“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
The Crown of Life, the wording here is so interesting! So, if we get through our trials and tribulations…we receive a Crown?! Crowns are appealing to us, Royalty is appealing to us. This is why little girls dress up in princess attire, make crowns out of weeds in the yard, and watch movies even into their adulthood about princesses and Royalty. This idea of being crowed isn’t only appealing to girls. Little boys LOVE to win and to be conquerors. This topic is something that I’m passionate about partially because of my name. “Lauren” comes from “Laurel,” which means crown of honor, which is what they place on the head of a winner at the Olympics. What little boy doesn’t want to be a winner, regardless of whether or not he’s into sports? And what little girl doesn’t want to be a princess, regardless of how girly she is?
So this idea of a crown makes sense that it is appealing. But what does the Crown of Life mean? Eternal happiness is referred to as a crown here because of the glory that is associated with both. But does this verse apply to us today? Will we receive crowns?
James wrote this book to Christians that had left Jerusalem encouraging them to still live out there Faith in a new location. He wanted these Christians to hold true to the Lord whether or not they lived in Jerusalem. This is one of the reasons why I really love the book of James, I think that the advice in James can spread out to really reach anyone and everyone to live out their faith to the best of their ability regardless of where they live. This passage particularly is extremely encouraging because we all have faced trials of many kinds, from really hard and challenging trials such as a death, a hard break-up, or parents divorcing to trials that seem more simple such as a bad hair day, a bad grade, or not falling asleep easily. Regardless of the size of the trial, pain is pain in our lives and persevering through hard times can be a tough challenge.
We all face trials, and if you haven’t let me in on your trick!! The encouragement that James is giving here is to persevere with the Lord, for the Lord, alongside the Lord. But how are we supposed to do that? How are we supposed to seek the Lord in times of trials and tribulations? Something that has helped me along the way to hold true to the Lord in times of trouble is to view my mentality somewhat like a fast. We have heard of fasting, this is when we don’t eat food or a particular kind of food and we train ourselves to think and pray about a certain topic every time we would be eating or think about food.
In times of trouble, I fast, not in a way without food but in a way where I use the situation that I’m dealing with to trigger mind to pray. When we are going through hard times, it is really hard to ever get our minds elsewhere, and so I try to use those thoughts to trigger my mind to prayer. Maybe you are one of those people who aren’t in a place of trial, and if that is the case, I would encourage you to live intentionally to pour into others who are going through trials. Encourage them; be their cloud of witnesses on the sideline cheering them on telling the path with straightens out soon! Help those around persevere, we have community, and we need to take advantage of it!
The race can be challenging, there’s bumps and curves on our paths that quite frankly…suck sometimes, but the reality is that Lord is standing at the finish line holding your crown waiting for you to receive the Crown of Life in Him. He’s cheering you on and know that you have the complete ability to finish this race and finish it well by persevering through the trials alongside Him.