Read James 1:12
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."
What does it mean to remain "steadfast under trial"?
A busy Christian couple achieves the American dream ... at the expense of their family. A church leader is praised as a moral giant--at least in public. (As for his private life, it would score a "XXX" rating.) A lonely wife cries herself to sleep each night. "Wasn't it 'love at first sight'? So why'd he have an affair?"
Temptation often sways us in small, subtle ways. We allow our eyes to linger or we tell "a little white lie." Just one more drink, we promise ourselves, one more click of a mouse. A compromise here, a shortcut there. No one got hurt, and no one knows ... so no big deal. Yet the pattern is set, and little by little the compromises grow bigger, the shortcuts more extreme. The more we give in, the more we become comfortable with our choices.
I can't help feeling angry when I hear stories like these. What senseless losses ... what needless heartaches. It doesn't have to turn out this way, especially for believers. Why remain stuck and miserable when the God we so desperately want to follow has the power to get us unstuck? Jesus Christ is reaching out with forgiveness, comfort, hope, freedom, strength, guidance, peace, wisdom, transformation ... real life, real answers, real faith ... exactly what we need at the very moment we need it! Do we truly believe this? If so, what keeps us from accepting it?
Lord, give me the strength to remain steadfast under trial. Help me to withstand the test and receive the crown of life. Amen.