"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" (James 1:12, KJV).
In Christian art, the crown is usually pictured entwined with the cross. This suggests that endurance of trial leads to victory, as the above verse indicates.
Temptation often comes at our weakest - rather than our strongest - moments. When we have reached the limit of our love and our patience, for example, we are tempted to be unlike Christ in one way or another. Remember, Jesus' temptation began after forty days of fasting.
People usually are impressed - favorably or unfavorably - when they see how we act under pressure. It is possible for one weak act to spoil a whole lifetime of witness.
The beatitude, or blessing, in Matthew 5:10; says, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (KJV). The crown of life is promised to those who successfully stand up under the testing of their faith. The Christian life is a spiritual conflict from the moment of birth until we go to be with the Lord. The flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. There is absolutely no hope for victory until one discovers the availability of the supernatural resources of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
A young student who came to me for counsel said, "I have given up. I can't live the Christian life. There is no hope for me."
"Good," I replied. "At last you have recognized that you cannot live the Christian life. Now there is hope for you, for the Christian life is a supernatural life and the only one who can live it is Jesus Christ Himself."
Surrender your life totally, completely to Him and recognize moment by moment, day by day, that the Holy Spirit is the only one who will enable you to endure temptation. By faith you must draw upon His supernatural resources to live a supernatural life. Only then will you be victorious and fruitful for the glory of God.
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: Today and every day I will remember to draw upon the supernatural resources of the indwelling Christ who will enable me to be victorious over temptation and to live the supernatural life as a testimony to His faithfulness.
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