Blessed is the man that endureth temptation - This is a mere Jewish sentiment, and on it the Jews speak some excellent things. In Shemoth Rabba, sec. 31, fol. 129, and in Rab. Tanchum, fol. 29, 4, we have these words: "Blessed is the man בנסיונו עומד שהיה shehayah omed benisyono who stands in his temptation; for there is no man whom God does not try. He tries the rich, to see if they will open their hands to the poor. He tries the poor, to see if they will receive affliction and not murmur. If, therefore, the rich stand in his temptation, and give alms to the poor, he shall enjoy his riches in this world, and his horn shall be exalted in the world to come, and the holy blessed God shall deliver him from the punishment of hell. If the poor stand in his temptation, and do not repine, (kick back), he shall have double in the world to come." This is exactly the sentiment of James. Every man is in this life in a state of temptation or trial, and in this state he is a candidate for another and a better world; he that stands in his trial shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. It is only love to God that can enable a man to endure the trials of life. Love feels no loads; all practicable things are possible to him who loveth.
There may be an allusion here to the contests in the Grecian games. He is crowned who conquers; and none else.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation - The apostle seems here to use the word “temptation” in the most general sense, as denoting anything that will try the reality of religion, whether affliction, or persecution, or a direct inducement to sin placed before the mind. The word temptation appears in this chapter to be used in two senses; and the question may arise, why the apostle so employs it. Compare James 1:2, James 1:13. But, in fact, the word “temptation” is in itself of so general a character as to cover the whole usage, and to justify the manner in which it is employed. It denotes anything that will try or test the reality of our religion; and it may be applied, therefore, either to afflictions or to direct solicitations to sin - the latter being the sense in which it is now commonly employed. In another respect, also, essentially the same idea enters into both the ways in which the word is employed.
Affliction, persecution, sickness, etc., may be regarded as, in a certain sense, temptations to sin; that is, the question comes before us whether we will adhere to the religion on account of which we are persecuted, or apostatize from it, and escape these sufferings; whether in sickness and losses we will be patient and submissive to that God who lays his hand upon us, or revolt and murmur. In each and every case, whether by affliction, or by direct allurements to do wrong, the question comes before the mind whether we have religion enough to keep us, or whether we will yield to murmuring, to rebellion, and to sin. In these respects, in a general sense, all forms of trial may be regarded as temptation. Yet in the following verse James 1:13 the apostle would guard this from abuse. So far as the form of trial involved an allurement or inducement to sin, he says that no man should regard it as from God. That cannot be his design. The trial is what he aims at, not the sin. In the verse before us he says, that whatever may be the form of the trial, a Christian should rejoice in it, for it will furnish an evidence that he is a child of God.
For when he is tried - In any way - if he bears the trial.
He shall receive the crown of life - See the notes at 2 Timothy 4:8. It is possible that James had that passage in his eye Compare the Introduction, 5.
Which the Lord hath promised - The sacred writers often speak of such a crown as promised, or as in reserve for the children of God. 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:11; Revelation 4:4.
Them that love him - A common expression to denote those who are truly pious, or who are his friends. It is sufficiently distinctive to characterize them, for the great mass of men do not love God. Compare Romans 1:30.
Their minds were given to God in this world; they served Him with their heart and intellect, and now He can put His name in their foreheads. “And there shall no night there; ... for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). They do not go in as those that beg a place there, for Christ says to them, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). He takes them as His children, saying, Enter ye into the joy of your Lord. The crown of immortality is placed on the brow of the overcomers. They take their crowns and cast them at the feet of Jesus, and touching their golden harps, they fill all heaven with rich music in songs of praise to the Lamb. Then “they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”30 TMK 364.5Read in context »
You will, I know, when convinced of the right way, act resolutely, not as a child, but according to your convictions and not according to your feelings. Give yourself to God without reserve, soul, body, and spirit. Go to work in the cause of God, doing good, and the Lord will bless you. Do not become self-centered. Think of someone's soul; think of the self-denying, self-sacrificing life of Jesus. Turn your attention away from yourself to Jesus and His life and His character.—Letter 57, 1888. TSB 57.1
Acceptance of the Facts—August 29, 1888. I cannot see what more can be done in this case, and I think that the only thing that you [Walter C] can do is to give up your wife. If she is thus determined not to live with you, both she and you would be most miserable to attempt it. And as she has fully and determinedly set her stakes, you can only shoulder your cross and show yourself a man.... TSB 57.2
I hope you will be a man. Lay aside this matter, go to your labor, do your duty irrespective of everyone else on the earth, self-forgetting, self-denying, self-sacrificing. In this will be your power. Jesus our Redeemer comes to men and says, I love you; I want to make you happy. He shows His hands and His feet and says, I have suffered for your sake; I bear the shafts that are aimed at you; I will carry your burdens; I will shelter you. Trust in My surety and you shall have the great reward of life forevermore. TSB 57.3Read in context »
Study the life that Christ lived while on this earth. He did not disregard the simplest, smallest duty that fell to Him. Perfection marked all that He did. Look to Jesus for help, and this will enable you to perform your daily duties with the grace and dignity of one who is seeking for a crown of immortal life.... TSB 52.1Read in context »