Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Life is like walking on a long and winding road with many unexpected obstacles and surprises along the way. The longer you walk the greater the experiences from which you fill your basket full of memories. Sometimes you stumble and other times you fall flat on your face, but you know you must keep moving forward toward your ultimate destination.
There are times of testing and trials and days of incredibly wonderful blessings. Eventually the road ends at a final destination. For you, a Christian, the final resting place is that eternal home that Jesus has prepared in heaven where you “will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
The Little River Band had a hit song in 1977 called Reminiscing. The lyrics look forward in time when life’s journey is near its end, when a couple recalls their youthful days together. Surely you have gathered with family and old friends and talked about past shared experiences.
The kitchen table at my grandmother’s house was my family’s favorite gathering place for reminiscing. Those special times of looking back always produced laughs and tears as we looked back on where we had been and what we had gone through.
I woke up this morning reminiscing. My thoughts had little to do with the events and experiences through which I have passed but rather the one who has been with me through everything. As I thought about the road of life, I realized that I have not been walking alone. And then I read this morning’s focus scripture: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
For as long as I can remember Jesus has been walking with me. He has always been by my side and as in the famous “Footprints in the Sand” illustration, there have been times when He has carried me. Through every trial and test, Jesus has been there directing my path and rescuing me from the jaws of danger and adversity.
More times than I can remember He has filled my basket of blessings to overflowing, as He did when He fed the 5,000. I have persevered “under trial” and “stood the test” because the Lord has helped me. He is not just waiting at that eternal destination for my arrival. My Savior has been with me all along assuring the successful completion of my journey.
The good news is that the Lord doesn’t leave you to persevere under trial on your own. Had that been the case I would have fallen from the faith a long time ago. He is your strength, your shield, your fortress (Ps 18:2), and your constant help in times of trouble. (Ps 46:1) Jesus promised to never leave you nor forsake you. (Heb 13:5)
Undoubtedly, you have seen the TV commercial in which an elderly lady cries, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Sometime we can identify with her feelings of helplessness. But because Christ is with you…you can “get up” to walk another day…and another. You can persevere and you can stand up to the test, not on your own, but through His divine enablement.
Today I encourage you to spend a little time reminiscing about your life with Christ. “Lord, do you remember when?” Look back over the experiences of your life and look at those times when you fell and you didn’t think you could get back up. It won’t take long to realize that you are still standing because the Lord has been with you for every step of your life’s journey.
Jesus is your ever present companion who always knows the right way to go and the right way to handle the most difficult situation.
With each trial and each test you are one step closer to receiving the “crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” The fact that the crown awaits you is proof that you are going to make it. Victory awaits you. Hang in there, my friend. You are almost there. Heaven is just a few more steps away.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Eyewitness News Reports Confirm the Reality of Christ
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.