When We’ve Handled Troubles Correctly

James 1:12 offers two specific promises for those who have handled troubles as they should—one for now, the other for when we stand before our Lord to receive our eternal rewards.

First, right now, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation”. There’s our word again—endure. Not only does God grant us the strength to endure, but He also rewards us for that endurance. What grace! Today, right now, we can be blessed with a sense of inner peace even in the midst of troubles that don’t seem to quit. When hardships multiply, grace abounds. When our attempts to fix our problems fail, grace keeps us standing. When we handle trials God’s way rather than through our own efforts, we receive a sense of contentment, satisfaction, patience, and even deep joy. We realize God is nurturing our character with the long view in mind.

Then, afterward, we “will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). What a promise! James calls us to lift our eyes from our present troubles and to look beyond the horizon, beyond the return of Christ, when we will stand before our Lord and Savior— not to receive condemnation and castigation, but commendation and compensation.

Scripture uses the image of crowns to describe the future rewards of commendation for those who have labored for Christ. It mentions five specifically:

  • A crown that will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:25, NIV)
  • The crown of exultation (1 Thessalonians 2:19, NASB)
  • The crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8)
  • The crown of life (James 1:12)
  • The crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4)

Together these paint a powerful picture of a magnificent eternal destiny—physical tokens of those longed-for words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). Handling troubles correctly is so significant that James mentions a specific crown of reward for it.

What a great word of hope for us all! If we learn to handle life’s trials correctly, we’ll experience God’s blessings now—and receive God’s rewards in eternity.

Devotional content adapted from Clinging to Hope by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2022. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. 

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