“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.” -James 1:12
James—the brother of Jesus, was one of the chief leaders in the church at Jerusalem. James, along with Peter and Paul, were eager to spread the gospel message to both Jews and Gentiles throughout the region and to the ends of the earth.
These apostles devoted their lives to the great commission and were prime examples of leaders who remained steadfast under trial. Despite being imprisoned, stoned, and martyred for their faith, they unashamedly shared the supremacy of Christ to a hostile idolatrous world.
In most of North America today—there is freedom of expression. Our forefathers imprinted the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and property in the Constitution of the United States. They set in stone this humanistic right so that citizens created in the image of God would have the privilege of pursuing Jesus without fear of prosecution or retaliation.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for many other countries around the world. They suffer the same type of persecution that the apostles did 2,000 years ago.
Nevertheless, we still have great persecution and trial in the spiritual world. For Paul makes this clear in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
As believers, we must commit to repenting of sin that so easily entangles us. The Lord has called us to a life of integrity, faith, and obedience. Therefore, when temptation draws near, remember God’s faithfulness; for He will provide a way out so we can endure through any fiery trial from the devil (1 Cor. 10:13).
In Ephesians 6:14, the apostle Paul uses the illustration of armor to express the fact that spiritual warfare is real. He said: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace.”
When we read our Bibles, pray, trust in God’s grace, and become peacemakers in this world—the Lord will help us to remain steadfast under any trial. Let’s pray and ask God to help us to fulfill our obligation to remain steadfast under trials.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for providing us with sufficient armor so we can withstand the fiery darts from the devil. As we engage in spiritual warfare, remind us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood—but principalities and spiritual darkness in the unseen world. Help us to be light in the midst of this darkness. Convict, encourage, and strengthen our faith so we will not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind in Christ. We give you all the praise, glory, and honor. In Jesus name, Amen.
Devotional Written by Chad A. Damitz