S12P4 – The testing of faith: the proof of our love

James 1:12
Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

One might read this verse and focus on the reward. Why wouldn’t one do so when the reward is the crown of life? It is an imperishable crown that does not wither [1 Corin. 9:25]. The way we reach this reward is to be steadfast under trial, to persevere when tempted. When we endure without falling, we are deemed tested and approved. But we cannot ignore the core motivation for doing so, or what should be our core motivation.

The end of this verse tells us that the crown of life is what God reserves for those who love him. This implies that those who love God are the ones who persevere through trial. Our perseverance is evidence of our love. We do not endure for the crown, but we endure out of love for the Father. After we have done so, He rewards us. Remember, this verse tells us that God’s promise of a crown is dependent on one thing, which is love for him. That is our motivator to persevere, our motivator to be obedient and faithful.

Our perseverance through trial is proof of our love for God. If we desire to please him, we will walk in obedience to the Father. We do so not for what He gives in return but because He deserves our praise and our faithfulness. Father, we thank you for the great reward that you have waiting for those who love You, and we ask that you keep our focus on the proper motivation for our obedience, which is a pure love for You.