Keep you focus on the eternal and don’t be blinded by the temporary
Daily Bread #23
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to them that love him.”
God is always deserving of all the credits that ought to be given to Him. The truth is, however, He is not in it (our salvation) for the credits. The above passage proves my point. The verse opens up with a favor of good will pronounced on all faithful followers of Christ who overcome temptation. But no one overcomes temptation apart from the help of God. The Bible teaches us that for each temptation that comes our way, God has already provided a way of escaping out of it. Paul in 1Corinthians 10:13 teaches us three things about temptation in the pathway of a believer: 1. God sees to it that the temptation we face is common to everyone (having an experience in a particular temptation, one might be able to provide help to other who will face that same temptation), 2. God sees to it that we are not tempted over our ability to bear up under it, and 3. He provides an escape from the temptation or He gives us power to endure it.
The verb “endure” conveys the idea of “holding out for an extended period of time,” “holding up under a testing situation,” and “to remain loyal to one’s faith in God despite what Satan is throwing at him.” But it is God who sees to it that we don’t get more than our fair share of trial, it is heaven who opens our eyes to see where we are walking in relation to the temptations, and it is heaven who gives us wisdom how to escape temptation. So, who is deserving of the credit? The verse reads as if it is all about us; we do not have a need to be dependent on anyone for help and at the end of the struggle “a crown of life” will be our reward because we endured. But, did we endure by our own strength or did God help us to endure and overcome?
Here in James we see also the strength of love. Our love for God enables us to endure, to hold up under, and overcome the devil’s bait. But we love Him because He first loved us. We love Him because He loves us more than we love ourselves! We love Him because His love for us far outweighs our love for Him. The payment for our endurance over temptation is a “crown of life.” How will God approve such a person who has endured temptation? The Holy Spirit illustrates this concept too well in Matthew’s gospel, “Well done good and faithful servant…” and “Come ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:21-23, 34). Let us not be blinded by our temptations that we cannot see through them to keep focus on what is eternal, the crown of life that is promised to us.
- Temptation is a vice from the devil to bring us to him and away from God.
- There is a power inside of us that is greater than any temptation. It is the power of God’s love.
- We cannot hold on to the temptations of life while at the same time holding on to God’s promise of eternal life to us.
- Whatever we hold on to, will automatically cause us to let go of the other.
The Beltway Church of Christ is located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in Prince George’s County, MD near Joint Base Andrews.