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Read Introduction to James

 

“Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”
 
Indeed we count them blessed who endure.
The word “blessed” does not mean happy but a well-ordered soul, a person who is fortunate.  Jesus used this same term in the beatitudes. 
Mt 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
The word “count” gives perspective on those who undergo trials in God’s will – they are blessed. 
There are two basic words for endurance.  The first one used earlier in the chapter means to endure people.  The word for endurance in this verse means to endure circumstances (“endure” and “perseverance”).  The word here for “endure” means to carry a load.  Sometimes the Lord lays heavy burdens on us. 
You have heard of the perseverance of Job
Job is the classic example of “perseverance.”  The word “perseverance” means to abide under, to remain under instead of giving up.  This person does not flee from his problems but has the fortitude to hang in there.  He stands his ground; he stands firm.  He continues to bear up under difficulties, resistance and opposition.  He can put up with a lot. 
Job put up with a lot.  He lost his wealth, his health, his children, his reputation and the support of his wife (Job 2:9).  Even his three friends abandon him (Job 16:1).  It is of note that James does not say that Job had “patience” (5:8-10) but that he had the fortitude to hang in there. 
1 Co 9:12 “If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.”
2 Ti 2:10 “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
Jas 1:12 “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”  
PRINCIPLE: 
High character will maintain fortitude in the Lord during times of duress. 
APPLICATION: 
It pays to be persistent through trials in our walk with the Lord.  Our reaction to trouble is the measure of our character.  Should we face reversals such as loss of a family member, loss of possessions, loss of business, how would we react?  A believer of high character maintains faithfulness to the Lord and His Word. 
Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.”
Job 19:25-27 “For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!…”
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