About Us Services MinistriesSermon Message Bible StudyChurch Calendar Contact Us


Statement of Faith

The Four Most Important Things We Could Ever Tell You

Listen to this week's message!

Map to the Church

Prayer Requests

Enhance your daily reading of God's word. Click here for free, printable Bible Reading and Prayer Journal sheets!

Archive of Bible Study Notes


"A Blessing to Cling to in Times of Testing"
James 1:12

Wednesday AM Bible Study
April 23, 2003

Every time we are tempted, we're faced with two things: (1) the short term pay-off of yielding to it, and (2) the long-term cost of yielding to it. Conversely, every time we resist that temptation, we're faced with (1) the short-term cost of resisting it, and (2) the long-term pay-off of yielding to it. In both cases, a pay-off and a cost are involved; but the pay-off in one is short-lived and the cost is long-term and very unwanted, while the cost in the other is short-lived and the pay-off is long-term and very desirable. One of the characteristics of spiritual maturity is an increasing recognition of these two outcomes of our response to temptation, and a progressive habit of choosing wisely.

James is writing to Christians who are under a time of trial and testing (vv. 1-11). It would be tempting for them to give up on their faith and return to the old ways. But this simple verse holds out a promise to them that will stand them well in the time of testing. It reminds us that, though a time of testing involves short-term costs, it also holds out the promise of long-term blessing to those who endure.

"Blessed is the man who endures temptation ..." (v. 12a).

A. It is a promise to those who "love" Christ. This is the great motivation for our obedience to Him; and is the summation of the law (Matt. 22:37-40).

B. It is for those who persevere under trials in the context of that all-consuming love. It's not the mere fact of undergoing trials that makes them worthy; but rather their persevering under those trials (Rom. 8:28-30).

C. It's for those who are, thereby, "approved" by trials. Again, this is not a matter of reward, but rather a proof of the character of faith (1 Peter 1:6-9).

"... For when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him" (v. 12b).

A. Those who benefit from this promise are called "blessed". The word, in some Greek literature, referred to the freedom from normal worries and cares that were enjoyed by wealthy people (see vv. 9-11). This is a blessing that will endure (Matthew 5:11-12).

B. It is described as receiving the "crown of life". The "crown" is the wreath that the winner in a contest received (Heb. 12:1-2); and the life being referred to is the "eternal life" that we will receive from the Lord (Rev. 2:10). There are other "crowns":

1. Crown of glory (1 Pet. 5:4).

2. Crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8).

3. Wreath imperishable (1 Cor. 9:24-25).

C. It is sure, because it is based on the unfailing promise of God and thus can never be lost to us (Jude 24-25).

* * * * * * * * * *

We should keep this promised blessing clearly before us during tough times. Let's willingly suffer the short term loss that come from resisting temptation or undergoing suffering, that we might enjoy the long-term blessing that God promises.

Printable Version


Bethany Bible Church, 18245 NW Germantown Road, Portland, OR 97231 / 503.645.1436

Site Map | Privacy Policy | Copyright Information