Today’s verse is a ‘rest of the story’ to James 1:2-4 which talk about trials making you strong. Today's verse covers another caveat of trials. James 1:12 says:
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
This short verse is about endurance. The trials are coming, you are under pressure; do you snap or do you have faith in God?
Perseverance through trials makes us strong as I stated previously, but in the case of this verse, He is looking for your commitment to follow Christ to the bitter end. Here in America in 2007, we generally have taken the soft, comfortable ride choosing to follow our pleasant desires instead of God; a sort of modern day mysticism. Preachers of the word have told us that God is seeking to fulfill our very needs. But I have news for you: it is not about you, it is about God and the advancement of His kingdom! Will He grant you comforts? Perhaps…I don’t know what is in store for you, but history paints a picture of a lot of people giving their all, lives included, for Christ. I recommend that every person have a read through Foxes Book of the Martyrs for detail about what kind of endurance He is asking for. Once you have been tested, you will most likely be tested again, and again, and again. To those who preserver in the faith, holding fast to Christ and Christ alone, those people will be given eternal life.
Now, I am not teaching a works based system. The Faith to hold fast to Christ only arises from the free gift of Grace. When you have that Grace, you will love Christ with so much passion that you will naturally follow through with steadfast faith.