from His strength and mercy. This helps him to get along with everyone no matter the situation. St. Paul has learnt to depend on God in times of plenty and in times of trials and tribulations. He has learnt to be content.
Do we get along with God when we have much or when we have little?
Happy is the person who learns to wait as he prays and never loses his patience, for God’s time is the best time.