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.

Are you the type of person that meets a challenge head-on or avoids it like the plague? What obstacles are you facing this week? Do you have a plan to face them?

A common illustration for facing life’s challenges is found in the behavior of cows and buffalo during a storm. Cows sense a storm coming from the west and they start to try to run toward the east. Unfortunately, cows aren’t very fast. So the storm catches up with them rather quickly. Without knowing any better, instead of outrunning the storm they actually run right along with the storm, thus maximizing the amount of pain and time and frustration they experience from the storm!

What buffalo do, on the other hand, is very unique in the animal kingdom. They are fearless. They turn and charge directly into the storm. By running at the storm, they run straight through it. This minimizes the amount of pain, time, and frustration they experience from that storm. It is the exact same storm, but two very different outcomes.

We don’t get to choose our trials in life. The only choice we get is how we respond to the storms that come our way. Which direction are you headed? The reality is that on our own, we can only seek to run slowly from the trials in life. Yet, God empowers us to persevere under trial, trusting His guidance in all things. As we remain faithful to Him, we move further into to the eternal reward of life found in Him.

• What is the “crown of life” James referred to in this passage?

• How does living under God’s guidance give boldness that we would not have otherwise? Where do you need this boldness this week?

• Ask God for the perseverance, strength, endurance, wisdom and confidence, in His power to face the storms headed your way.