“Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).
I have yet to meet anyone who enjoys testing or temptation and I personally do not like having to endure testing. Yeshua himself taught us to pray that Adonai would not lead us into temptation/hard testing (Matt. 6:13). Yet, his brother Ya’akov (James) says “Happy is the one who endures testing“. Some may use this to say that we should be joyful in our trials because it will make us stronger in the end. Yes, we should always encourage and offer aid to those who are facing various trials but don’t be deceived into thinking that you will always laugh your way through difficult times. When was the last time you laughed your way through a difficult period? It is not practical to think that people will be “happy” when going through hard testing.
Unlike the kind of training and testing we undergo to build our muscles, we are generally unwilling participants in many of the testing that come our way. They manifest in the form of persecution, spiritual warfare, and from simply existing in a fallen world. You may be or have been a victim of injustice or misunderstanding. But if you are reading this, you endure! In enduring you will strengthen your faith in God your deliverer and on the other side of testing you become equipped to fight your other battles and to help others in their struggles as well.
Your happiness is in the enduring because the rewards are on the other side of the test. This is why James said, “he who have stood the test will receive the crown of life“. Think of how joyful you feel when you draw from your experience to help others. Think of how you respond when you are able to avoid and overcome a situation because you drew on past experiences. We don’t know for certain the outcome of our testing but we do know that we serve a faithful God who “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“One of the elders asked me, “These people dressed in white robes — who are they, and where are they from?” “Sir,” I answered, “you know.” Then he told me, “These are the people who have come out of the Great Persecution. They have washed their robes and made them white with the blood of the Lamb. That is why they are before God’s throne.” (Revelation 7 :13-15)
There is great happiness and rejoicing when we overcome trials and testing. Encourage one another in your testing and and trust that God is faithful to deliver you. You may get bruised, battered, and soiled along the way but there is healing on the other side. There is both temporal and eternal rewards for enduring the test of faith in this fallen world. Yeshua told us the reward that awaits us; “Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me. In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me; so that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Keep this in mind, and keep your eyes on Yeshua as you face the various trials so that tomorrow you will rejoice in your reward!