“Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons, loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. James 1:12 MSG
I love rewards! I actually love rewarding myself…like when I have finished a project, or have hit a goal that I have been working towards. I’m not an “absolute live-by-a-list” person, but I have been known to make a list and add an item just to check it off.
Have you done that? I know some of you have. You know why we do that? To reward ourselves. To look at what we accomplished, that was NOT on the list, and give ourselves an “atta girl” or “atta boy”.
Well, James tells us that God rewards! He is Thee Rewarder! And He wants to reward you with life…and more life!! Real living! Abundant life! Life to the full! Who wouldn’t want that? More life from the Creator and Sustainer of life.
Put your mind around that truth. God. God Almighty. Maker of heaven and earth. Wants to reward me. Wants to reward you.
The reward comes after you meet a testing-challenge head-on and manage to stick it out! Not because you can “stick it out” due to being stronger and wiser than your circumstances. No, James tells us, the reason we make it through is that “we are loyally in love with God” and He is stronger and wiser than what is happening in my life. (Actually, He has allowed it for my good and His glory.)
Notice, you aren’t just in love with God. You are LOYALLY in love with God. That means you will not be moved no matter what comes along…the good, the bad, the happy, the sad…as you know that you know that all things work for the good to those who love God. (From Romans 8)
Notice, that “loyal”, IS the operative word! It means “to be faithful to one’s oath, commitments, vows, allegiance to one’s sovereign”. So when you don’t feel like facing the challenges of life head-on, you do anyway, as you remember The God to whom you are loyal.
I don’t know about you, but I desire the reward of abundant life. Not just a hum-drum, shuffling-my-feet kind of life. But more of what’s important in life. RELATIONSHIP with God…and more of it. More of Him. Less of me.