James repeated himself almost immediately in our reading today, so that made me perk up!
“Perseverance must finish its work…” (1:4)
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown life that God has promised to those who love him.” (1:12)
Perseverance is the operative word!
That is a theme that is repeated EVERYWHERE in the Bible!
Jesus said it first in Matthew, “But he who endures to the end will be saved.”(24:13)
All the way to the end…..not just through a trail….but all the way until God calls you home!
We also just read in Hebrews, “For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.” (3:14) and yesterday’s reading was, “and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
Have you ever thought the criminal on the cross had it kind’a easy? He didn’t have to persevere too long……he commits to Christ and that day his life here on earth ends and his eternity with Jesus begins.
Whereas, think about the child who makes a commitment to the Lord and then lives to 90? That person has a lifetime of trials and tribulations that tests his/ her faith, and that person needs to persevere in his/her faith till the end.
Looking back on both types of lives, they both seem hard. One lives a rough life without the peace of Jesus. The other lives a tough life of trials with the peace of Jesus. Out of the two lives, I would rather have the rough one with Jesus!
My prayer for you and for me is that while we go on in this journey of life here on earth, we persevere through every trial that may come our way, and in the end join others like that criminal on the cross and look at each other and rejoice together saying, “Yay!! We both made it!!”