Friday, April 6, 2018

Crown of Life

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Crown of Life– This crown will be given to those who persevere under severe hardship, trials, and undergo persecution for Jesus, even to the point of death. 
This life comes with suffering of all sorts.  Many of Jesus’ words were directly spoken to suffering and perseverance. He knew that we would need to be encouraged to persevere when things get hard and it seems impossible to go on.  Many times, our greatest witness for Christ is persevering in trials.  When others see what we are going through and watch the way we handle it, they do notice when our faith doesn’t waver.  They may even expect us to stumble and turn from our faith when we are enduring so much hardship, especially when it is hard to reason why God allows some things to happen.  There is always a purpose and we can find joy in trials because as Christians, we know that God turns what is broken into something beautiful.  He works for us and through us during these times and when we cannot imagine how it will work out, we can still know that He is in control.  If you are experiencing severe temptation, trials, or persecution, be encouraged and persevere through them. Jesus is waiting to put the Crown of Life upon your head when you reach the finish line.
There is one common thread I see when reading about these five crowns.  The goal is basically the same for all of them. We are urged to run the course set before us while keeping our faith, fighting the good fight, persevering all the way to the finish line, and being a testimony for Christ as well.  The ultimate prize is Heaven and eternity with God which has already been gifted to every believer.  These crowns are added benefits for staying the course in faith. Be encouraged by this and know that God sees all and knows all.  Run hard, keep the faith, persevere to the end and run right into the welcoming arms of your heavenly Father.  

Scripture to Claim:
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  Romans 5:2-5

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