Rewards are given in recognition of one’s achievement, effort or service. When I was a child, television visually portrayed reward as a treasure chest filled with gold coins at the end of a rainbow. As a former competitive athlete, I longed to reach the medal stand, settling for a bronze in the Delaware State High School Swimming Championships. Yet, with each new calendar year, records are erased as everyone starts fresh with a clean slate.
But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out], Hebrews 11:6.
The Bible eludes to an eternal reward. The author of Hebrews takes this one step further, pointing to the Rewarder. The context of this passage is the Hall of Faith, spiritual heroes who left their legacy and mark during their lifetime. Faith is the invisible force which separates an average Christian from a generational leader. Regardless of how hopeless a situation may be, fixing your eyes on the cross of Christ during the marathon called life is crucial to receiving God’s reward.
Blessed (happy, [c]to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him, James 1:12.
The earthly brother of Jesus provides another perspective of this reward. James lays out the requirements that are necessary to receive the crown of life. The apostle Paul confirms how you get started on this journey, Romans 10:9-11. Yet, to get from the start to the finish line, you’ll need “the Eye of the Tiger.” James 1:2-4 details the qualities that you must develop and possess along the way. Like training for the Olympics, discipline will carry you all the way home, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
by Jay Mankus