DAILY DEVOTIONAL, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2021

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We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. (James 5:11)

We count those blessed who endured. The Greek word (μακαρίζομεν makarizomen) rendered “we count those blessed” is found only here and in Luke 1:48. There it is rendered “will call me blessed.” The Greek verb (μακαρίζω makarizō) and the noun (μακάριος makarios) mean “blessed” or “happy.” The sense here is, we speak of their endurance with praise. These have done what they were supposed to do, and their name is to be respected, admired, and blessed. More in-depth Insights: Happy, blessed: (אָשֵׁרִי Asheri; μακάριος makarios) Asre occurs 11 times in the Hebrew Old Testament and makarios 50 times in the Greek New Testament. Happiness and being highly favored by God characterize this joy. It is speaking of a person who is content, full of joy. This is not to be confused with the Hebrew word barak which means, “to bless,” as in a divine blessing. The Hebrew barak and the Greek eulogeo is the act of being blessed, while the Hebrew asre and Greek makarios are the state or condition of the person who is being blessed, who is a highly favored one. – 1 Ki 10:8; Ps 1:1; 119:1-2; Pro. 14:21; 16:20; Matt. 5:3-11; 11:6; 13:16; Lu 1:45; John 13:17; 20:29; Ac 20:35; Rom. 4:7-8 to mention just a few.

Indeed, anyone who has endured in the face of severe trials has the blessing of God. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt. 5:11-12) The brothers should be comforted by past examples of those who have faithfully endured, as well as by Jesus’ words. It should enable them to walk faithfully through their own hardships, serving God with patience. If we can see the blessing of serving faithfully in our hearts, we can be comforted as well.

Young Christians

You have heard of the endurance of Job. Job is one of the most famous and memorable examples of patient suffering. (Job 1:21) The book of Job was written for several reasons, but the one that stands out is it evidences that a true servant of God can remain steadfastly faithful under any form of difficulty in which he might find himself. (Job 1:9–11; 2:5, 6) This is the only place in the New Testament Job is mentioned. If we have had an opportunity to read the book of Job, we might be thinking that Job is a bad example of patient endurance, as he complained to God quite a bit. However, the endurance James had in mind is a hero to the faith, one who faithfully survived the greatest trial when Satan had complete access to him. In this case, Job is an exceptional example of courageous endurance, especially because he was not even an Israelite. Moreover, the book of Job itself is a major part of the answer as to why God has allowed sin to enter the world, placing mankind into an object lesson. – Job 1:7-22; 2:6-10

And have seen the outcome of the Lord, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. As God demonstrated deep concern, empathy, and kindness in the case of Job, we have the same cause to believe that he will do the same for us. After God had allowed Job to go through extreme difficulties and suffer at Satan’s hands, with Job evidencing that he could patiently endure anything, he was rewarded for his loyalty. Job now had a better understanding of God’s will and purposes. He could now see God’s sovereignty, holiness, power, love, justice, faithfulness, righteousness, mercifulness, and wisdom. (Job 40:6-14; 42:2) Also, God stated his approval of Job before the three false comforters, who were supposed to be his friends. God made the reproved friends pray for Job. (Job 42:7, 8) Job had his health restored, and his life was extended another 140 years, during which he had another ten children and doubled his material possessions. (Job 42:10-17) Moreover, the respect, dignity, and good name that Job had possessed before was now restored. Job became the symbol of righteousness. He and his family will receive a resurrection. – Job 14:13-15.

Because Job did not fully understand why God would allow him to go through these trials, he allowed wrong conclusions to come into his thinking. However, he remained faithful to God, unwaveringly rejecting any idea of denying God or accusing him of being unrighteous. (Job 1:21, 22; 2:9, 10) The way God dealt with Job throughout evidenced his great attributes of compassion and mercy. (Ex. 34:6; Ps. 103:8) In the end, Job repented over the mistaken things that he said during his conversation with the false comforters. – Job 42:1-7.

This should have brought comfort to James’ readers and should do so for Christians today, as God will be faithful to those who are faithful to him. We simply need to endure with patience and keep our inner thinking clean and firmly fixed on the coming of the Lord. We can know with certainty that God will walk with us through this evil age in which we live, helping us be faithful to the end, just as he had done with the faithful men of old. – Micah 7:18-19.

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