Endurance, Temptation, Approval & Crowns – What’s That?!!

Endurance - SHadowed (vlad-tchompalov-1316754-unsplash)

So it was a Saturday morning, it was the twins’ 13th birthday celebrations and I was feeling… “STOP!!! Stop right there Brother Don. You know better than that. Throughout your years as a Christian (19 and counting), you have told hundereds of fellow pilgrims of Christ that ‘feelings don’t determine your mood!’” –  my spirit shouted out.

So let me try this as a starting point.

12 Blessed is the man (or woman) who endures temptation; for when he (or she) has been approved, he (or she) will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 (paraphrased).

When thinking about the week that had passed and the issues that invariably accompanied it, I thought it was an opportune time for me to take a self evaluation of the new mindset/position I seemed to find myself in.

Clotheline - erik-witsoe-726290-unsplash (mirrored)I began to think about ‘temptation’ and its similarity in many ways to clothing. After all, temptation comes in all different sizes, styles and colours, just like clothing. Some are single pieces, others come in pairs, some even come with accessories… Some we love, some we hate; some are new, some we’ve had for so long that we wouldn’t know what life would be like without them and can be very reluctant to find out; some we have as keepsakes… Some we thought we had grown out of, only to find out that (surprise, surprise or is that despair, despair) they still fit – damn!!!

It’s interesting how at times, the only thing that seems to fit (at least in my case) are the very things that we least want to wear. However, because we have avoided doing what it would have taken to have had other options, we resign ourselves to putting on the same old thing. OK enough of the clothing analogies.

Sometimes we can go to great lengths, justifications and/or measures to avoid facing the strategies that we need to employ in order to overcome. In that avoidance, we can actually convince ourselves that we have “overcome”, “it’s no longer an issue” or that we’ve “got the victory” in certain areas, only to find that when we face the temptation again the feelings and emotions of old are back – sometimes with friends or family or in different variations that we have not previously encountered.

Life!!! You’ve got to love it, or at least try and laugh about some of the things it throws up.

Well, following a few experiences in the past week including family relationship challenges, I found myself in one of those ill fitting items of clothing and for good measure I also had a Matthew 5:38-42 thrown in:

Matthew 5 vs38-42 (shadowed)Admittedly, one of the temptation darts was dealt with better than the other, but it was as I meditated upon James 1:12 that it filled me with hope, faith and determination to keep pressing in and not allow Satan to win a victory in the areas at hand.

12 Blessed is the man (or woman) who endures temptation; for when he (or she) has been approved, he (or she) will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 (paraphrased).

James reminded me that there was a crown waiting for those who pressed in and that as we overcame temptations and trials we would be approved. Praise God!

A very Happy Easter to you all as we remember the sacrifce that Jesus made as he, endured the shame and pain of the cross, in order to redeem a sinner like me.

To Jesus alone be the glory – Amen!

God bless you all,

Brother Don Signature (2)

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (New Living Translation)

‘But test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.’

2 thoughts on “Endurance, Temptation, Approval & Crowns – What’s That?!!

  1. How true. As we go through the Easter weekend I was reminded that becoming a Christian is only the start. As I look back over 20 or so years I see the blessings of God and the presence of God, but I also see very clearly the sin that hinders and the giving in to temptation that must cause my God to weep as he waits to give me the abundant life promised. I have again been struck by the need to surrender this part of my life fully to God, not because he demands it but because he wants to give me the life that is best and full of blessings. I surrender to God out of love not duty and in doing so He pours out blessings. Saying no to a temptation that has gripped you all your life is not easy but God wants to set me free and I will fight with Him by my side to defeat it.

    Liked by 1 person

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