Listen:  154.6

Let’s read that very important verse.  James 1:12says, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”  The word ‘temptation’ here literally means to ‘put to the test, or a trial’.  We read back in James 1:2-3, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”  Trials of our faith are good for us; when properly handled, they produce patience in us. 

The trial of our faith is much different that the temptation to sin.  We read in James 1:13that, “…God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.”  If you are tempted to sin, you can know that the temptation did not come from the Lord.  Temptations, or trials of our faith, are from the Lord and are given to us to guide us, strengthen us, or to increase our faith. 

There are a few temptations, or trials, that the Lord sent to some people in the scriptures.  One of them is found in Genesis 22:1-2, “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”  In His infinite love and wisdom, the Lord allowed Abraham the opportunity to prove his faith in the Lord.  Just according to the Lord’s instructions, Abraham took his son into a mountain to sacrifice him to the Lord.  Of course, to those who know the story, we know the Lord stopped Abraham from killing his son.  We read in Genesis 22:12, “And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”

The Apostle Paul endured the trial of a thorn in the flesh.  We read in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  In order to keep him humble, the Lord gave Paul a thorn in the flesh, or a physical infirmity.  After asking the Lord three times to remove this infirmity, the Lord opened Paul’s eyes to see a wonderful truth: the grace of God was all he needed!  Paul benefitted greatly from this trial.

Perhaps you have been given a trial of bad health, a trial of persecution, or a trial of rejection.  Whatever that trial might be, the Lord has promised blessings to all those who endure and learn the lesson the Lord has for them.  The Lord has promised the “the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”  This, of course, is a victor’s crown, that will be awarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  It is not a crown of salvation.  Enduring trials will not give eternal life.  Only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ gives us eternal life.  (154.6)