A Victorious Crown of Life

“If your faith remains strong, even while surrounded by life’s difficulties, you will continue to experience the untold blessings of God! True happiness comes as you pass the test with faith, and receive the victorious crown of life promised to every lover of God!”  (James 1:12, TPT)

“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved (pass the test), he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  (NAS)

We live under the tension of two conflicting realities.  And often the life of trust is raised up from the hotbed of trial where earthly realities are purified into heavenly realities. The law of love keeps us in that crucible until Papa’s perfect work is accomplished.

David says in Psalm 27, “Yet I totally trust you to rescue me one more time, so I can see once again how good you are while I’m still alive! Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!”

Suffering? Come on!

Philippians chapter one has an inescapable point its making. Verse 30 says, “For you have been called by him to endure the conflict in the same way I have endured it—for you know I’m not giving up.”

As a former “quitter,” I used to give up when opportunities I had been given demanded more than I had to give them. Several key opportunities were lost in the early days of my walk with the Lord for the lack of tenacity. Those points of suffering were designed to increase capacity. Oh, I could describe occasions of tears and screaming, “It’s too hard.” But I know I’m the only one who’s ever been there. Right?

Romans 5:3-4 speaks of the Greek work thlipsis. Trouble, distress, oppression, tribulation; they’re strong words for tough situations. But these things produce something that nothing else can; perseverance, proven character and hope.

Winston Churchill encouraged me on many circumstance. Never give up, never give up, never give up. Maybe those words will help someone today.

Intense Grace

“Since we are now joined to Christ, we have been given the treasures of redemption by his blood—the total cancellation of our sins—all because of the cascading riches of his grace. This superabundant grace is already working in us all forms of wisdom and practical understanding.” (Eph. 1:7-8, TPT)

Grace is not passive. It’s intensely active; causative. Perriseuo (superabundant) means excessive to a very great degree, to the point of causing increase. It’s part of the treasure of our redemption which forms in us wisdom and practical understanding. Whatever we face, whatever we need, wherever we go, what breakthroughs we require, these things are preceded by the cascading riches of Papa’s grace.