Christ’s Steadfastness In Our Trials

Justin Mino   -  

How do you feel when you experience trials of many kinds? Apostle James calls us to count it all joy. But if we are really honest with ourselves, we see trials as an overbearing burden that leads us to frustration, loneliness, and even despair. Personally when I go through trials, I tend to see more of my sins and doubt God’s love for me which makes my heart grow cold towards Him. I feel that I am that double-minded man that Apostle James speaks about who should expect to receive nothing from the Lord or even worse, just curse Him and die. In our trials, we may be prone to see our earthly situations and look inwardly for strength but only to find more weakness and despair.

In the book of James, he states that in order for us to receive the crown of life we must persevere and remain steadfast under our trials until the end. “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”, as James 1:12 says. Not only are we supposed to remain steadfast under our trials, but also James pierces into our hearts by revealing to us the perfection of God’s law. He continues in James 2:10, “for whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” James wants to remind us that we are all guilty of falling short of what the law requires of us and that we even increase in our guilt as we sin day after day. How then can we who are double-minded, impatient, and faithless ever receive this crown of life? How can we even endure the trials that we face? We are helpless and powerless to fulfill the perfect standard of the law and under the overwhelming jaws of death. In and of ourselves our sin and misery will lead us straight to hell without any way of escape.

And so, we need a substitute. We need another that can perfectly obey every jot and tittle of God’s law. We need one that can remain steadfast in the hardest trials of life, never giving into sin, never double-minded and always obeying the will of God. And surely, that one has come. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He is God’s only begotten Son with whom He is well pleased with. James is showing us that Christ alone is that blessed man who remained steadfast under trial. Christ alone endured to the end, even to the point of death on a cross. Christ alone is the one worthy to receive the crown of life! God the Father was pleased to bestow upon Jesus the crown of life and Jesus generously gives this crown to those who look to Him for salvation.

Brothers & sisters, this means that in your union with Christ, He generously gives you His steadfastness in your hardest trials by His Spirit living within you. He graciously and freely gives you the crown of life that He had earned. You do not have to earn it by your own merit or by your own striving anymore. Simply look to Jesus, the one who endured under such hostility from sinners in your place. Jesus earned His inheritance and has entered into never-ending glory and just as He entered into glory, so will you. “For it was fitting that He, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering” as Hebrews 2:10 states. Jesus didn’t obey and enter into glory just for Himself but rather it was for you specifically! Jesus is bringing many sons, His church, to glory! Through the many trials you face in this life, Jesus is bringing you faithfully through and making you more steadfast as you look more away from this world and fix your eyes more upon Jesus’s steadfast love for you.

Therefore in your trials be patient and steadfast, for you have in your possession the crown of life and Jesus’ merit secures your endurance to the very end! In your trials do not look to your sins, your weakness, or your failings, but look to Jesus the author and finisher of your faith who was made perfect through His life of suffering. In like manner, God is perfecting you through suffering. You may ask in your trials, “Why is God doing this to me?” It is because He loves you as His own child and through your suffering, He will bring you safely into glory as you learn to rest on Him alone and see with more clarity the abundance of mercy and unfailing love He has for you.

So when we see someone who is suffering, let’s be gentle with them and not think of ourselves more highly than them. In wisdom, let’s point them to the steadfastness of Christ on their behalf and the glory that awaits them, all by His grace alone. And for you who are going through a trial right now that is just overbearing and heavy, I gently say, “Rest in Jesus.” This blessed man not only loves you so much that He shed His own blood so that He may never lose you, but He also felt the storms of human pain, felt temptation’s whelming seas, felt the tears of sorrow’s rain, all this and more He felt for you. Because He knows your every strife and is acquainted with your grief, you can’t be shaken in this life for the Friend of Sinners walks with you.