James 1:12 (Lent Readings)
KJV below (link to NIV here)
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Short passage today. It’s interesting to note the somewhat subtle logic here. The one who endures the trial is blessed. He is blessed because he will receive a crown of life when it is over. Why does he receive this? Because Jesus promised it to those who loved him. So the one who endures must, therefore, be one who loves Jesus. Also anyone who loves Jesus has the same promise. Therefore, if you love Jesus (really, genuinely love him) you can endure the trial because it ends (always) in the crown of life given to those who love him. Thus, rather than seeing temptation/trial/problems as something to be avoided, they are a blessing because they put you one step closer to the crown of life you are promised.
What do you think is the difference between loving God and just liking God, or being interested in God? How can loving God help you overcome and reframe the difficulty of life?