Having read the Bible through a couple of times and having read the book of James multiple times it caught me by surprise that this verse caught me by surprise.
I have received many Facebook messages, emails, texts and phone calls regarding being delivered from many months of unemployment. It is humbling and encouraging to see how many people have been praying for our family during this fourteen month trial.
Allow me to highlight one of those.
Austin Howard, one of the young men in the 18-25 age group my wife and I serve wrote some wonderful thoughts regarding our friendship. And he included the following verse.
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
How had I missed this verse during this long period in my life?
What a strong verse and promise.
And I don’t really have any insightful application to go with it. It really doesn’t need one.
In life, as Christians, we are asked to persevere and told we will suffer trials. But when we stand the test…that is the key.
Recently I was talking to another man just listening as his incredible story began to unfold. Tough guy, military background, police officer, had seen a lot of human tragedy along the way.
Our time together was just me getting to know him, where did he grow up, how did he come to pick this path or that path.
I don’t even remember the preceding question or statement that led up to him saying, “I was sixteen years old when my brother committed suicide.”
We talked about that for a few minutes. How did he get through it? How was he told? How has it affected him to this day?
While being sensitive to him and to the memory of his brother I wanted to understand the trial he had suffered and how he had persevered.
He walked me through his God path, what had led him to his current position of faith.
The human experience…not one for the weak hearted.
You may be today, or know of someone today, who is being bombarded by life and the trials of human experience.
Stop for just a moment, simply a moment. Pick up your phone and text them an encouraging word, send them a hopeful email, jot them a note of promise, dial their number and let them hear the reassurance of God’s faithfulness in your voice.
Whatever you do, don’t let them stand the test alone.
Stand with them as God has stood with you.
“God sends his love and his faithfulness.” Psalm 57:3
Why don’t you and I be the one to help God send his message today.
Hope is meant to be shared.