Jas 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Trials and temptations, we all go through them. No one is immune to difficulties in their life and James describes here that the man who perseveres under a trial is a blessed man. Not only is he blessed, but he will receive the crown of life. I certainly do not feel blessed while going through trials, in fact often times I feel as if the Lord has moved farther away from me rather than closer. So when I am feeling this way I need to remember to turn to God.
When trials and temptations come, isn't it easy to blame God? If He was with me then this trial wouldn't happen, or maybe if God had stopped this event from occurring I wouldn't be in this mess. Well, God isn't the author of chaos nor does he cause our conflicts and trials.
Jas 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
Jas 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
Lust, evil desires, greed, and other fleshly decisions are what cause me to get into the trouble and difficulties I face. Owning the responsibility for the trials is the first step to understanding God's grace. If we fix our blame on God then we are no longer accepting that maybe we have some responsibility in this difficult time. God has a way of getting our attention a bit more acutely in difficult times if we allow Him to. Open your heart to Him and He will show you what is in it.
Pro 19:20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.
Pro 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand.
Pro 19:22 What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
God wants us to learn His ways during our difficulties and the first step to doing that is to get into His word and spend time learning them. The Psalmist tells us that being afflicted turns us to God. Psa 119:71 shows me that it is good to be afflicted because in the end I will have learned more of what God would have me to know about Him.
Psa 119:71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.
Psa 119:72 The law of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
God, please help me to avoid my sinful desires and always turn towards you. I know that I make decisions that separate me from you, and I pray for your forgiveness. Please keep me walking upright in your Word that I might receive the crown of life which you have promised me.