Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
James continues his discussion on enduring trials. The word translated as temptations actually means trials or testing. These trials and testing are brought about or caused by the fallen world we live in, which brings disease, chaos and death. In addition, they are caused by the spiritual warfare that is waged around us and by sin. Including our sin and the sin of others. These are real trials, they can be illness because of the fallen nature of our world, as well as attacks meant to hurt us, hurt those around us and entice our sin nature into rebellion against God. And that’s really what sin is. It’s pure rebellion against God. And James tells us the person who endures through these trials is truly blessed. Now we must remember from earlier in the chapter how we endure through trials. The process of enduring is not something we ourselves have the power to do on our own. We endure by remaining steadfast through the trial, trusting in the Lord and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We endure by relying on God’s strength which is given to us by the Holy Spirit, through prayer and the study of God’s word, because we made the conscious decision to trust in Jesus. Dear child of God, this is the heart of the issue, that we by faith make the conscious decision to trust and rely on God. Therefore, being steadfast means while we are in the trial, we deliberately place our trust in God alone. And if we remain steadfast we build up endurance within ourselves and grow spiritually. In addition, as we come out of the trial, we will be approved by God, because we trusted in the Lord. In other words, we will have passed the testing, which the Lord allowed to touch our lives and proven our faith to be true. And by doing so, we not only strengthen our faith, but thereby prove the sincerity of our faith to ourselves and others who may be watching us go through the trial at hand. Moreover, with God’s help and guidance, we have better prepared ourselves for further service in the kingdom of God. And when we have proven our faith is real we shall inherit our reward which is the “Crown of life,” or better translated the crown which is eternal life. Life, which is given freely to us, because of our faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.