The goal is maturity
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:12-15
The goal of spiritual life should be to attain maturity. One thing that every follower of Christ strongly struggles with is giving in to temptation. From the text, James expressed how blessed are “those who patiently endure testing and temptation.” Such blessings include perseverance when fully developed will lead to spiritual maturity (see James 1:4). Then, those who endure in times of testing and temptation will receive the crown of life. Those who came to know Christ as Lord and Savior are guaranteed to receive eternal life. “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life” (John 5:24). The blessing proclaimed is not because of the trial itself but the endurance the trial produces. The victory we experience whenever we endure trials proves God’s working and presence in our lives. What a privilege to know that life in its fullest is experienced while here on earth! “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10). And in this life, though not free from testing and trial, could be deep and meaningful for God’s glory is shown through our endurance. When we endure trials for His glory it shows that we love and trust God. And as James declared, God has stored up marvelous blessings to those that love Him. When we are caught up in trials, God is there to help us persevere. He provides us wisdom so we could understand that in all things God will accomplish His will. If you see yourself as wise because of the wisdom that comes from God, then choose what is best for the long run. The fool looks ahead five years, ten years, perhaps even twenty years and plans what he thinks will benefit him best. On the other hand, those whose eyes are fixed on God, their focus is not just the life here on earth but his sight is beyond the grave. Let God’s promises fill our hearts that there is a hope for a crown of life to those that love God and endures times of trial.
Noel De Guzman