Crown of Death or Crown of Life?








Recap:  This  study the last few weeks in James has been a blessing to me and I hope to you also. As we have studied verse by verse we learned that Israel was at the time of this writing suffering from the dispersion. They were forced from their work, from their families and many were cowering in loneliness in their homes. As I read this I thought of our own 2020 dispersion. Put out of our work places, schools and churches and so many just fearfully waiting at home. James told those under these circumstances and all of us by the inspiration of this letter that during trying times the first thing to do is COUNT IT ALL JOY. That is to be our attitude and characteristic during trials. Hard to do? Yes, but we must. We also during this times are to LEARN and be KNOWING some important things. This is a test of our faith. It is to work on us, perfect us, grow us and make us more mature in our Christian faith. Then last week we saw that if we LACK WISDOM we are to ASK of GOD. He gives the wisdom, He gives it liberally, He does not reproach us as He gives but we must ASK IN FAITH. We are not to ask doubting or with a double mind.  Those studies brought us through James 1:1-9 and today we want to look again to our text and find some more amazing truth in verses 10-13. Let’s read these verses now.

Rich Equal To Poor.  Like the pandemic we are presently suffering in our world, those of the first century discovered during their suffering everyone was on an equal basis. The rich were not better than the poor. Those in the fine mansions were just as susceptible to the virus, sickness and death as those living in poor housing. All classes of people lost their jobs. All classes of people experienced the fear and lack of necessities of life.

RESPECTER OF PERSONS:  Those rich who were relying on their stocks saw the market plummet. “The rich, in that he is made low:” Trials make us all even” God is no respecter of persons. Many were made low by their trials. The best is to be RICH in FAITH. And to have a high standing before God by grace. Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 1:4

We have seen that the MEGA CHURCHES with the great gathering congregations had to close along with the small country churches that had few gathering. All closed. They were made equal. But trials can brighten our suffering by a greater dependence on God.

RECEIVE A CROWN:  So how does all this turn out? As we suffer, as we are tried, as we endure, as we learn how can this be counted as a blessing? “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.”

The multitudes have been made fearful during this pandemic. I have tended to call it a pandemonium which means: “wild uproar or unrestrained disorder; tumult or chaos. a place or scene of riotous uproar or utter chaos” I believe much of this “pandemonium” is the result of the media and the focus of so many on data that has been far from correct and severely disorganized and ultimately unverifiable. The result: masses in confusion and fear. Will we catch the Corona, which translated means Crown and if we catch it will we die? So the multitudes have fearfully cowered in their homes waiting to see what happens to them about the Crown of death – corona virus. We do not minimize not even one death. One is too many. But 150,000 die every day of one cause or the other. Many more die each day from other sicknesses and causes. So what should be our lesson in this? Endure this trial with joy, growth, wisdom and faith and you will be blessed with the Crown of Life. What a promise! Friend, God loves you! Even if you or I should DIE from this virus, or any other sickness or cause – if we have endured (James 5:11) our trials and temptations with joy and happiness we have PASSED and receive the Crown of life. The crown was the victor’s crown of flowers they received when they won the race. We are all rushing along. Running the race. How is it going for you? Are you better because of the trials, the suffering? Are you bitter? Fearful of death? Facing an unknown future?

Friend, God loves you. He wants you to receive the crown of life, not of death. Will you trust Him? He knows the beginning from the end. He will save you. Call upon Him now. Place your case, your life, your eternity in His Hands. If you will do that, you too can finish life’s race victorious and receive a Crown of Life.

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