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.
-James 1:12

​So does this mean God helps those who help themselves? Do we have to pass a test to see if we have “the right stuff?” Dr. Snyder says if this is the way we understand this passage, it’s bad news. However, if we understand it in a different light, it’s good news. He explains further:

“So what’s the answer? The good news! And the good news in this passage becomes clear by a wider reading ​of all the New Testament. When we get the big picture, all kinds of things open up to us. See it this way: The ‘test’ that God designs for us believers is not primarily to see if we already have the right stuff in us, but to put the right stuff in us. The purpose of the test is to equip us for the journey and to supply what we don’t already have.

So the ‘crown’ (reward) is for those God loves enough to discipline, who are called out of their self-reliance and self-sufficiency to the sufficiency of God. He first puts in us the desire to pass the test, then enables and empowers us to pass it, then rewards us for passing it. Isn’t that the best news you’ve ever heard?”

TODAY’S PRAYER: Do you get discouraged by your failure to live up to your personal expectations of how good you should be? Ask the Holy Spirit to write upon your heart with indelible ink the message that it’s not you but he who can make it happen.