“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
Explanation and Commentary of James 1:12
Trial is part of life in this fallen world. The only Christians who don’t face trial, even great trials, are those who suddenly die young. It is an evil doctrine that says “Because I am a Christian, I will not ever have to suffer.” That is not a doctrine from the Bible. Christ never said that. Paul never said that. None of the other thirty-nine authors that the Holy Spirit inspired to write Scripture ever said that. The only one who says that is satan and anyone he tricks into preaching his false doctrine of prosperity. It is an evil lie.
The truth is that even Christ had to suffer. Jesus Christ was born perfect and never sinned, but to be prepared for what God had sent him to do, he had to suffer. Luke 24:26 says it was “necessary.” Hebrews 2:18 says that Christ “suffered” when he was tempted. Hebrews 5:8-9 says, “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”
If Christ suffered, why would we not, and for the same reason? Peter said that we are in the furnace of affliction to be purified (1 Pt 1:7). God is our good Father, and a good Father disciplines his children whom he loves (Pr 3:12). If you are not facing trial, you will. Accept it and walk through it faithfully, trusting God and let it do its good work in you.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of James 1:12
#1 “Blessed is the one…”
Many Christian’s default mode is to see their trial as a curse. Nothing could be further from the truth. Their curse has fallen on Christ, and he has paid the price of it on the cross. There is no more curse. On the contrary; trial for the Christian, especially when not brought about by our own actions, is a blessing from God with great purpose.
#2 “…who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test,”
Trial itself will not offer us anything but misery and a deposit of hell (1 Pt 4:17) if we do not persevere under it. If we melt under trial, then we are like the dross that the trial is meant to cleanse from us. If we undergo fire, and there is nothing left, then there was nothing good to begin with. But if we stand up under the trial and allow God to burn off what is not of him, we will be purified by it.
#3 “that person will receive the crown of life…”
“The crown of life” seems most likely to be another term for abundant life, eternal life, and heavenly reward. Some make distinctions between different crowns listed in Scripture, but it seems to generally mean eternal reward.
#4 “…that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Mt 22:37). He said that the whole law is summed up in this one command, especially combined with loving your neighbor as yourself. Indeed, can any sin be committed without first breaking this Great Commandment? For those who love the Lord, there is the promise of the “crown of life.”
Bible Study on James 1:12
Expert Overview of James
Biblical Translations of James 1:12
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
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.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.