QTVOTD: Well done…and now here is a crown…

I spent my quiet time with the Lord today on just this one verse. My Life Verse (Passage) is Psalms 1:1-3 which also starts out with “Blessed is the man…” so I feel compelled to dwell here a little bit.

"Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him." James 1:12 [AMP]
  • Blessed is the man…
    • …who is patient under trial – What this says to me is, “Not my timing but God’s timing”. I think we can rush to quickly to use our own means to rush out of or fix a trial; not leaning on God to 1) bring us through it and 2) being patient to learn what God is teaching us in it. I think that sometimes we forget to look at how God’s hand is moving in our trail; what He is doing in the midst of our trial. Missing opportunities to observe God at work which in turn grows our faith.
    • …who stands up under temptation – In most translations, temptation is not used but the Greek word ‘peirasmos’ can mean either ‘Trial’ or ‘Temptation’, so I am glad that the Amplified includes this. Standing up under temptation to me is turning away (a 180-degree turn) when confronted with a temptation. Praying when an impure thought comes into my mind, looking away immediately when I see something that can spark a lustful thought, saying no and walking away when I am tempted to buy something I don’t need.

When he has stood the test AND been approved – To me this is a combination of behavior modification and a condition of a man’s heart toward God. It is not enough to quickly look away from an image that can produce a lustful thought; it is also to bear one’s mind away from reliving what little I did see, or letting my mind run further with the lustful thinking of what I may have missed after I turned away. God’s focus is on my heart more than my actions. When I am focused on pleasing Him, then my heart will be a heart that has no place for fleshly thinking or pursuits.

…he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him – The reward for passing the test and being approved is that the man receives a crown of life. What does that mean??? The best thing I can think of is that it is gift given at the same time my Savior says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!” When I pursue pleasing God more than man in my life here on earth, I will receive a recognition of managing this life well. The crown does not save the man, but it is a recognition of choices, actions, and heart condition the man has achieved while here ‘under the sun’.

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