Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial. James 1:12
Approximately ten Lego pieces are sold for every person on earth each year—more than seventy-five billion of the little plastic bricks. But if it wasn’t for the perseverance of Danish toymaker Ole Kirk Christiansen, there wouldn’t be any Legos to snap together.
Christiansen toiled away in Billund, Denmark, for decades before creating Leg Godt, which means “play well.” His workshop was destroyed by fire twice. He endured bankruptcy and a world war that caused a shortage of materials. Finally, in the late 1940s, he landed on the idea for self-locking plastic bricks. By the time Ole Kirk died in 1958, Legos was on the verge of becoming a household word.
Persevering in the challenges of work and life can be difficult. That’s also true in our spiritual life as we strive to grow to be more like Jesus. Trouble hits us, and we need God’s strength to persevere. James wrote: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial” (James 1:12). Sometimes the trials we face are setbacks in relationships or finances or health. Sometimes they’re temptations that slow us down in our goal of honoring God with our lives.
But God promises wisdom for such times (v. 5), and He asks us to trust Him as He provides what we need (v. 6). Through it all, when we allow Him to help us persevere in honoring Him with our lives, we find true blessing (v. 12).
What trials are you facing these days? How can God help you live wholeheartedly for Him?
Dear Jesus, I know about perseverance from studying Your life. May Your example be my guide when trials come my way.
For further study, read How to Read the Bible: The General Epistles.
James’ letter (most likely written by James the half-brother of Jesus) doesn’t address a specific church but “the twelve tribes scattered among the nations” (v. 1)—suggesting its primary audience was Jewish believers in Jesus, perhaps those who left Judea fleeing persecution (see Acts 11:19).
James often calls believers in Jesus “brothers and sisters” (Greek adelphoi) in his letter (1:2, 16, 19; 2:1, 5, 14, 3:10, 12; 4:11; 5:7, 9, 10, 12, 19). Some scholars suggest that James’ frequent use of this term would connect well to a Jewish audience who saw fellow Jews as brothers and sisters in their shared faith and heritage (adelphoi refers to fellow Jews in Acts 2:29 and Romans 9:3). In early Christianity, this language expanded to include all believers, including gentiles (see Romans 12:10).