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James 1:12: Blessed Is The Man Who Remains Steadfast Under Trial

James 1:12
[12] 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. (ESV)

“John Piper says that sin (lust for example) "gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be more happy if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier."
- Erwin Lutzer, Putting Your Past Behind You, Here's Life, 1990, p.54.

The lie of satan is that I will be more happy if I follow his temptation and sin. In James 1:12, we see the truth that counters that lie. True happiness, blessedness, satisfaction comes from victory, not from failing. Those who remain steadfast in the midst of trials and temptations are BLESSED! I agree with John Piper that Satan lies to us and tries to convince us that we will be happy if we sin.

This is compounded by a society that places the highest goal of life being “happiness.” I remember a song by Sheryl Crow, “If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.” That sums up our culture. Pursuit of fleshly pleasure. Hedonism. If it makes you happy, it must be ok.  Pursue happiness. I would love to say that in the Church of Jesus Christ, we don’t fall for that worldly mindset, but I would be lying.

The reality is, you will only find happiness when you seek righteousness. If you seek happiness, you will never find righteousness. We are called to a life that can be very painful. Suffering, loss, sickness, imprisonment, even death are possibilities for the believer. But, as we pursue righteousness, we can be happy and blessed in the midst of all these trials.

What are you seeking? Righteousness or happiness? Seek Righteousness and you will find both. Seek Happiness and you will find neither.


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