Summary: Part 4 in a study of the book of James
A Life of Works Produced By Faith
“The Victor’s Crown”
Date: September 15, 2002 P.M Service
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: James 1:12
Our text tonight begins with the word blessed; the actual word translation here would be “happy” or “fortunate”.
This is the attitude of the believer during the trial, knowing that whatever God is doing in our life will be for the good and for His glory.
Matthew chapter 5, the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us an illustration & example of the believer’s attitude. Verses 3-10 are what as known as the Beatitudes. In my interpretation “This what a Christians attitude should be”.
Read Matthew 5:1-10
James gives us the same idea. First we see …
I. An Unnatural Response
A. “Blessed is the man who endures trails”
1. This is such an unnatural response.
2. We would much rather say, “Blessed is the man who is never under pressure.” “Blessed is the one that never has his faith tested.” Or as I would say, “blessed is the one that always gets his way.”
3. But remember James is speaking to Christians that endured trails.
1. This is speaking of a person that in the midst of the trail who may be suffering great affliction “Doesn’t give in”.
2. With wisdom he focuses not on the trail but the victorious outcome.
3. James is not talking here about tough it out, just grin & bear it.
4. What he is speaking of is standing firm, standing strong in God’s wisdom and with God’s power in our lives.
5. James say, “Fortunate is the man that not simply gets through the trail and testing, but endures it. His endurance has the capacity to take something that could devastate him, turn it around & make it into a blessing
It is the right attitude toward God allows His Spirit to work in us and turn trails into victory
II. An Uncompromising Verdict
A. “For when he has been approved”
1. This has the idea of testing to see if it is pure.
2. I know I seem to be repeating myself, but we need to understand that the trails we face, God wants to get all the impurities out of our lives.
a. Someone has said the testing is God’s way of proving the value of our faith and of our lives.
B. When we have been approved then we receive the reward.
C. Our greatest desire as a Christian should be to be approved by God.
III. An Unparalleled Gift
A. “The crown of Life”
B. Crowns were a symbol of
1. Royalty. We all have probably seen the Queen in England wearing her crown.
2. Victory. In the early Olympics the greatest athletes were given a crown made of leaves.
3. Freedom. Historians tell us that when slaves were set free they often wore a crown to show their liberty and freedom.
C. This crown of life represents life in two aspects.
1. Eternal life.
a. Those who endure the hardships of this life will receive eternal life.
b. A life with no pain, no sorrow and no death.
2. Abundant life.
a. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that they might have life and might have it more abundly.”
IV. An Unavoidable Condition
A. “The Lord has promised to those that love Him”.
1. The point is very clear, if we are to receive the crown of life, we must love the Lord.
B. Let me say this as I close, our lack of love for the Savior can keep the Savior’s best from coming into our lives.
C. And the best the Lord wants for us may sometimes come through the various trails we must face.
Now as we close this section on trails, how do we react when these various forms of testings come our way?
Do we complain bitterly or do we rejoice and thank God for them?
Do we advertise our trails to others or do we bear them quietly?
Do we live in the future, waiting for the circumstances to improve, or do we live in the present waiting to see the hand of God in all that comes through our lives?
Do we indulge in self-pity & seek sympathy or do we submerge ourselves into a life of service to other and service to the Lord?