Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NIV)
We live in a fallen world. As believers, we are subject to all of the challenges that everyone living here experiences. And we can expect to face opposition from a world that is largely apathetic or antagonistic toward Jesus and the gospel. Responding appropriately to these challenges, or trials, can be difficult. But James opens his letter with some helpful instructions about the proper response.
James started by telling his readers that we should respond with joy to our trials (Jas. 1:2). Not because trials are joyful, but because of what they can produce within us (Jas. 1:3-4). This testing of our faith produces perseverance which in turn develops maturity and completeness. We can rejoice in our trials because, if we persevere through them, we will mature and grow as believers.
Then James takes it a step further. Those who have persevered through their trials are blessed. They are blessed because, having stood the test of their faith, they will receive the crown of life. This mirrors what Jesus says to the church in Smyrna in Revelation 2:10. That the one who is faithful, even to death, will receive the crown of life.
You can expect trials to come that will test your faith. When they do, face them with joy and perseverance, looking ahead to the victor’s crown of life that awaits those who have passed the test.