Let's Stay in the Fight

Bible Book: James  1 : 12
Subject: Temptation; Dedication; Commitment; Endurance
Series: James - Wagers

Where sailors receive their basic training class for Underwater Demolition School, and are turned into SEALS, Sea-Air-Land-Commandos, is called Hell Week. The sailors go through sleepless days and nights, physical testing, these men are transformed into some of the toughest human beings in the world.The effort to change these average men into commandos starts at the Coronado Naval Base in San Diego, California. The class starts in October with a 300 yard swim, and it becomes increasingly difficult as it builds to the ultimate challenge known as Hell Week.As the final period of tortuous training begins on Sunday night, lights flash on as the recruits are awakened by an instructor. Next to one ear, a machine gun with blanks is fired. A jet from a garden hose is digging into the other ear.

On Monday: the six man teams are ordered to run races with a 250 lb. Rubber assault boat on their heads.

On Tuesday: with less than an hours sleep the night before, they row these boats to Mexican waters and back, a trip of eighteen miles.

On Wednesday: they continue the race with boats bouncing on their heads. That evening they run again. At midnight, they're ordered to lie naked in the cold pounding surf. Every ten minutes, during the night they are made to stand up and get the full effect of the wind.

By Thursday: everyone is hallucinating

By Friday afternoon: the week is over, and the new SEALS are lined up to be checked by a doctor.

The average basic training class is seventy-five men, and only thirty-eight, 51 percent, go on to graduate and become Sea-Air-Land-Commandos.

When Christians face their basic training in trials, there are also many casualties. But, James teaches us in verse 12 that we can be VICTORS instead of VICTIMS, if we will mentally and spiritually prepare ourselves. The he uses to describe these times, is the word "temptation."

TEMPTATION(lit.): "open, or high seas, deep water"

PICTURE: Of a person being in the open sea far away from land, and rescue

Thus, James informs us that there are times when it seems that the Christian feels as if he is drowning in problems, struggles, and trials. However, James shows us the result of the man who "STAYS IN THE FIGHT," and we see the:


James shows us the firmness, settleness, or the establishment of this man drowning in life's problems. Notice:

A. HIS POSITION "Blessed is the man…"

BLESSED-gr. 'makarios'(lit.): "possessing the favor of God"


This is a man who is right where God wants him to be. It may be in the trial of his life; however, God is well aware of his position.

In verse 2, James informed us that even though we encounter unenjoyable circumstances, we can still have joy through it. He now reinforces that by showing that the position of the man facing the trial is one who is obtaining favor with God.

SAME WORD AS 'blessed' in Matt. 5:10—"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This man may not have an enjoyable CONDITION; but, he can have an enjoyable POSITION, he is in a blessed position. But, we also see:

B. HIS PERSEVERANCE "..endureth temptation…"

ENDURETH(lit.): to sustain, to bear up under, to persevere

PICTURE: Not of one who passively endures, but one who bears

SAME WORD USED TO DESCRIBE 'charity' in I Corinthians 13:7 - "Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

Thus, he's encouraging those who are facing, or going to face trials, not to just passively endure these times of testing but to develop staying power to get through these trials. Perhaps you're in a trial, right now, you might ask, "What should I do?" James' advice is to "Stand up, and hold your ground!" The "blessed" man's position is because he has learned to persevere these times of testings.

ILLUSTRATION: Several years ago, a seventy-five mile an hour hurricane hit the thirty-five million dollar Golden Gate Bridge bending it twelve and a half feet out of line. When the New York engineer, who constructed it, was asked of it's status, he said, "It is undamaged. It was built to bend eighteen feet before it will break!"

So it is with God's people, we may bend, we may buckle, but through these times of testing, He is wanting to develop staying power for the journey. This man, who learns this, is an ESTABLISHED MAN.


James now seeks to encourage this man by showing him the:

A. REALITY OF THE TRIAL "..when he is tried…"

He again shows that these trials are a reality. In verse 2, he explained it as "when ye fall", not if; but, when. Now, he prepares us again, by letting us know that these trials are going to happen. But, the blessed truth is in the words:

WHEN HE IS TRIED(lit.): "when he has been proved, tried"

Thus, he informs us that these trials aren't going to last forever. They'll soon be over, and we're going to come out. "It doesn't matter what you're going through, all that matters is that you're going through!"

The reality of the trial, leads to a:

B. REWARD FROM THE TRIAL "..a crown of life.."

CROWN(lit.): "the prize, or reward"

IDEA: Of the prize conferred on victors in public games

ILLUSTRATION: In the Ancient Greek games a wreath was placed on the victors head as a sign of victory, and truimph.

NOTE: Paul referred to this "crown" when he wrote to Timothy from his prison cell in Rome, in II Timothy 4:7-8. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day."

Peter called it the "crown of glory that fadeth not away." (c.f I Peter 5:4)

John, the Beloved, informed us, "...that ye may be tried…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (c.f. Revelation 2:10)

We are saved by trusting in Christ, but we will be crowned one day, because of the trials, tribulation, and testings we've endured. God has a special reward for that man who endures, and perseveres through these trials. One day it will be worth it all, when we see Jesus, and we cast these crowns at his feet. Paul said of it in Romans 8:18—"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

c.f. II Corinthians 4:17 - "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

James seeks to encourage us, by exhorting us to "Hold On My Child, Joy Comes in the Morning!"

ILLUSTRATION: Andrew Murray was suffering from a painful back, an injury he had suffered many years was before. One morning while eating breakfast in his room, he was told of a woman who was in great trouble, and they asked if he had any advice for her. He wrote:

"In time of trouble, say, "First, he brought me here. It is by his will I am here, and in that I will rest. Next, say, he will keep me here in his love, and give me his grace while I'm here. Then, say, He will make this trial a blessing, teaching me lessons I need to know, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last, say, in his good time, he will bring me out again, how and when, he knows. Therefore, with courage say, I am here, by God's appointment, in his keeping, under his training, and for his time."

May those facing the deep sea of trials, see the ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS MAN, his position, and his perseverance. May you see the ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THIS MAN, realize the reality of these trials, and anticipate the reward from these trials; and, may the Holy Ghost help us to "STAY IN THE FIGHT!"