12a Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life.
Where is a widespread misconception that a person blessed by the Lord with happiness and peace shall not have any temptation or trial in life. Many modern-day false teachers claim that genuine faith would guarantee a life that is free from sickness, financial trouble and all other kinds of distress. However, the Word of God here teaches us that the blessedness of a man of faith is not in the absence of temptation and trial in his life, but in his endurance in the midst of them.
A believer should not frown on the divine providence that permits trying circumstances in his life. Instead, he must persevere happily even when his faith and commitment to God is tested, knowing that God’s providence is giving him an opportunity to prove the genuineness of his faith. This is why James beckoned believers in an earlier verse, saying, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations” (James 1:2).
A person who is undergoing trials may not feel “blessed” or happy at all. The difficulties would affect him emotionally, causing him to feel frustrated, fearful or forlorn. Nonetheless, if he steadfastly believes in the promises and presence of God while remaining committed to doing His will, he will experience the great spiritual joy of an overcomer.
Every Christian needs to know that all sorts of circumstances will test his faith and devotion to Christ. So he is required to be ready to endure temptation that will inevitably come his way. In order to endure testing, one must cultivate a spirit of total dependence on and total obedience to God. Temptations and trials can conspire to make one falter in one’s faithfulness to Christ. It is only with a spirit of unflinching devoutness and undaunted fortitude that one prevails over one’s temptations and trials.
Let us take note that the blessed man is not the one who just suffers, but the one who endures his suffering and testing. He “shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12b). The word “crown” conveys the idea of reward, and the word “life” indicates that the reward is life evermore. Jesus also said to the suffering Christians, “… be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).